And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed unto the LORD, saying, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.Isaiah 37:14-16
Hezekiah, the king of Judah, received a message from Senacharib, the king of Assyria. It was not a fun message. You can read the message in verses 10-13.
Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God, in whom thou trustest, deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by destroying them utterly; and shalt thou be delivered? Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed, as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which were in Telassar? Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arphad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah?Isaiah 37:10-13
Talk about throwing down the trash talk! Senacharib told Hezekiah not to believe that his God could do anything about the fact that he was coming. Senacharib laid out his victories over previous nations, kings, and “gods”, asking Hezekiah where those kings that thought that way ended up. The intent was that Hezekiah would attribute their fate to Judah in his mind. Senacharib was trying to get into his head.
Hezekiah was a good king and made a wise decision in response.
First, He took this message to Lord. Notice it says “and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the Lord, and spread it before the LORD.” When the message was bad, and the enemy was tough, he took the problem to God. He spread out the written letter against him “before the Lord.” Did God need to see it? Of course not. It seems more proper to view it as a way that Hezekiah was communicating his need to God.
O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.
Second, He began His prayer with praise. He doesn’t start with how bad the problem seems to be. He starts with praising God’s superiority. Look at the names:
- Lord of Hosts
- God of Israel
- that Dwellest with Cherubims
-“God…of all the kingdoms of the earth”
-“thou hast made heaven and earth”
It is clear that Hezekiah was praising God for His mighty power.
In our lives there are times where we face great challenges. So often we try to take them on ourselves, rather than taking them to God. He is our strength and the one who can do something about them. We have to remember who He is, and see Him as our greatest hope.
- What problem do you need to “spread before the Lord” today?
- Take some time to pray today.