Tuesday, August 13, 2013

PROVIDENCE, PROVISION , POWER and PRAYER

One of my top ten stories in His Word is the story of King Hezekiah and Jerusalem's triumph over the Assyrians! Though it is full of kings, armies, contenders and mighty men of valor, I stand in awe of just one thing.  The power behind the heart and prayer of Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah as they prayed for his kingdom and his people!

Making a very eloquent, pointed and wicked speech delivered in Hebrew outside the walls of Jerusalem via his commander, the king of Assyria made it clear they were about to destroy everything Hezekiah held dear. (2 Kings 18:28-35)  Yet, rather than assemble his armies and fortify his walls as would most in his position, Hezekiah sought counsel from the man of God and bowed low before his Creator.


Annals of Sennacherib


King Hezekiah sought the Lord through wise counsel:

So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah.  And Isaiah said to them, “Thus you shall say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. Surely I will send a spirit upon him, and he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.”’” 2 Kings 19:5-7


King Hezekiah sought the Lord through prayer and humility:

And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the LordThen Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said: “O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.  Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God.  Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands—wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone.” 2 Kings 19:14-19



And God answered:

“Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria:
‘He shall not come into this city,
Nor shoot an arrow there,
Nor come before it with shield,
Nor build a siege mound against it. By the way that he came,
By the same shall he return;
And he shall not come into this city,’
Says the Lord.‘For I will defend this city, to save it
For My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’” 2 Kings 19:32-34


Now because of this King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, prayed and cried out to heaven.  Then the Lord sent an angel who cut down every mighty man of valor, leader, and captain in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned shamefaced to his own land. And when he had gone into the temple of his god, some of his own offspring struck him down with the sword there.  Thus the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all others, and guided them on every side.  And many brought gifts to the Lord at Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations thereafter. 2 Chron 32:20-23
 

Hezekiah sought the Lord with all his mind, heart, soul and strength.

God answered.

I am deeply moved by the humility and surrender Hezekiah displayed as he petitioned the King of the Universe. I amazed at his unfailing trust in the Lord as he faced what seemed impossible to overcome. Unlike so many others before him, Hezekiah looked up and remained steadfast in the face of tremendous obstacles. And, he knew that his people were looking to him.  And, God was watching.

Hezekiah sought the Lord for wisdom, with humility, surrender, trust, and faith. On bended knee.

Was there power in the prayer?  No, not in the prayer itself but in the heart and character behind it. Was there purpose in the prayer? Yes, by His will and His providence, God elected to deliver Judah for His name's sake. He provided a way out of a hopeless situation to bring glory to Him alone. In front of all nations, in witness to all those that called themselves by His name.

God answered Hezekiah with favor, love and deliverance.

Is there power in your prayers....?  As we pray, may we remember to come to Him penitent, to humble ourselves and bring ourselves in line with His perfect will.  May we seek wise counsel and His counsel most of all. May we give testimony through every answered prayer as to His providence, provision and power.

To Him be the glory!