August 1, 2022

It Is Time To Trust In The Lord

This is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah, doing what was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God.  In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly.  And so he prospered!  2 Chronicles 31:20-21 KJV

There is always a story behind the story!  Whether it is the National Geographic magazine or the Bible, you have to go beyond the headline.  I’m thinking of a statement written long ago.   It’s found in the Old Testament book of Chronicles where we read:  “After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah…” (2 Chronicles 32:1).  What’s the story behind the headline?

Hezekiah had become the king at age 25.  As soon as he became king, he began to set things right.  “In the first month of the first year of his reign,” says the chronicler, “he opened the doors of the temple of the LORD and repaired them” (29:3).  He called upon the priests to go back to their duties.  He saw that the lamp which had gone out in the temple was relighted and the doors were opened.  He dug into his own resources and provided for the sacrifices.  He called for a great Passover, and even though it was at the wrong time of the year, he called on God to cleanse the people.  “And the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people,” says the record.

He gave orders to build storehouses and to provide for the priests who served in the temple.  It seems that this young man was genuinely concerned for the needs of his people, and he had a heart for God, too.  Here’s a summary of his achievements:  “This is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah, doing what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God.  In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly.  And so, he prospered!” (2 Chronicles 31:20-21, KJV

Then the shadow of Sennacherib’s army loomed on the horizon and he invaded the land.  Do you suppose that Hezekiah thought, “Look, God, I’ve done all this for you and here’s my reward!”  Would you have been tempted to say that?  If Hezekiah thought it, at least he didn’t say it. Instead, he went to work, blocking off the water from the spring outside.  He built another wall reinforcing the one which was there.  He went to work making weapons for defense.  And he told the people, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him.  With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.”

If you make a note of 2 Kings 19 and read that passage, you will learn that God saw Hezekiah’s distress and sent just one angel to do battle with the 185,000 soldiers in Sennacherib’s army.  And the hosts of Assyria learned that one plus God makes a majority.  When Sennacherib got home, his scribes recorded the Judean invasion, and we have that record today in the Oriental Institute Museum of Chicago.   But in telling of the invasion, Sennacherib forgot to mention the defeat his army received at Jerusalem.  In fact, he omits Jerusalem entirely.

Good news, friend!  God doesn’t exempt us from our problems, whether they are financial, personal, or physical.  The battles are there all right, but He does promise to be with us and take us through them.  We need to learn what Hezekiah had discovered, “there is a greater power with us than with him.  With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.”  Yes, after all that Hezekiah had done for the Lord, Sennacherib came and invaded Judah; but God gave deliverance and He’ll give you the same thing!

 

Resource reading: 2 Chronicles 29-31