When You Get Bad News

Date: March 17, 2022

After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went up to the Lord’s Temple and spread it out before the Lord. Isaiah 37:13

The news is bad.  Your bar exam results came back… and you failed again.  Your biopsy was positive, or your pregnancy test was negative.  No one escapes the bad news of life, but the Bible gives us a beautiful example of how to handle the very worst of news.

Here was the situation:  the Assyrian army was conquering everyone.  They were just outside Jerusalem, terrorizing the people, and mocking the living God. “Give up,” they taunted” “Your god isn’t going to help you any more than the gods of all the other conquered peoples helped them!” (Isaiah 37:10-13, paraphrase)

Distraught, Hezekiah, the king, did two things: “After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he…spread it out before the Lord” (Isaiah 37:14). Then, he prayed an incredible prayer: “O Lord of Heaven’s armies…You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth.  You alone created the heavens and the earth. Bend down, O Lord, and listen!” (Isaiah 37:17) “Rescue us” he pleaded, so that “all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God” (Isaiah 37:20).

Hezekiah laid the bad news straight out to God.  He declared Who God is and asked Him to move in a way that brought glory to Himself.  God responded: “For my own honor…I will defend this city and protect it” (Isaiah 37:35), and He did just that.

We can follow Hezekiah’s example when bad news arrives. God is still working His power, for His glory, in the lives of people like you and me.


Resource reading: Isaiah 36:1-37:38