February 28, 2021 – 2 Kings 18-25
Hezekiah was a good king, and his rule in the south was quite momentous. Israel had fallen to Assyria in 722 B.C. and, then, Assyria turned its attention to Jerusalem. With almost 200,000 troops surrounding Jerusalem, Sennacherib and his generals mocked Hezekiah and God: “Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?” (18:35).
Hezekiah had done all he could do to prepare for such a siege but, still, the day looked dark. Listening to Isaiah, Hezekiah prayed, and the Lord miraculously delivered the city. Two quick thoughts: 1) Hezekiah did what he should have done, that is, rely upon the Lord and, 2) He sought God’s glory in all this. In answer to another prayer, God healed the king. We should find ourselves, like Hezekiah, often in prayer before the Lord. Mark and Caron Johnson, from Brazil, have asked, this morning, that Baxter pray for them and for Brazil. They are facing a desperate situation with COVID. What can we do? What should we do? We will pray!
With the exception of Josiah, who sought to bring Israel back to the Lord, Hezekiah was followed by kings who failed to follow the Lord as they should, and the southern kingdom fell to Babylon in 586 B.C., the people going into exile just as the Lord had told them. Oh, my! Are all of God’s promises to David at an end? Has Israel so greatly failed that no hope remains? Of course not; there is much more of the story to be told. In the meantime . . .
O how praying rests the weary!
Prayer will change the night to day;
So when life seems dark and dreary,
Don’t forget to pray. --Refrain from Mary Kidder’s “Did You Think to Pray?” (1876)