Often times, we find ourselves in the middle of a struggle or a difficult circumstance. Life brings along unexpected challenges. As well as a person can plan, overwhelming situations can leave them feeling hopeless and helpless.
In 2 Kings 19, King Hezekiah found himself in a dire situation. The Assyrian ruler, King Sennacherib, had already captured all of the fortified cities of Judah and attacked the northern half of the divided Israel. He sent a message to Hezekiah demanding him to surrender. History tells us that the Assyrians were very cruel and severely tortured their prisoners for entertainment. Sennacherib knew about the God of Israel, yet he asked the question:
"...Why should you be any different? Have the gods of other nations rescued them...? (2 Kings 19:11b-12a)
Sennacherib's confidence was in his own military might. He also put the God of Israel in the same category with the stone and wood idols of other nations. However, there is one significant difference: the people of Israel did not make God, God made them.
It is well-documented that King Hezekiah remained one of the most faithful Kings of Israel to the Lord throughout his 43-year reign. Therefore, he boldly approached the Lord at the Temple and prayed for God to rescue Judah. A point that needs to be made is if you are faithful to the Lord in good times, it is much easier to ask for His help in bad times. Yet, if you ignore God in the good times, why should He help you suddenly when things go wrong?
God answered King Hezekiah's prayer through the prophet, Isaiah. Not only did the Creator of the entire universe listen to Hezekiah, He gave him His word that King Sennacherib would never begin an attack on Jerusalem. This shows us that although God is great beyond our comprehension, He passionately cares about our well-being. And when those who are faithful to Him ask for help, God is "willing" to help.
King Sennacherib proclaimed that the God of Israel could not save King Hezekiah and his people from the imminent attack. Judah's military forces would have been overwhelmed by the Assyrians. Yet, in the end, King Sennacherib's military forces never entered the city of Jerusalem; he was detoured because King Tirhakah of Ethiopia marched to attack Assyria. The final blow took place in one night; an angel of the Lord went into the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. King Sennacherib returned home where he was eventually killed by two of his own sons.
In 2 Kings 19:34, it is written that in the response of the Lord's answer to King Hezekiah's prayer, He said:
"For My own honor and for the sake of My servant David, I will defend this city and protect it."
It is truely amazing what happens when those faithful to God ask Him for help when they really need it. Because, in life, challenges often come along that are too big for us to handle on our own. It is okay to admit when you do not have the strength or resources to succeed by yourself. Pray.
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