Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Praise The Lord His Glories Show"1 (Lyrics)
2 Kings 19:14 – Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. (NIV)
What do you do when you are in serious trouble like King Hezekiah of Judah was? Ravenous Assyria was on the move, and swallowing up the tiny kingdom of Judah was next on King Sennacherib's agenda. He sent a letter to King Hezekiah, threatening to annihilate Judah. Hezekiah took this threatening letter to the temple and spread it out before the Lord. Pleading for God's deliverance, he put His trust in God. The result? The angel of the Lord killed 185,000 soldiers in the Assyrian camp. King Sennacherib withdrew, but upon his return home, he, in turn, went into the temple of his own god and was killed by two of his own sons. The outcomes of these temple visits were polar opposites. Sounds like a Hollywood movie, right? But Hezekiah trusted in God, and God faithfully delivered His people.
I have personalized this biblical account by following Hezekiah's example in my own way. I have physically "spread out" my cheque book, bills, application forms, letters, and other documents before the Lord. I say, "Lord, see this? I need Your help and guidance. Please provide for this need (or decision, or challenge) as You see best." My need is never as dire as King Hezekiah's was, but in my own little world, this physical action is a way of confirming to myself and to God that I am fully trusting in Him for the outcome of whatever it is that I am facing. Opening my "letter" — and myself — to God in this way allows me to give my burden to Him. I know that He is all-knowing and will handle the situation on my behalf in the best way possible.
My "letter" analogy, however, may soon need some revision. I may have to change my practice in the future to touching my computer screen or smartphone! So many changes are coming with technology that few people write letters these days. There is much less paperwork. I seldom write cheques anymore, although that would still be my preference. (I heard a joke about writing cheques that makes me smile: An elderly man turns to an impatient young man standing behind him in the checkout line at the grocery store, saying, "If you don't stop complaining, I'm going to write a cheque!")
King Hezekiah is my hero. He — like all of us — made some serious mistakes in life himself, but in this case, he did exactly the right thing. My goal is to follow his example in placing the details and concerns of everyday life in God's hands.
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, You know every detail of life and every need and burden that we have. Please take these concerns as we bring them to You, assuring us that You will care for them as You know best. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.