Carol Durett, Small Group
Do you ever hit the wall emotionally or spiritually speaking? Times when you think you have been following Jesus but nothing seems to be going right? You have given your best in a certain situation but failure seems imminent? Hezekiah, king of Judah, had just this experience and his response provides a valuable example for us.
As we have already read about Hezekiah, he followed God, tore down places of idol-worship and re-instated the Passover. When Assyria took the northern tribes into exile, Hezekiah tried to buy freedom for his subjects and then prepared carefully for the impending siege. And yet the Assyrians seemed poised to conquer Judah as they had so many other peoples. But what did Hezekiah do?
In a traditional sign of repentance and mourning, Hezekiah humbled himself before God. (2 Kings 19: 1) He tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth and entered the house of the Lord.
Hezekiah, whose name means God is my strength, recognized and named the situation for what it was: a situation that only God could resolve. (2 Kings 19:3) This was a day of distress, rebuke and rejection….there was no strength to deliver.
He sought counsel and prayer support from the prophet Isaiah. And Isaiah’s response was something we have heard often as God’s people faced terrible situations: do not be afraid. (2 Kings 19:6)
When the taunts from the enemy continued, Hezekiah prayed to God, exalting God first, recognizing His supremacy and seeking deliverance, not just for his own sake, but that others would recognize who God really is. (2 Kings 19:15-19 and Isaiah 37:16-20). And God promised deliverance, that the surviving remnant would take root and yield fruit. He destroyed the Assyrian army and its king.
I am not one of the “name it and claim it” crowd. Certainly Hezekiah was a man of God yet faced terrible circumstances. But I have found that God brings deliverance when I recognize that He is the Only One who can; when I seek Him and rely upon Him only; when I remember it is about His glory and not my own. Recently I faced a seemingly intractable situation at work. Several powerful individuals and departments were at great odds. I had tried shuttle diplomacy, smaller work groups, individual discussions and nothing was working. At the end of my rope I set aside my pride, asked God for intervention and walked into one last meeting. Suddenly we reached a solution. Over the next few days I was able to share, in a very secular workplace, the power of prayer and the God I serve.
God, may we always remember that You are God alone; may we humble ourselves before You and look to You alone for deliverance.