Scripture reading for April 14th: 2nd Kings 18-21
In 1980, my wife and I were caught in a financial crisis beyond our ability to handle or fix. We had borrowed money to buy land and equipment and build our farming business and now the interest rates had more than doubled. Many neighbors had lost farms to the banks and creditors because they were unable to pay. Mary and I knelt by our bed and confessed our sin. God heard and showed us mercy!
Hezekiah, one of the kings of Judah, was a man of faith. Scripture says that he “held fast to the Lord and did not cease to follow Him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses.” (2nd Kings 18:5-6) The Lord was with him and he was successful in all he did. One of his first moves was to destroy the bronze snake that Moses had built to stop the plague of serpents in the desert. God’s people had made an idol of it and were burning incense to it! (2nd Kings 18:4)
Hezekiah was tested by the Assyrians. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him. Assyria captured Samaria and Israel (the ten tribes) in Hezekiah’s sixth year. In Hezekiah’s fourteenth year, Sennacherib, king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. (2nd Kings 18:13) Hezekiah tried to buy off the king of Assyria with gold from the temple, but a large army showed up surrounding Jerusalem. Hezekiah was told of this situation and he immediately went to the temple in a humbled posture to seek the help. As he prayed to God, God sent word by the prophet Isaiah that He would intervene and deliver them! (2nd Kings 19:6-7)
Hezekiah let his faith lead him to prayer. His prayer was a humble appeal to the Lord of Heaven. Solomon had prayed earlier at the dedication of the temple for people who were at war and would cry out to God that He would hear and answer! (1st Kings 8:44-45) Prayers said hundreds of years earlier were still being answered!
What are you facing today that seems like a mountain? Go humbly if you need to confess how your own sinful actions led to the trouble. The answer is already on the way! By the way, eight years after we prayed, my wife and I were debt-free! Faith and prayer gives direction and patience!