Tag: Hezekiah

The prayer connection!

Scripture reading for July 28th: Isaiah 36-39

King Hezekiah was one of the kings of Israel that did right in God’s eyes.   Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The Lord sent the prophet Isaiah to tell him to get his house in order because he was going to die.  (Isaiah 38:1)  Hezekiah humbly prayed a simple prayer:  “Remember, O Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” (Isaiah 38:2) The Lord told Isaiah to go back and tell him that He had heard his prayer and would add 15 years to his life.   He would also deliver the king and Jerusalem from the Assyrians.  (Isaiah 38:4-6)

God also gave Hezekiah a special sign of His favor and mercy.  He made the sunlight go back ten steps on the staircase of Ahaz.  As God had promised more time, He demonstrated His power to turn back the clock!  What a powerful answer to prayer and what grace for a visual sign of the answer!

Hezekiah had simply reminded God of his life of faith! (James 5:16)  He lived by faith for many years and had a habit of trusting God.  Hezekiah was sincere and did not just put on a show.  He was real with God about his feelings and desire.   He did not demand anything from God, but simply appealed to the one who held His life in His hands.  (Isaiah 38:5)  God saw a sincere heart of faith and it moved Him.   (Mark 11:22-24)  Faith pleases God like nothing else!  (Hebrews 11:6)

If you are facing an impossible situation today, simply ask God like Hezekiah of old.  Trust Him to hear and answer!  Here is Hezekiah’s response to God’s grace: “But what can I say:  He has spoken to me, and He Himself has done this.  I will walk humbly all my years because of this anguish of my soul.  Lord, by such things men live; and my spirit finds life in them too.  You restored me to health and let me live.  Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish.  In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” Isaiah 38:15-17

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Faith and prayer!

Scripture reading for April 15th: 2nd Kings 18-21

In 1980,  my wife and I were caught in a financial crisis beyond our ability to 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 and our situation looked bad.  We had rededicated our lives to the Lord just a few years earlier and as we studied the Word of God, we knew we needed to humble ourselves and ask God for His mercy.  Mary and I knelt by our bed in an act of faith and desperation.

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)  Because he trusted the Lord, 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, the military power of that day, 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 to seek the help of God.  As he prayed for help, God sent word by the prophet Isaiah that God would deliver them!  (2nd Kings 19:6-7)

What are you facing today that seems like a mountain?  Go to God in prayer!  Go humbly expecting God to hear and answer you!  The answer is already on the way!  By the way, eight years after we prayed, my wife and I were debt-free!

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Priorities for success!

Scripture reading for May 1: 2nd Chronicles 29-32

The times we are in are not new.  There is nothing new under the sun, according to Solomon.  Today we find our country in economic turmoil with banks failing, foreclosures mounting in the housing sector, and the job market shrinking.  We find many of our children leaving the path of the Lord and going into captivity in the world system of humanism and self-gratification.  Many churches are losing members and there are few young families in attendance.  What is behind all of this?  The anger of the Lord has been poured out on our nations because we have forsaken Him and left Him out of our lives!

This was the case 2700 years ago in Judah under King Hezekiah.  The wrath of God was poured out on the nation because they had forsaken Him!  Many had fallen to the violence of that day.  Women and children were in captivity and the nation was in terror and fear. (2nd Chronicles 29:8-9) King Hezekiah began to set things in order.  His plan of action was the setting of priorities for success and the blessing of God again.  The first step he took was to reopen the doors of the the temple and repair it’s doors.  (2nd Chronicles 29:3-6)   He brought in the priests and Levites and had them consecrate themselves first and then they began to cleanse the temple.  They removed all defilements from King Ahaz and restored the utensils and furniture that he had removed.

The next thing was to gather all the leaders and renew the covenant with the Lord by sacrifice.  Sin must be confessed and atoned for.  Sin brings death so in their case, animals had to die on their behalf.  The blood was sprinkled on the altar.  (2nd Chronicles 29:24)  The king and the people sang and worshiped as the sacrifices were being offered.  The Levites played and led the singing.  The people bowed and worshiped and offered themselves with joy and gladness!  The people brought thank offerings and sacrifices for themselves.  This work was done quickly because God had brought it about through a godly leader, Hezekiah!

If you find your life in turmoil and fear and your family in captivity, the plan of Hezekiah might work well for you.  Is your temple in disrepair?  Is it cluttered with idols and remnants of the world system?  Begin by removing the clutter and idols and turn to the Lord in humble repentance.  Consecrate your life to the Lord again and establish a regular pattern of worship.  Claim the blood of the last and only perfect sacrifice to be sufficient to atone for your sins!  Jesus Christ has done all that is needed to cleanse your temple and cover your sin!  He wants your life to be marked by joy!  He can do a “quick work” in your life too!  These ancient words from Hezekiah are as true today as then!  May you have great success!

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Faith and Prayer!

Scripture reading for April 15: 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 and our situation looked bad.  We had rededicated our lives to the Lord just a few years earlier and as we studied the Word of God, we knew we needed to humble ourselves and repent and ask God for His mercy.  Mary and I knelt by our bed and did just that in an act of faith and desperation.

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)  Because he trusted the Lord, 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, the military power of that day, 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 of God.  As he prayed for help, God sent word by the prophet Isaiah that God 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.  It was a confession of helplessness and need.  God proved true to His own Word again!  Solomon had prayed earlier at the dedication of the temple for people who were at war and would cry out to God that God would hear and answer!  (1st Kings 8:44-45)  Prayers said hundreds of years earlier are still being answered!  God has a good memory!

What are you facing today that seems like a mountain?  Go to God in prayer!  Let your faith move you to prayer action.  Go humbly if you need to confess how your own sinful actions led to the trouble.  Go expecting God to hear and answer you!  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!

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