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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Not Exactly a Singing Telegram (2 Kings 19:14; 2 Chronicles 32:17a)

"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."

"The king wrote letters insulting the LORD, the God of Israel."

What do you do with letters bearing bad news? Hezekiah takes the letter filled with threats from Sennacherib to the temple and spreads it out before the LORD. The LORD responds in a mighty way by sending the angel of the LORD into the Assyrian camp and kills 185,000 soldiers.

At some point in time every Christian faces opposition. Being in the ministry has provided a number of opportunities to trust God while facing opposition. We've been attacked on a number of occasions, but have refused to defend ourselves. Through this passage God has taught us to spread out the matter before the LORD.

For instance, during our first year in Zimbabwe we received a letter from an influential man who demanded that we leave the country. Like Hezekiah we took the letter and spread it before the LORD. In a matter of days this man was arrested for embezzlement; he was later tried, found guilty, and sent to prison. We prayed and we stayed. He, however, went to prison!

This narrative teaches us that God is BIG and He works on behalf of those who wait for Him (Isaiah 64:4). Opposition gives God the opportunity to do what only He can do. We don't have to defend ourselves or "take up for God". We need, however, to learn to spread our problems out before the LORD. God doesn't need what we can do. We need what God can do. Our resources are limited but God's are not.

Are you in the middle of an antagonistic situation? Spread it out before the Lord. Leave it with Him and watch Him work it out. You can trust Him.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
2 Kings 18:13-19:372 Chronicles 32:1-23
  • How does Hezekiah reveal his lack of faith in God at the beginning of this story?
  • Describe Sennecherib's view of God and attitude toward God.
  • Through what means does Sennecherib seek to intimidate Hezekiah and Judah?
  • Describe Hezekiah's relationship with Isaiah the prophet.
  • What does Hezekiah's prayer tell you about his view of God and his situation?
  • How does the Lord view Sennacherib (19:21-34)?
  • What reason does the Lord give for His intervention on Hezekiah's behalf?
Turning truth into prayer
Take your difficult situation and spread it out before the Lord. Thank Him for how He will handle the opposition/situation.