The threat of the Assyrian king is real. Hezekiah has already seen it played out in Israel. Who could blame him for feeling scared and worried?
DAILY READINGS2 Kings 18-19 & Psalm 106
DAILY NOTES2 Kings 18
- Hezekiah takes reign over Judah. He "did what was right in the sight of the Lord." Notice his actions; we typically refer to them as Hezekiah's reforms. He finally cuts down the sacred pole and, among other things, the bronze serpent that Moses created.
- The bronze serpent had become something the people began to worship.
- It even has a name! Nehushtan means a "thing of brass." It's also been called a "trifling thing of brass."
- Verses 9-12 review what happened at the end of Chapter 17. Israel is taken captive and the people are taken away to Assyria.
- The Assyrian king takes Judah captive and threatens Hezekiah as well.
2 Kings 19
- Hezekiah is fearful about what the Assyrian king will do. Hezekiah goes to the prophet Isaiah for prayer. Isaiah assures him that God will save them.
- A history lesson wrapped in prayer that God would be gracious to the people. They have sinned.
- The prayer is that God would save the people so that they "may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise."
I don't want to get started on the bronze serpent! I'll save that for a sermon some day.
The Assyrians told Hezekiah that all he had were words. Counsel and might are needed for war. Hezekiah was putting his faith in words. Of course, Hezekiah is being mocked, but we can also assume Hezekiah is depending on words from God. Hezekiah went to Isaiah for direction or maybe even a battle plan.
Isaiah gave Hezekiah more words.
They were words of a promise from God, but they were still just words.
It seems like there's a great lesson there. If God gives us a word, can we trust that word? If so, then why do we get so anxious to make other things happen? We may not be preparing for a war, but we're facing other things that upset, unnerve or frighten us. Are God's words to us enough for those moments? If so, relax.
Other people may think we need more than the words of God's promises. If so, God will tell us (and God'll probably use words to tell us, too). But don't fall into the temptation to let go of God's words (or God's Word) in order to hold onto some other promise.
God is faithful.