Been thinkin’ this week about the division and downright hatred among our citizens. Wondering at the threats and insults hurled across our congressional floors. Shocked at some of the social media posts that pop up in my news feed.
Reading through Isaiah, the Full Life Study Bible calls chapters 36-39 a “historical interlude concerning Hezekiah”. Hezekiah ruled the Israelites from 700-680 BC. Like many of us, Hezekiah starts out strong. He was a Godly king who trusted and served the Lord. He stood up to the lies and insults of the King of Assyria. When he faced trouble, he “tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the Lord” (Isaiah 37:1) He sought Godly counsel and inquired of the Lord. In the face of continued persecution, he prayed. The time came when a wicked king sent Hezekiah a rather intimidating letter outlining the victories the king had against other nations. He goes as far as to warn Hezekiah, “do not let the god you depend on deceive you” 37:10 (I was nervous just typing that).
Hezekiah responds by going to the temple of the Lord. Take a closer look at chapter 37:14-18. He has a targeted plan as to how to respond to this letter.
First, he acknowledges who God is. He calls Him the “Lord Almighty, God of Israel”. Then, he asks that God see and hear.
Hezekiah takes the letter and spreads it out before the Lord. He points out the parts of the letter that are true with a sidebar about that truth. He ends with the faith statement he began with. Hezekiah acknowledges who God is.
This earthly king give us a three-point plan to deal with the lies, insults and harassment that is being aimed at Christians today.
1. Bring the issue into a place of prayer. State the facts of what’s being said and/or done. In the temple, Hezekiah pointed out the obvious. Sennacherib was mocking and ridiculing God.
2. Acknowledge any truth but consider why there is truth. Assyria had taken over other countries and defeated their gods, BUT those gods were wood and stone. Hezekiah says, “not gods at all”.
3. Proclaim who God is and what He has promised. Hezekiah proclaimed that “you alone, oh Lord, are God.
Think about that divisive, hurtful issue that is interrupting your life today. Give it the Hezekiah treatment and watch the God, who is God alone, work it out. Thinkin’ ‘bout that today.