When hard and terrible times came, Hezekiah joined Isaiah in prayer, and the Lord answered and delivered His people. When God tested Hezekiah, Hezekiah, just like us, failed the test. Jesus did not fail! Look again at what Jesus said when tested in Luke 4:1-13.
* Father God in Heaven, we call out to You for insight, we raise our voice to You for understanding.
“After these things and these acts of faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah and encamped against the fortified cities, thinking to win them for himself.”
Is this an experience we have had?
After choosing wisdom, seeking the Lord and putting Him first – Have hardship and trouble come knocking?
Why does this happen?
Peter speaks directly to us, in a similar way that this passage in Chronicles spoke to the returning exiles and speaks to us also,
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.”
Sennacherib and those around him mocked the Lord. They ridiculed the king. They sought to sow fear and uncertainty amongst God’s people.
Today much the same is happening.
Those in the world around us seek to undermine God and His word, they seek to tear down the church, the people of God, living stone by living stone.
The apostle Peter continues,
“But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”
We are to rejoice!
As hard-won as the practice will be, we are to rejoice.
Hezekiah helps us with this, words that are echoed throughout all of scripture,
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles.”
* Lord God,
Praise Your Name!
You are with us, You help us, You fight our battles.
All glory be to You, the Holy God of Israel.
You have saved us from the bands of death. Saved us into life, and life to the full!
May we work to rejoice in the suffering we experience, for our joy lives in Christ – Who suffered much more for our good.