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.
“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 might have had?
After choosing wisdom, seeking the Lord and putting Him first, hardship and trouble come knocking!
Why does this happen?
Peter speaks directly to us, as this passage in Chronicles would have spoken to the returning exiles (and does to us as well),
“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.
What does Peter have to say about this? He 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.
And 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.”
* Father God Above,
Praise Your Name! For You are with us, to help us and to fight our battles.
All glory be to You, Holy God of Israel. For You have saved us from the bands of death, saved us into life, and life to the full!
Thank You that Your word encourages us to rejoice as we suffer, because You, in the person of the Son, suffered – And we share in this suffering as Your people.
Please help us Lord God, please help us in the hard times, the trouble and dismay – We cast our cares on You, knowing and resting in Your solid and true love for us.