What is your go to response
when you get upset?
Like, are you someone
who would rather be alone,
or needs to talk it out?
Do you withdraw into silence,
or begin to shout?
Understandably, it's a tough question
without knowing specifics
of the situation...
because it could be an upset
like anger, or
And certainly, it could be fear, or
All of which stir strong emotions within.
All of which involve our mind,
our will, and our emotions.
And this, the tangle of pieces
which make up our soul.
I'm intrigued by choices others make,
especially when they seem to make them
almost as if, it's a habit,
an automatic go-to-response.
Well, that is, when the choice
is a good one.
You know, when it works out well for them.
Because all of our responses
are choices really.
Even though when they don't work
in our favor
it's easier to blame them
rather than choice.
Take for example...
Here's a man who seems have made
a series of choices
almost as if, it's a habit,
an automatic go-to-response.
when circumstances were far from perfect.
In fact, I'm not certain
any of us have faced
the extreme of what he did...
personal threats of war
to a kingdom over which he sat as ruler.
His, the responsibility of untold lives.
And so it was,
when King Hezekiah heard it,
that he tore his clothes,
covered himself with sackcloth,
and went into the house of the Lord.
2 Kings 19:1 NKJV
I can probably say
for certain, this would not have been
I may have done a bit more freaking out,
crying, pacing, wringing of my hands
and then asking a bunch of people
for opinons and help.
But not this man...
not King Hezekiah.
First, it must be noted,
that this is a list of behaviors
of a person upset in that time period...
often of mourning.
The tearing of his clothes and
wearing sackcloth, which is a garment
of coarsely woven fabric, usually goat hair.
So the first thing he did
was not uncommon for his day,
but it's the next choice, I believe
was what distinguished him,
as one set apart and determined
to honor God.
Hezekiah went to the house of the Lord.
It didn't seem that he stumbled,
stuttered, started, or sputtered.
Hezekiah seemed to have the routine.
He knew what to do and where to go
when circumstances were out of his control.
Meanwhile, outside the walls of Judah,
the King of Assyria and his men
persisted in their threats of war.
And Hezekiah received the letter
from the hand of the messengers,
and read it.
Thus far, Hezekiah
has shown us to be a faithful man.
But his torn clothes,
his wearing of sackcloth,
his visit to the temple, and certainly
his prayers prayed within
had not changed the mind,
nor the intensity of the Assyrians.
For they still encamped around Judah.
And they still shouted from the wall
to the people, trying to incite them.
So maybe it was not working...
this bit about faith,
this choice to go to God with his problems.
Maybe the Assyrians were right
and God couldn't help them.
But what I love about Hezekiah
are the choices he continued to make
before the people
and before the Lord.
For after he received this letter
certainly filled with threats and ultimatums...
Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord,
and spread it before the Lord.
Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord,
and said: “O Lord God of Israel,
the One who dwells between the cherubim,
You are God, You alone,
of all the kingdoms of the earth.
You have made heaven and earth.
Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear;
open Your eyes, O Lord, and see;
and hear the words of Sennacherib,
which he has sent to reproach the living God.
Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria
have laid waste the nations and their lands,
and have cast their gods into the fire;
for they were not gods,
but the work of men’s hands...
wood and stone.
Therefore they destroyed them.
Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray,
save us from his hand,
that all the kingdoms of the earth
may know that You are the Lord God,
2 Kings 19:14-19
How awesome is that.
Hezekiah did not change
his course of action...
his choice of faith during upset.
Not even, and especially when
the enemy continued to provoke...
Furthermore, his (the king of Assyria) servants
spoke against the Lord God
and against His servant Hezekiah.
He also wrote letters to revile
the Lord God of Israel,
and to speak against Him, saying,
“As the gods of the nations of other lands
have not delivered their people from my hand,
so the God of Hezekiah will not deliver
His people from my hand.”
Then they called out with
a loud voice in Hebrew
to the people of Jerusalem
who were on the wall,
to frighten them and trouble them
2 Chronicles 32:17-18
Certainly God knew all of this.
God saw their actions,
God despised their pride.
And Hezekiah could have simply
given up his faith in God
because these men were louder...
more in his face and not going away.
He could have just
shouted about the problem,
posted on social media about
how awful the world had become
and complained that God wasn't listening.
But rather he went to Him in prayer...
he laid the actual letter before God
Are You going to let people say this about You?
Save us and show them...
show all the world who You really are!
And God answered Hezekiah's prayers.
Isaiah the prophet came to him
with this word...
"Thus says the Lord God of Israel:
‘Because you have prayed to Me
against Sennacherib king of Assyria,
I have heard.’
“Therefore thus says the Lord
concerning the king of Assyria:
‘He shall not come into this city,
Nor shoot an arrow there,
Nor come before it with shield,
Nor build a siege mound against it.
By the way that he came,
By the same shall he return;
And he shall not come into this city,’
Says the Lord.
'For I will defend this city, to save it
For My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’”
And it came to pass on a certain night
that the angel of the Lord went out,
and killed in the camp of the Assyrians
one hundred and eighty-five thousand;
and when people arose early in the morning,
there were the corpses... all dead.
So Sennacherib king of Assyria
departed and went away,
returned home, and remained at Nineveh.
2 Kings 19:20, 32-36
So God didn't just deliver Judah.
God didn't just send the Assyrians away.
God showed up and showed off
in a very big and powerful way.
And King Hezekiah didn't even have to
send out troops or risk the life
of any of his citizens or soldiers.
God kept the Assyrians out...
not even allowing an arrow
of theirs to be shot forth.
And that angel... can you imagine
waking up the next morning?
185,000 Assyrian corpses.
I'm not trying to be gross or graphic,
but seriously, even Judah's army
may not have conquered so many.
So the Assyrian King left.
As a matter of fact, once home,
while the he was worshipping
his sons came temple of Nisroch his god,
and struck him down with the sword,
taking his place as king.
Word of God
train me, today...
To practice this day making choices of faith,
that when upset happens,
these will be my habit.
To trust You in all circumstances,
bringing before You any and every concern,
for You are Lord of all.
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