Daily Devotion for June 26, 2017

'Spread...Out'

2 Kings 18-19 NASB
Now it came about in the third year of Hoshea, the son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah became king. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem...3 He did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done. 4 He removed the high places and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah...5 He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel; so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who were before him. 6 For he clung to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses.

13 Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them...‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria, “What is this confidence that you have? 20 You say (but they are only empty words), ‘I have counsel and strength for the war.’ Now on whom do you rely, that you have rebelled against me?...Do not listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you, saying, “The Lord will deliver us.” 33 Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria?”

(2 Kings 19) And when King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth and entered the house of the Lord....14 Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 Hezekiah prayed before the Lord...

King Hezekiah was pretty freaked out when he faced the big, bad King of Assyria. Later in the chapter, the Lord replied to Hezekiah's prayer and Sennacherib's taunting words by 1) charging the Assyrian king with arrogance, 2) by reminding the enemy that he succeeded and conquered only because of what God had allowed and caused, and 3) by sending an angel to kill 185,000 of his troops (Sennacherib was later assassinated by his own sons). These are great and awesome reminders of God's power and our need to be humble, but that's not what caught my attention...

Moreover, it wasn't the fact that Hezekiah “did right in the sight of the Lord,” or that He trusted in the Lord,” or that he clung to the Lord (and) did not depart from following Him,” or that he “kept His commandments” that caught my attention. To do these things should be the Believer's heart cry and desire (the Spirit is working in our hearts so we increasingly desire and do this), but that's only part of what caught my attention...

What caught my attention, folks, was twofold: First, I was encouraged by the reminder that the Lord allows trials for those who are doing “right in” His sight. I say this because King Hezekiah was a God-honoring, living-for-Him guy (trying to lead an entire nation to God)...and he still faced hardships and scary stuff! I appreciate that reminder—we Believers today can also expect trouble because God uses it for His glory and our spiritual growth. Second, I couldn't help but notice what “do-right” Hezekiah did when He faced his seemingly impossible looking situation—He first “went up to...the Lord,” he then “spread...out” the situation (and all its details!) “before” Him, and then “Hezekiah PRAYED!” 

Heavenly Father, today we humbly come before You 1) recognizing Your power, 2) recognizing our total dependence on You, 3) and asking for MORE desire and enabling to do “right,” trust, cling, and follow You (as Hezekiah did!) As you work in us so our lives look more like Your Son's, we also ask that You help us remember to come before You as Hezekiah did when the “going gets rough.” Specifically, help us immediately “spread...out” our situation (and all it's details! And all our concerns!) “before” You, and “PRAY about everything!” Help us “tell (You) what (we) need” instead of freaking out, “and thank (You) for all (You have) done!” Then we will experience Your “peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. (Your) peace will guard (our) hearts and minds as we live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). We ask these things in Your Son's name, Lord, and we “spread...out” our situations before You as we abide in Your Son...

AMEN!!!

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