God Hears Hezekiah’s Prayers (Week 28)
God did some truly amazing things for King Hezekiah. For one thing, He healed him of a deadly sickness and gave him 15 more years of life. But even more astounding than that, God smote Sennacherib’s army, and they retreated to Assyria, leaving Jerusalem untouched.
What had Hezekiah done that he was saved from certain death and the destruction of his throne? He had repented and cried out to the God of Israel when he needed help. It was really just that simple.
But Hezekiah had a history with God that was also to his favor. When he took over as King of Judah, he destroyed all the pagan cult sites that had flourished under his predecessor. He cleansed and rededicated the temple in Jerusalem and reinstated pure worship to the God of Israel. After many years without one, he held a Passover celebration that went on twice as long as prescribed due to the joy and presence of the Lord.
God was certainly pleased with Hezekiah’s efforts. Nevertheless, events would arise to test Hezekiah and his dedication to the Lord. For example, when Hezekiah fell ill, God warned him that he was going to die. So he cried out and wept before the Lord, who then healed the king and promised him another 15 years of life.
When King Sennacherib of the mighty Assyrian Empire sent a letter to Hezekiah threatening to destroy Jerusalem and end the kingdom of Judah, Hezekiah ran into the temple, laid the letter out before the Lord, and pleaded his case, pointing out that Sennacherib was blaspheming God himself. God directed the prophet Isaiah to tell Hezekiah Sennacherib would not set foot in Jerusalem.
The next day the Assyrian army was struck down by an angel, possibly with a plague, and had to retreat to Nineveh. It was unheard of for the mighty Assyrian Empire to back down and retreat from such a small kingdom as Judah. But when God’s people run to Him in repentance and prayer, He hears and responds.
Join me for this Out of Zion podcast, “God Hears Hezekiah’s Prayers.” Walk Thru the Bible with me each week by downloading our Bible reading plan, and get started reading right away!
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About this episode:
King Hezekiah eliminated paganism throughout the Kingdom of Judah and reestablished pure worship of God in the temple. He also turned to God in times of need and as a result He experienced the grace of God—who not only healed him and extended his life but defeated the mighty Assyrian army. The prophet Isaiah knew this respite from judgment would be short-lived but he also saw into the future when God would restore His people and would comfort them in Jerusalem. This episode complements the daily readings from our Walk Thru the Bible reading plan for August 9-15, covering 2 Kings 18-21; Isaiah 19; 40-48.
Going Deeper in Week 28: Isaiah’s Message For Today with Kay Arthur
Susan interviews renowned Bible teacher, Kay Arthur, who shares her love for the book of Isaiah and the lasting message it has carried across millennia. It speaks to the very days in which we live and instructs us how to live our lives. Let Isaiah speak to you as Kay shares from his phenomenal book.