“Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord…” — 2 Kings 19:14-15a
Spread It Out
King Hezekiah of Judah was in dire straits. He was totally outmatched by Assyria with its vast army of soldiers, horses and chariots. The king of Assyria sent messengers to taunt and instill fear into the people of Judah, saying they did not stand a chance against their forces. Their intent was to convince them to surrender (2 Kings 18). The messengers made their way to Hezekiah, reminding him of Assyria’s most recent victories, completely destroying the nations in their path.
How often do you feel outmatched in the events that surround your life? Circumstances beyond your control seep in unexpectedly and unwanted, causing panic and uncertainty. You see no way out, no solution to your problem, for you are in dire straits. Anxiety sets in, clouding your thinking, and you want to let off steam to anyone who will listen, anyone who can help.
There is one who can help: the Lord God.
Take a lesson from King Hezekiah. He took the letter from the king of Assyria and “spread it out before the Lord.” Picture it in your mind — Hezekiah laying the letter on the ground in prayer before the Lord, detailed with the devastation that will come if they do not surrender. The Lord didn’t need to see the letter to know what it contained, but the visual presentation of giving it to God to take care of demonstrates Hezekiah’s faith that the Lord God was the only one who could take care of it. And God did (2 Kings 19:35).
Whatever your dire circumstance is today, spread it out before the Lord!
— Loring Schultz, Reading, Pa.
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