Find Your Wall

2 Kings 20:1-9-  “In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet… came to him and said… “Thus says the Lord, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.’” Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Now, O Lord, please remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him. “Turn back, and say to Hezekiah, the leader of my people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David… I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold I will heal you… and I will defend this city for my own sake, and for my servant David’s sake…’” And Isaiah said, “… the Lord will do the thing that he has promised.”

 

I find much peace in security; and change tends to stress me out. I like to know how a situation is going to end before it even starts. I want to know that everything I care about is safe and stable and the people I love are happy and healthy. That’s not too much to ask for, is it?

No doubt we’d all sleep a little better at night knowing all things we hold dear were in the best of conditions without any fear of contamination. But, we’re not in Heaven yet, so we understand that’s not going to be the case. A lot of us have learned how to walk in grace and survive in the midst of heart-wrenching and mind-boggling situations, but what about those who haven’t? Or what about those moments that just knock the breath right out of you?

Hezekiah was a faithful, godly man. He ruled Judah under God’s direction and obeyed His commands. The Lord was always on his side and he walked in prosperity and victory throughout the majority of his reign. But there came a day when the king of Assyria attacked Judah and took it captive. He began to scorn Hezekiah and his faith, taunt the country, and mock God. As soon as King Hezekiah heard this, he immediately found a place of prayer. He was fearful, but his trust in the Lord was not shaken. And, faithful to His people, God moved on their behalf and delivered them from Assyria’s hand.

Not too long after, Hezekiah became very ill. When the prophet Isaiah informed him that God had spoken and said his life was near its end, Hezekiah reached a breaking point. And again, he turned his face to the wall and prayed… He cried out for mercy, wept bitterly, and poured out every ounce of himself at the feet of his God. Within just moments, God spoke back. “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you… and I will defend this city…”

The Lord doesn’t always answer us according to exactly how we pray. If it’s not what’s best, He will change our hearts and give us peace when we ask for answers. Still, we must understand, that in order for change to take place, for miracles to happen, and for the “impossible” to be accomplished, we have to follow Hezekiah’s example. We have to find our wall… and do so prior to any other action we may make.

We’re impatient creatures. We don’t like to wait, we want our emotions justified immediately, and we want to have a part in achieving the results we desire. I’m convinced the majority of us naturally pick up a phone the moment uncertainty grips our hearts. When financial crises sneak up on us, I’m sure we instantly sit down and look at what costs we can cut or brainstorm how to bring in more income. During times of unwelcome health issues, we are on the edge of our seats waiting for a good report from the doctor to ease our nerves. In the midst of family drama, we lean too much on our own words and/or efforts to mend broken relationships.

None of these things are wrong… but they’re only minimally effective. We only have limited ability to solve problems. True power lies within the hands of God Almighty. (Matthew 19:26- With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.) We have to isolate ourselves at times; get some uninterrupted alone time with our Lord. Turn our face to the wall, drown out all other voices, ignore every doubt and lie the devil throws at us, and erase every scenario we’ve fixed inside our mind and let Him speak; let Him work; let Him move in a way that only He can. (James 4:2b- … you have not, because you ask not.)  

Life can get tough! Situations become uncomfortable. But, when you’re back is to the wall, just turn around for a second. Cry out to the Lord and watch things start to happen.

 

Prayer: Lord, thank You for hearing me when I pray. How blessed I am to have You on my side. Help me come to You first, as I know You are the difference maker in every situation. I love You, Lord. Amen.

MERE WORDS!

(Isaiah 36:4-5 ESV) 4 And the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? 5 Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me?

I think I’m feeling unsettled right now about what I’m hearing. Everyday seems to be filled with words, words, and more words! People are speaking their minds about politics, the economy, elephants and donkeys, budgets, which public bathroom we should use; guns, entitlements, taxes, refugees, illegal aliens, deportation… words, Words, WORDS!!!

Everyone has an opinion about everything, and, of course, their opinion is always correct. “If you elect me, I will do so and so…” “No, if you elect me I will do such and such.” “If you marry me I will make you happy.” And the rhetoric continues building each day…

In our passage of scripture, Hezekiah was being tormented by the Rabshakeh (the name given to the chief cup-bearer or the vizier of the Assyrian court; one of Sennacherib’s messengers to Hezekiah). The Rabshakeh was threatening Hezekiah in behalf of his boss, the king of Assyria.

First, he tried to weaken Hezekiah’s faith by asking, On what do you rest this trust of yours?” In other words, prove the existence of your God. I can’t see him! What makes you think He will come through for you? Then, the Rabshakeh insults Hezekiah by implying that he had no strategy for victory—mere words! Notice, Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war?” He was basically telling Hezekiah that he was just full of hot air! All the words in the world would not help Hezekiah against his enemy. Finally, the Rabshakeh reminded Hezekiah that he had burned his bridges and could not rely on the King of Assyria for assistance. Those days were gone! His words were strong and meant to strike fear into the heart of Hezekiah. Listen to his tone…In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me?

What the Rabshakeh didn’t understand was that Hezekiah wasn’t trusting in him OR the king of Assyria! Never did! And, he wasn’t going to start now!

Rabshakeh’s implication that mere words would be useless ultimately backfired! In the next chapter, Hezekiah used MERE WORDS to PRAY to God concerning the threat from the king of Assyria. MERE WORDS, when backed by faith-filled prayer IS strategy AND power for war. MERE WORDS (prayer) caused God to intervene and give Hezekiah an overwhelming victory.

So, use your words… And, use them wisely!

PRAYER: Father, I will use my words to thank you for the many times you have intervened in my life to produce blessing on my behalf. And, I intend to use my words to establish an ongoing atmosphere of faith! I trust You! Amen.

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