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Hezekiah's Prayer

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CHAPTER 37 Jun. 13 
The King Asks Isaiah for Advice
It happened, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into Yahweh’s house. 2He sent Eliakim who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz. 3They said to him, Thus says Hezekiah, ‘This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of rejection; for the children have come to the birth, and there is no strength to bring forth. 4It may be Yahweh your God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master has sent to defy the living God, and will rebuke the words which Yahweh your God has heard. Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left’. 5So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. 6Isaiah said to them, Tell your master, ‘Thus says Yahweh, Don’t be afraid of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. 7Behold, I will put a spirit in him and he will hear news, and will return to his own land. I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land’. 8So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah, for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish. 9He heard news concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, He has come out to fight against you. When he heard it he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10Thus you shall speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, ‘Don’t let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, Jerusalem won’t be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly. Shall you be delivered? 12Have the gods of the nations delivered them, which my fathers have destroyed, Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the children of Eden who were in Telassar? 13Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivvah?’.
Hezekiah's Prayer
14Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it. Then Hezekiah went up to Yahweh’s house, and spread it before Yahweh. 15Hezekiah prayed to Yahweh, saying, 16Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, who is enthroned among the cherubim, You are the God, even You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; You have made heaven and earth. 17Turn Your ear Yahweh and hear; open Your eyes Yahweh and behold; hear all of the words of Sennacherib, who has sent to defy the living God. 18Truly Yahweh, the kings of Assyria have destroyed all the countries and their land, 19and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone; therefore they have destroyed them. 20Now therefore, Yahweh our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are Yahweh, even You only.
The Fall of Sennacherib
21Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22this is the word which Yahweh has spoken concerning him. The virgin daughter of Zion has despised you and ridiculed you. The daughter of Jerusalem has shaken her head at you. 23Whom have you defied and blasphemed? Against whom have you exalted your voice and lifted up your eyes on high? Against the Holy One of Israel. 24By your servants have you defied the Lord and have said, With the multitude of my chariots I have come up to the height of the mountains, to the innermost parts of Lebanon. I will cut down its tall cedars and its choice fir trees. I will enter into its farthest height, the forest of its fruitful field. 25I have dug and drunk water, and with the sole of my feet I will dry up all the rivers of Egypt. 26Have you not heard how I have done it long ago, and formed it in ancient times? Now I have brought it to pass, that it should be yours to destroy fortified cities, turning them into ruinous heaps. 27Therefore their inhabitants had little power; they were dismayed and confounded, they were like the grass of the field and like the green herb, like the grass on the housetops, and like a field before its crop has grown. 28But I know your sitting down, your going out, your coming in, and your raging against Me. 29Because of your raging against Me, and because your arrogance has come up into My ears, therefore will I put My hook in your nose and My bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way by which you came. 30This shall be the sign to you. You will eat this year that which grows of itself, and in the second year that which springs from the same; and in the third year sow and reap and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 31The remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah will again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. 32For out of Jerusalem a remnant will go forth, and survivors will escape from Mount Zion. The zeal of Yahweh of Armies will perform this’.33Therefore thus says Yahweh concerning the king of Assyria, ‘He will not come to this city, nor shoot an arrow there, neither will he come before it with shield, nor cast up a mound against it. 34By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come to this city’, says Yahweh. 35‘For I will defend this city to save it, for My own sake, and for My servant David’s sake’. 36The angel of Yahweh went out and struck one hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the camp of the Assyrians. When men arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 37So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, went away, returned to Nineveh, and stayed there. 38It happened that as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons struck him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Esar Haddon his son reigned in his place.


37:1 In times of crisis, our response should be the same- to turn to God, to His house (the ecclesia), to His word and to His faithful people, asking them to pray for us. Maybe there are times when we can literally place a letter or hospital report on a table and pray to God over it, bringing it as it were in a special sense before Him (:14).
37:7 A spirit- Can refer to an attitude of mind. God is quite capable of giving people mindsets, over and above their own thinking. There are many situations in life where we realize that we simply cannot change another’s mind. But God can.
37:16 Yahweh of Armies- Hezekiah uses that title for God in recognition of the fact that God has armies of invisible Angels far mightier than the armies of the Assyrians which surrounded him.
You have made heaven and earth- The Psalms record many other prayers where believers in extremity have been inspired in their faith by the fact that God is creator. As He has created all things that are, it follows that to change one small thing within that creation on the face of one of the smallest planets of the cosmos... is in fact nothing at all difficult for Him. Such inspiration to faith is not present for those who believe the myth that all things evolved without God’s creative input.
37:20 That all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are Yahweh- A common reason given by faithful believers when begging God to hear their prayer. It should be most important to us to see His glory worked out through the answer to our requests, rather than merely personal benefit to us. This approach will also influence what we pray for, as well as how we pray for it.
37:22 The virgin daughter of Zion has despised you and ridiculed you- This “daughter” refers to the faithful remnant in Jerusalem. But God speaks of them as being far more confident and full of faith than they really were; they feared the Assyrians and didn’t exactly laugh at them. But we see here one of many examples of how God is so thrilled with the faith of His children that He counts what faith and spirituality they have as far more than it actually is, so thrilled by it is He.
37:23 Against whom have you exalted your voice?- Rabshakeh spoke with an exalted, loud voice to all the Jews guarding Jerusalem (36:13). But God says that effectively, he had been shouting against the most holy God. God in all His holiness was manifest in those spiritually weak members of His people who were then in Jerusalem. His identity with His people is simply amazing; and it doesn’t end when they become weak or are in double mind about Him, just as it doesn’t in a natural family.