Daily Devotion Saturday June 17, 2017
“Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went to the temple and spread it out before the LORD.”
In his famous 1885 hymn What a friend we have in Jesus, Joseph M. Scriven asks very pertinent questions. Two of these questions are; “Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?” In the next lines of verse two; Joseph answers these questions in this way; “We should never be discouraged—Take it to the Lord in prayer.” In this hymn, Joseph encourages believers to be able to always take everything to the Lord in prayer. The phrase “Take it to the Lord in prayer” and or other phrases that implies the same appears about seven times—thus about 30% of the words of the hymn.
This hymn which originally was a poem written by Joseph to comfort his sick mother who was living in Ireland as he was in Canada speak volumes to everyone experiencing troubles. It points us to a faithful God who is very reliable and able to help than mortals. That when we are in trouble, we should be able to take our troubles to the Lord in prayer. In this devotion, I would like to show an example of king Hezekiah of Judah, how he was able to take his trouble to the Lord and how the Lord came to his rescue. There was a terrible letter that threatened an invasion of Judah by king Sennacherib of Assyria. His kingdom was more powerful than Judah, so when Hezekiah and the men of Judah received this threat, everyone panicked. Eliakim the palace administrator, Sebna the secretary and, Joah the recorder were so much disturbed, they tore their clothes as they took the letter to the king.
Knowing that he has no other reliable source of deliverance from the Assyrians apart from the Lord God, king Hezekiah did take his trouble to the Lord. The king “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” (Isaiah 37:14-15). Notice how Hezekiah prayed;
“LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give ear, LORD, and hear; open your eyes, LORD, and see; listen to all the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God. It is true, LORD, that Assyrian kings have laid waste all these peoples and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. Now, LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, LORD, are the only God” (Isaiah 37:16-20).
What a prayer! In his prayer, Hezekiah adored God, acknowledged the reality of the problem—mentioned the problem as it is and, asked the Lord for deliverance. After his prayer, the Lord responded through prophet Isaiah and said; “Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria…” (Isaiah 37:21) and then the Lord declares how Assyria will be destroyed. Indeed, God delivered Judah from Sennacherib. It strikes me to read God’s response saying; “because you have prayed to me…” Imagine what would have happened to Judah if Hezekiah didn’t pray. God requires us to be in communion with him in prayer—that as we fellowship with Him through prayer, we should be able to take everything to Him in prayer. His Son Jesus Christ commands us to ask, seek and knock (Matt. 7:7).
“When we take everything to the LORD in prayer, the LORD will take care of everything that concerns us.”
The Bible commands us to “cast all [our] anxiety to Him because he cares for [us] (1 Peter 5:7). So, I ask; Have you trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? Take it to the Lord and he will take care of it. Amen! Rev. J
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Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are taken from the New International Version (NIV). Rev. Julius Izza Tabi is a pastor in the Anglican Church of Uganda, Ma’di & West Nile Diocese. Julius served as an assistant Chaplain and lecturer at the Arua Campus of the Uganda Christin University. He is a graduate of Master of Philosophy in Religion, Society and Global Issues at Det Teologiske Menighetsfakultet alias the Norwegian School of Theology, in Oslo, Norway. He is an author of the Popular Triumphing Over Odds . For pastoral assistance you can contact him here and you can also help to support this site and his ministry by donating here.