Welcome ladies to Podcast 8 of our QFW series. In Podcast 7 we started looking at the life and story of Hezekiah, king of Judah, the Southern kingdom of Israel. God’s word gave an awesome testimony of Hezekiah,
- There was no king Before him or After him like Him.
I want to welcome my daughter Taylor Draughn who counsels at the Christian Counseling Center in West Monroe. She has been joining me in this QFW series of podcasts and it has blessed me to hear her share from a practical counseling perspective and I know it has you!
So Taylor will you recap what we learned in the last podcast that made Hezekiah a king that God’s word testified about him that there was no king before him of after him like him?
HEZEKIAH TRUSTED GOD. He CLUNG TO GOD, AND HE WALKED IN OBEDIENCE to God.
We saw that Hezekiah walked with God wholeheartedly and because of all this, Hezekiah prospered.
- Remember that many times God’s promises are conditional.
We learned that Hezekiah’s enemy, the Assyrian king came against Hezekiah to take his kingdom, but Hezekiah did not fear. He prayed.
That should bring us up to speed so that we can move forward into Hezekiah’s story.
Awesome! Thanks Taylor!
Let’s look at another Problem Hezekiah was facing at the same time he was facing the Assyrian King.
Read 2 Kings 20:1-5
In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.’ ” Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you.
So we learned in the last podcast that Hezekiah’s enemy the Assyrian King had come against him to destroy him and take over his kingdom and now we hear that Hezekiah is sick to the point of death.
Hezekiah had 2 problems at the same time; both appeared to equate to impending death.
Hezekiah was so surrounded by the enemy that he knew if God brought him out of this one everyone would know that it was God. Why? Because in the natural it was impossible! Now he is sick to the point of death. Isaiah the prophet had spoken the word of the Lord to him to set his house in order for he was about to die. And with the usual “matter of fact” nature of a prophet, he turns on his heel and leaves the room.
In the same moment that Hezekiah prayed for healing, God responded instantly. Look at what it says – before Isaiah got to the middle court.
Don’t we all wish it would be that way with us every time we pray? I always come to God wanting His answer to have come to me yesterday! Sometimes we are very impatient when God doesn’t respond to us instantly, but there will be times we pray and God answers in an instant.
However, I do think Hezekiah’s prayer for deliverance and salvation from the Assyrian king might have required a little longer wait. Remember that Hezekiah had gone up to the house of the Lord and prayed when the Assyrian king threatened him and his kingdom. We don’t know the time range with which he received his response from God but, receive it he did.
We see God’s response to Hezekiah fulfilled in – 2 Kings 19:35-37
- And it came to pass on a certain night that the angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses–all dead. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh. Now it came to pass, as he was worshiping in the temple of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Then Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place. (2 Kings 19:35-37)
Incredible Story of God’s answered prayer!
So often, we don’t want to have to face any battles of our own. We want life to be smooth sailing, but look at how Hezekiah was able to experience God through his battle. God showed up and showed out on his behalf!
Taylor – Do you want to discuss how we don’t want to face any battles of our own…
Yeah I completely agree, and I know when I look back over my life, and I look at the good times and the difficult times. It is always the difficult times when I am closer to God. I’m sure I have already stated this, but we are a self-sufficient people and because of that during the good times we don’t feel like we need Him as much, but in the bad times we cry out to Him, and He uses that to grow us towards Him.
When you look at what Paul had to say in James 1:2 he states “ Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” As a culture, we tend to want to stay away from things that hurt us, but God wants us to experience these trials in order to make us stronger. Knowing our God He is not going to use these trials to simply accomplish one purpose. He has several in mind. I believe he also uses these battles in our life to show us that He is there for us and He is strong enough to handle whatever is thrown our way.
If you are facing the hardest battle of your life, know that it is not a battle that is too hard for God. He is able to slay a multitude coming against you. If God took out 185,00 men in one night for Hezekiah’s sake, He is able to handle your problems too.
I want us to recognize that Hezekiah had some serious problems and circumstances he was facing. We are talking “death” serious and what he did each time was prayed.
- His response to both his problems was Prayer.
- Our response to all our problems should be Prayer.
Remember that Psalm 34:15 says, “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.”
Taylor what do you think about this?
Prayer is an incredible tool that we have at our disposal that we so often don’t use or use as our last resort. I have seen prayer change so many things. I have seen it physically heal individuals, change an impossible situation, and cause the hardest of hearts to be broken for the Lord. Prayer is not about speaking eloquently or being where everyone can see us pray. The most genuine heartfelt prayer occurs when we are alone, and we need our God to do something.
So often in life we put on this façade that everything is wonderful and perfect, and I believe that we can approach God like that sometimes. Like he can’t handle all of our junk, but he not only can handle it He wants to hear us talk to him about it. Recently God has convicted me for not starting my sessions in prayer. I normally end with prayer just not start with it. What He has shown me is that I am restricting his ability to work because I don’t open up with inviting Him into the room and into the situation to reveal to us where to go in session. When we don’t make time to pray or use it as a last resort we are so often negatively interfering with what God can and desires to do in our hearts and our situations.
Hezekiah cries out to the Lord for healing in a one-sentence, power-packed prayer!
“Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.”
His prayer for healing:
Remember – – I beseech You.
* Krazo – Then he wept bitterly. (Psalm 34:18)
This word in the original language means to weep large in magnitude and in extent, in intensity, and loud.
Hezekiah is having a fit. Crying like a crazy man, he weeps in desperation and urgency as the original language reminds us. Hezekiah needed an instant response and God gave him an instant response. There is something to be said about being desperate. While we don’t like being in the midst of those desperate moments in life especially when we are in them, those desperate moments have the potential to be our greatest encounters with our God.
Taylor, what do you say about desperation?
When we think of desperation in today’s time, we definitely think of being desperate as a negative thing. In our worldview today, we are to be self-sufficient and capable of handling everything on our own, but this actually goes in opposition of what it means to be a Christian. As Christians, we are to come to the place where we realize that we are incapable but our God is not, we do not have everything we need but our God does.
From this standpoint, you would have to see that desperation is a positive thing. Desperation leads us to reach out to God and it allows Him to do some great work in our lives. Think about if our arms are always extended away from us pushing God back – what can he do for us? But when we have our hands out and open to God, how much more can he do?
In my experience with therapy, the absolute best clients to have are the ones who are desperate. They are at a breaking point where something has to change and they are willing to do whatever it takes to make change happen. These people are incredibly motivated, and because of that they are able to see clearly and change does happen quickly. My hope is that we change how we see desperation. When we come to God’s throne desperate for Him he will most surely show up for us in a huge way.
You know, Taylor, in my last local Bible study I taught, I asked the question, “When was it that someone went through a difficult season but now you can look back and see the good in it?”
Every person who answered said that their most desperate time and even times that they did not understand why they were facing their difficult circumstances, was the actual thing that grew their relationship and dependence on God. Every woman who acknowledged facing diseases such as cancer talked about how horrified they were to get the news that they had cancer but how it caused their relationship with God to grow and be strengthened as never before. They all point back to that difficult and desperate place as the one thing that made them have a deeper relationship with God.
Let’s talk about what Hezekiah prayed in 2 Kings 20.
Hezekiah – one sentence power packed prayer!
“Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.”
Sometimes we think our prayers have to be long and eloquent. This was a short prayer but powerful.
What made it powerful was the fact that Hezekiah was basing his prayer on God’s word.
What is he asking God to remember – how I have walked before You:
- in truth 2) with a perfect heart 3) done what is good in Your sight
Remember what we said in our last podcast about God’s healing being conditional. Hezekiah knew this and he knew God’s word.
Exodus 15:26 –
“If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.”
Hezekiah was totally relying on God’s word and God being faithful to His word.
You and I have got to get to a place of such confidence in God’s word that we know it and trust God to hold true to what He says. HE is faithful and He is especially faithful to His own word.
Hezekiah prayed God’s word and it was powerful.
Our most powerful prayers are praying God’s word, because God is going to respond to what He says.
Psalm 34:17 – The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord’s response:
- I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears.
We can know that when we are walking in God’s will and according to god’s ways, He is hearing our prayers and seeing our tears. If we are walking with Him, we have His attention.
- Behold I will heal you; I will add to your life 15 years, and I will deliver you from the hand of the King of Assyria.
(behold – hen – meaning also as in expressing surprise)
God was faithful to His word because God is faithful to His word.
Lessons from Hezekiah:
1) Our response to our problems should always be prayer.
2) When we trust in God with all our heart and know His promise,
then we can stand on His promise.
3) When God does something on our behalf it is ultimately for His glory
and His promise sake.
Isaiah 55:11 – So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
So Hezekiah received a death sentence from God’s prophet and he prayer this one sentence prayer and wept.
2 Kings 20:4-5 – And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you.
Then the prophet Isaiah goes on to give Hezekiah specific instructions to follow.
2 Kings 20:6-11
On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David.” ‘ ” Then Isaiah said, “Take a lump of figs.” So they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered. And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What is the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord the third day?” Then Isaiah said, “This is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing which He has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees or go backward ten degrees?” And Hezekiah answered, “It is an easy thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees; no, but let the shadow go backward ten degrees.” So Isaiah the prophet cried out to the Lord, and He brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down on the sundial of Ahaz.
Here is where it gets sticky for Hezekiah and we all need to heed the warning of Hezekiah’s life.
2 Chronicles 32:24-26
In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death, and he prayed to the Lord; and He spoke to him and gave him a sign. But Hezekiah did not repay according to the favor shown him, for his heart was lifted up; therefore wrath was looming over him and over Judah and Jerusalem. Then Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.
I wonder if God had showed up so much for Hezekiah that he began to get a “I am so special” attitude and pride set in. God has never responded well to pride.
- James 4:6 – But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
There is always the danger of pride. –
If Hezekiah fell into pride, surely we are all just a step away from pride ourselves. This is a serious problem and one we all need to be aware of and guard ourselves against pride.
Pride is one of those sticky sins, because when we are prideful, it is very difficult to see that we struggle with pride. Pride keeps us from seeing our shortfalls but magnifies everybody else’s. From a therapy standpoint this is not a good place to be. When you can never see your shortfalls then how can you ever change it?
So how do we battle pride and win? We have to first be willing to look at ourselves in a genuine manner not from our rose colored lenses that we normally have on. We have to be willing to talk to others and ask them about how they see you and be willing to listen when they tell you things that you might need to work on.
Lastly you have to figure out how God sees all of us. The fact is that God sees us as His creation and His children, but he doesn’t just see you as that He sees us all that way. There are certain gifts and talents that God has given you that he might not give someone else, but that doesn’t mean that your gifts are any better than someone else’s.
I have been on a journey for a while to rid myself of pride, and I can tell you I still struggle with it. I still want to see myself as better at times and I still want to see my gifts as better than others. The fact is though that Jesus died for every one of us, and He loves each and every one of us the same. This is the greatest weapon to our pride.
Proverbs tells us some of the problems with pride.
Proverbs 11:2 – When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.
Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 29:23 – A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor.
But keeping that humble spirit will always please God and always have God in your court!
Awesome words of wisdom! Thanks Taylor and Thank you Jesus for Your mercy because we all can fall into a mess and we all may struggle with pride. I mean, if Hezekiah, a man who God so highly esteemed in Scripture struggled with it, surely we can see the potential for our own struggle with it.
Taylor and I want to thank you for listening today. We hope you are learning, growing, and being blessed by our podcasts.
We want to hear from you. We want to know how this is helping you and any other topics you might want Taylor and I to address from a Scriptural standpoint and a professional counseling standpoint.
Taylor counsels at the Christian Counseling Center in West Monroe, LA and you can reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us through the web-site onfire-ministries.org. Don’t forget to follow along through this series with our blog as well as our podcast!
Looking forward to being with you again on our next podcast. Until then – live blessed!