Day 185: Hezekiah's Prayer
2 Kings 19:1-13 Hezekiah and his household performed acts of penance and sought guidance from the prophet Isaiah. God arranged for the Rabshakeh to hear a rumor about his king’s movements and withdraw voluntarily. The Assyrian king, however, continued to challenge Judah (SOUTHERN KINGDOM) and the strength of the one true God against his military might
2 Chronicles 30:1-27 With the Temple worship restored, Hezekiah invited all of Judah (SOUTHERN KINGDOM) as well as all of the northern tribes to reestablish the Passover celebration by assembling in Jerusalem on the prescribed day. He urged the people of the Northern Kingdom to recognize their errors and reunite in worship, but very few heeded the call. Hezekiah beseeched the Lord that the purity of heart of these pilgrims might suffice for their participation in the Temple worship and Passover meal, and the Lord granted his healing upon the people.
Psalm 143 The psalmist admitted his unworthiness and, appealing to divine mercy, begged God not to judge him. Exhausted from his struggle against evil, he found himself deflated in spirit. Remembering all of God’s loving deeds towards Israel, he pined for solace in God, the fountain of living water. Despite his sad state, the psalmist believed that God would never abandon him and reaffirmed his trust in the Lord.
Teach me to do...my God!: This invocation summarizes the psalmist’s perseverance in the face of so much turmoil. (Cf. Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, January 11, 2006)
Let your good spirit...a level path: This verse calls to mind the power of the Holy Spirit, who enlightens the mind and strengthens the will to know the truth and practice deeds of charity. This enlightenment and strength come in the form of his seven gifts: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. (CCC 1831)
(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)
2 Kings Ch 19 here is Hezekiah, one of the BEST
His father, Ahaz was one of the WORST
We see this on display in 2 Kings Ch 19 and 2 Chronicles Ch 30
Hezekiah is not perfect
Here is Sennecharib who says, “Ok listen. I’ve destroyed all of these nations. Why do you think that you are going to withstand? All those nations also prayed to their gods. Why do you think that you having the Lord God, He is going to save you at all? Other gods have never done anything to stop me. In fact, those gods gave me power.”
This next part is SO GOOD
The Lord God, through Isaiah's son of Amoz, sent to Hezekiah saying, (OK I am so confused here...Fr. Mike is bouncing from one thing to another so bear with me while I try and decipher his squirreling 🤪)
God says to Sennacherib, “Yeah, I delivered those nations into your hands. You bet. Totally did that. And now it’s DONE.”
There is something REMARKABLE about this
This comes on the heels of what?
After Sennacherib mocks Hezekiah’s trust in the Lord
He has this letter sent to Hezekiah
Hezekiah takes that letter in 2 Kings 19:14, “Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord.”
The Assyrians destroyed all these other nations
They are going to destroy the small nation of Judah completely
There is no HOPE other than in GOD HIMSELF
Hezekiah brings this letter, which symbolizes the IMPOSSIBLE TASK in front of him
The IMPOSSIBLE BATTLE in front of him
He spreads the letter out in front the Lord in His Presence
“Ok God. You are the ONLY ONE who can save us.”
Fr. Mike prayed with this, “Lord God, I am facing something that is big. This is one of those big tasks I think God is calling me to and I am out of my depth. This is way bigger than me. This is way bigger than anything I’ve ever attempted before.”
“Ok God if you want this to happen, you are going to be the one making it happen because I can’t do this.”
This is how we APPROACH GOD
When we are dealing with some of those INCREDIBLE BATTLES
We recognize that this will ONLY happen if GOD WANTS IT TO HAPPEN
We recognize that this will ONLY COME TO PASS if GOD WILLS IT TO COME TO PASS
If God DOESN’T WILL IT TO COME TO PASS, then let God’s Will be done
If God DOES WILL IT TO COME TO PASS, then it is for God’s Glory, all God’s Honor
That is why Hezekiah is such an INCREDIBLE MODEL
2 Chronicles Ch 30 Hezekiah says that Passover will be reinstituted
They were not worshiping God like He asked to be worshiped
Hezekiah sends words to the REMNANT tribes that were still in the North
Hezekiah says, “Come back to the temple. Come back to Jerusalem. This is your pedigree. This is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. This is the God of OUR FATHERS. We are not meant to be two nations separated. We are not meant to be a divided kingdom. We are meant to be ONE NATION. ONE GREAT KINGDOM that the Lord God blesses and that blesses the Lord God.”
Many of the people mocked him
But some people came down from the remnant tribes to Jerusalem to worship
They kept the feast for seven days and it was SO GOOD that they decided to do the feast for ANOTHER SEVEN DAYS
That is such a GENEROSITY OF HEART
Sometimes we may get to the place where we say, “Ok Lord God, I have given you my hour. Ok, we’re done. I’m going to go home.”
As opposed to saying, “You know what? I’ve been here for an hour. Why not just stay in the Lord’s Presence and continue to give Him Glory?”
We don’t do that all the time
The people of Israel didn’t do that all the time
There are some moments that just call for extended celebration
THIS WAS ONE
King Hezekiah finally reinstituted, after SO MANY YEARS, the Feast of Passover
They continued to WORSHIP GOD
They continued to SING PRAISES TO HIS NAME
They continued to GIVE GOD GLORY in the Worship that GOD IS DUE
This is AMAZING
What are the areas in our lives, as we are going through this Bible in a Year, in which the Lord is calling us to give Him OUR WHOLE HEART?
To WORSHIP Him in the way He is asking us to worship Him?
To eliminate the idols in our lives?
To just...yeah 😉
Give God what He has asked for?
To give Him our hearts?
To love Him with EVERYTHING WE ARE and with EVERYTHING WE HAVE?
It’s a BIG DEAL
It’s crazy that God even wants that
Why does it even matter if I were an omnipotent being?
Would I even care if this finite small creature like us were to give me worship?
It’s because GOD LOVES YOU SO MUCH
That’s why GOD CARES
BECAUSE HE LOVES YOU THAT MUCH
AND THAT IS AN INCREDIBLE GIFT
WHAT A HIGH CALL
WHAT AN INCREDIBLE HONOR AND PRIVILEGE
WE ARE NOT DONE SO KEEP PRAYING FOR EACH OTHER
WE HAVE SO MUCH MORE OF GOD’S STORY TO HEAR
WE HAVE SO MUCH MORE OF GOD’S STORY TO ALLOW TO SHAPE US AND TO ALLOW TO SHAPE US AND MOLD OUR HEARTS
PRAY FOR EACH OTHER
PRAY FOR FR. MIKE
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we thank you and give you praise. Just like David here is praying for deliverance from enemies, we have been praying these last days for deliverance from persecution, from evil, and from obstacles, from enemies. Because we know that you are the God who hears our prayers. And so there is no obstacle, there is no enemy, there is no difficulty, there is no persecutor or persecution, that is bigger than you, is stronger than you. You are the Lord God of all. And so we trust in you this day and every day. We trust you with our hopes. We trust you with our dreams. We trust you with our fears. We trust you with those that we love, Lord God. We place them into your hands. With all the things we love, we place them into your hands. With our very selves, we place ourselves into your hands. Please receive us as your children this day and every day into Eternity. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”