Words of Hope

Good News. No Boundaries

A Praying Ruler

This is a historical section of the book in which Isaiah deals with Hezekiah. The Assyrians have captured Israel; they are threatening Jerusalem. The representative of Assyria taunts Hezekiah that neither Egypt nor the Lord can help.

Going to the temple, Hezekiah sends a message to Isaiah and receives the reply that God will protect Jerusalem. Receiving a threatening letter from Rabshakeh, he knows what to do with it; he lays it before the Lord and prays. He makes an appeal to God which many other biblical characters make. He points out the fact that being spared will cause all nations to know “that you alone are the LORD” (37:20 ESV). Hezekiah receives God’s answer through Isaiah. God will protect Jerusalem, and he does by sending an angel who slew 185,000 Assyrian soldiers.

Sometime after this Hezekiah gets sick. He prays for healing, and God says through Isaiah that he is adding 15 years to his life. In response, Hezekiah writes a psalm of praise. But Hezekiah was far from perfect. When Babylonian envoys come to congratulate him on his recovery, he foolishly shows them all his possessions. When God says that as a result someday the Babylonians will take away those possessions, he rather selfishly rejoices that it will not happen in his own day. Let us learn from his strengths and weaknesses.