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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

Lay It Out

Today’s Verse:

And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. ~Isaiah 37:14

 

Have you ever received a troublesome message by letter or email? Maybe you've received a notice saying that you owed money for something that you were unaware of. Maybe you've received a legal notice that was worded with an expected deadline and an “or else” consequence. Maybe it was an email message that had very saddening news. Whatever it may have been, you know that being a recipient of troubling news can really alter you. We want to consider what Hezekiah did when he received some troubling news.


There is the problem.

Sennacherib sent a very troubling letter to Hezekiah. In this letter, he threatened to overrun Hezekiah and the kingdom of Judah. Receiving this letter was like receiving a death sentence with no opportunity to commute or terminate it. Hezekiah was intimidated, threatened, and fearful. The enemy knows that words, especially words put into writing, can have a devastating effect on our emotions and thinking. Sennacherib was playing mind games with Hezekiah. The enemy knows that if he can make us think that we are defeated, we will live like we are defeated. Be careful of your reaction towards what you read.


There is the practice.

What did Hezekiah do? We are told that he went to the house of the Lord, and he spread it out before the Lord. He took the entire letter and laid it out on an altar. Spreading out the entire letter was putting the problem in full view of God. It was surrendering every aspect of this problem to the Lord. How many of us are guilty of holding onto our problems for days, weeks, and maybe months before we give it to the Lord? Job termination? Spread it out before the Lord! Unexpected bills? Spread them out before the Lord! Legal notice? Spread it out before the Lord! A hostile or hate letter? Spread it out before the Lord! A frightening doctor’s report? Spread it out before the Lord! A misunderstanding that has resulted in being castigated? Spread it out before the Lord! Hezekiah’s practice should encourage us to spread out our problem in the presence of the Lord.


There is the prayer.

It was a secret prayer. It was Hezekiah’s private prayer between him and God. It was an explicit prayer. He made the details of the situation fully known to the Lord. Explicit prayers tell the Lord that we need His involvement in every aspect of the problem. It was a desperate prayer. He prayed with an intensity and directness for God to help him and the nation. It was a faith prayer. He prayed in faith that God would deliver him and the nation. He did not trust in his military resource. He did not consider hiring out a mercenary nation to come alongside of him. He knew that his problem demanded that the God that he served was the only One Who could help him.


There is the provision.

God intervened in a miraculous way. God sent an angel out during the night to smite the entire Assyrian army while they were sleeping in their tents. The next morning, there were 185,000 Assyrian corpses that were lying dead in their places. No human involvement was needed to stop this problem. God demonstrated that a supernatural problem demanded a supernatural intervention as the only solution.


Whatever it is that you might be facing, take the matter, and lay it out in its entirety before God. Pour out your heart to the Lord. Give God the opportunity to prevail in your problem, and give Him the glory for the way that He solves it for you.


Have a prayerful God Morning!


Bible Reading Schedule: Numbers 8-10

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