When in a threatening circumstance, you might consider doing a King Hezekiah thing. Remember when Assyrian King Sennacherib threatened Jerusalem? The phenomenal account is in 2 Chronicles 32:1-23 and Isaiah chapters 36, 37. Read all that to get the full effect. But the part I’m zeroing in on is Isaiah 37:14ff. King Hezekiah takes Sennacherib’s threatening letter to the Lord’s temple, spreads out the letter, and essentially asks the Lord, “Now what are you gonna do about this?” Hezekiah knows that he himself hasn’t the power to face Sennacherib’s army, so he puts this “responsibility” right into the Lord’s hands. And the Lord gets a chance to strut his stuff when he takes down Sennacherib’s army in one of those most spine-tingling scenes in Scripture (Isaiah 37:36-38; by the way, in 2015 I named my cancerous tumor Sennacherib!).
I tend to be a fixer and, when in trouble, tend to forget to do what Hezekiah did. Shame on me! So I especially love the lesson here for myself. And I would challenge believers to consider certain big problems to be a sort of “King Sennacherib threat” that’s straight from the pit of Hell. You know, when it seems aimed at impeding your witness or your ministry. You can tell the Lord these struggles seem to you to be an enemy threat. You can tell him what you want to happen, as far as your plans/hopes. You can repent of anything you may have done to contribute to the current situation. And you can state that you want to stay on track with his plan—for HIM. And so IF THE LORD WANTS _____ [fill in the blank], then why not present the whole thing to him and ask, as King Hezekiah did, “What are you gonna do about this?”
And then step back.
It’s not being defiant or lazy. It’s a strong stand on the Bible theme of “Obey my commands and do not be afraid.” And it…I don’t quite know how to put this…it blasphemes the trouble. And that’s good. Example: When I was at financial rock bottom and wanted to whine, I began to notice that Christians (whether they had money or not) didn’t talk about money any differently than the nonbelievers did. Both groups said things like “We never have any money” and “I need surgery, but we can’t pay for it.” There was a fearfulness/anxiety about money. This began to bother me. I wondered what nonbelievers thought about us saying on Sunday morning “Praise God. He always provides”…and then hours later indicating that he doesn’t. I clearly remember the day I vowed never again to say the words “Well, I can’t afford . . .” After all, if I need something and it’s within the Lord’s will, he’ll provide for it.
Thank you, King Hezekiah!