Day 118: Declaration of dependence (2 Kings 18-19)

Posted: July 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD : “O LORD, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God. “It is true, O LORD, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by men’s hands. Now, O LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O LORD, are God.” 2 Kings 19: 14-19

OK, close your eyes.

Imagine something terrible has happened. You’ve just received terrible news. You just lost your job, or maybe you just found out someone close to you is sick or maybe even dying. Whatever this news is to you, it’s life altering. It’s enough to make you worry about what is to come, and make you uncertain of your future. So here’s the question:

What’s the first thing you do?

For Hezekiah, when he found out the Assyrians were blaspheming the name of God and threatening Judah, he tore his clothes and went directly to the LORD in prayer in the temple, recognizing his dependence on Him and asking Him for help. To God, this is the right response.

In times of trial, uncertainty and tribulation, what is the first thing you do? Do you worry about what is going to happen next? Do you dwell on the fear of the enormity of the obstacle facing you? Or do you take a second to turn to God in prayer, asking Him for help? It’s interesting to think about it. There is this shred inside me that almost feels to prideful to completely let it all go to God, like I can take care of some of it myself. Something inside me doesn’t want to give it all to Him at His feet. Maybe I think to myself, “It could be worse,” or I’ll self-motivate myself, saying, “Suck it up, man! Be a man!” To God, we should not be afraid to approach Him in prayer, respecting Him for who He is and the infinite things He can do, but also boldly professing our need for Him.

There’s a popular Christian saying that goes around that says “Declaration of Dependence,” a 180 from the world’s “Declaration of Independence,” (not only the foundational document of our country) an “empowering” statement for those rebels that claim that happiness is found in independence from everything and just “doing what they want to do.” Little do they know that true happiness and joy is found in declaring your DEpendence on the Living God that created you!

Hezekiah’s prayer is a great model for us to pattern our own attitudes by when it comes to prayer. Just lay it down. All of it! Why carry the burden of your sin when you can cast it at the feet of Jesus, and have Him set you free? For Hezekiah, the LORD answered his prayer in love and delivered him from Assyria. He can do the same for me! Sometimes, I say that I lay it all down, but maybe I’m holding on to one little thing that keeps me anchored to my sin, maybe I’m keeping that little shred of darkness lying around, just because I’m too proud to give it away.

Independence is overrated. The only freedom I’m after is that which is obtained from dependence on my Savior!

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