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Monday, May 2, 2011

Siege Letters

Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 2nd Kings 19:14 (New American Standard Bible)

When the land of Judah was attacked by the king of Assyria the Judean king Hezekiah was given a written ultimatum by the Assyrian representative Rabshakeh. It outlined the hopelessness of Judah’s resistance against Assyria and guaranteed that if it did not surrender that Assyria would totally desolate the land as it had done to other nations that defied it.

It is interesting King Hezekiah didn’t panic or call his generals in to set up a council of war. Instead he took the letter to the house of the Lord and spread it out before Him giving the problem over to God to sort it out. After he did the prophet Isaiah came to Hezekiah and told him because he had prayed to the Lord about the problem God had heard him and would deliver the nation. That night one angel of the Lord went through the camp of the Assyrians and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers (II Kings 19:35). The next day Sennacherib, king of Assyria departed and returned to his nation and the siege of Judah was over.

Turning things over to God is one of the most difficult things to do. It is human nature to take control when the Lord desires we come to Him and put our ‘siege letter’ into His hand. It can be a very frightening thing to do and waiting upon the Lord’s perfect will can bring us to fear and trembling but doing so highly pleases Him. When we set these things before the Lord asking for His perfect will to be done the outcome will be His alone to deal with. The glorious thing about it is He has so many wonderful ways of dealing with problems that seem hopeless. That’s exciting to ponder. He knows what our scroll says before we open it and He already knows what He’s going to do about it.