Friday, June 17, 2005

Hezekiah’s prayer

There are many good prayers in the Bible, but for me, Hezekiah’s prayer in 2 Kings 19 is one of the best. It comes at a time when Judah is threatened by Sennacherib, the king of Assyria. Sennacherib has sent messengers to tell Jerusalem that it would be conquered and given into the hands of the Assyrians.
15Then Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said: "O LORD God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. 17Truly, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, 18and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men's hands--wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. 19Now therefore, O LORD our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD God, You alone."(NKJV)
This prayer is packed with emotion as well as faith in the Lord, but this emotion and faith are not in just any random thing—they are in the promises and covenants of God which he made long ago. One of the phrases that really sticks out to me is “the One who dwells between the cherubim.” This is a meaning packed statement. I believe there are at least two meanings in this phrase. The first one is that God dwells in heaven between the cherubim there. Just as in the Lord’s prayer, “Our Father who art in heaven,” we should have no earthly conception of God. God is in heaven and we are on earth.

The other meaning is that he is the God of Israel who dwells in the Holy of Holies. Remember the Ark of the Covenant had two golden cherubim on it, so referring to the one who dwells between the cherubim would be referencing the God who had promised the redeemer to Israel. This would bring to mind all of the covenantal promises to the mind of the Jew. This was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob--the God who had done all the great wonders and brought his people Israel out from the land of Egypt.

Hezekiah then goes on to acknowledge that God alone is the only living God. As my pastor always says, “It is a good prayer to pray for the glory of God.” He doesn’t deny what the Assyrians have done; they have indeed laid waste to all those other kingdoms, but Hezekiah realizes that even that is in the hands of God. God has ordained this from times past! This is comforting to know that God is in control; that not a hair can fall from our heads without his will. May we always remember that in our deepest, darkest trials.


Post a Comment

<< Home