This week, the Israelites are but a remnant. They have been beaten down and beaten back and have even gone so far as to seek refuge in an alliance with Egypt, their former oppressor. And now in the middle of Isaiah, they are facing Assyria's strong army coming to subdue them.
Assyria's commander speaks loudly, confidently. He knows he will conquer this remnant of religious people. Their god has left them and Egypt cannot protect them. The Assyrians know, without a doubt, that Israel's only hope is to submit to them.
And what can King Hezekiah do? He knows logically it is true. His army cannot defeat the Assyrians. Egypt is not able to protect them as he had hoped. His people had placed their hope in Babylon which would not save them. There was nothing left for Hezekiah to do to fix this problem.
Nothing left but turning to God. And so he did. When Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers telling of Assyria's threats and taunts and had read it, he did the only thing left to do.
Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord... (Is. 37:14b)I try so hard to solve my own problems, to figure life out. But then I am faced with an enemy I did not expect. A lady at the pool making a demeaning comment about my boys. A possible job loss that is both unexpected and really bad timing in our minds. Feelings of inadequacy, of worthlessness, of being unlovable. Enemies come from unexpected places and I am left with the only real solution, turning to God.
And here is the thing about God - He is still in control.
I love what the God says through Isaiah in chapter 37.
Have you not heard?Don't worry Hezekiah. I have a plan. It has been in the works for a long time and you are just now going to see what I have been doing behind the scenes all these many hours, days, months, years.
Long ago I ordained it.
In days of old I planned it;
now I have brought it to pass... (v. 26a)
Don't worry Jen. I've got this.
Again, I am surprised that God shows up in my life, my 2012 life, through the words written on scrolls so long ago.
But He does.
When I do.