May 17 | Daily Devotion

May 17 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a complete reading of the passage

Lectio Semi-continua: a shorter reading of the passage

Lectio Divina

Hezekiah is one of the few good kings of Israel. He rids the land of idolatry and even succeeds at removing “the high places”, the forbidden alternative sites that the people constructed for worship. The problem with the high places is that even when they are devoted to the Lord, they are not under the oversight of appointed spiritual leaders. Therefore, worship on these sites is not conducted according to the instructions given by Moses to the Levites but instead is directed at the whim of individuals. Hezekiah not only worships God, he also influences the rest of the community to do the same. From the age of twenty-five until his death 29 years later, “he held fast to the Lord and did not cease to follow him” (2 Kings 18:6).

One of the most memorable examples of King Hezekiah’s faith in God is his desperate (and powerful) prayer for deliverance from the threat of Assyrian invasion. The Assyrian nation, located to the north in parts of modern-day Syria and Iraq, is the superpower of the Middle East, and Hezekiah has good reason to fear for his nation. He has to rely on God and do everything he can to keep the fierce Assyrian king at bay, including stripping the temple of its lavish treasures to pay him off. But bribery is a temporary measure, and soon the Assyrian army is knocking at the door again ready to wage war. All that is left to do is pray so Hezekiah prays big, and God answers his prayer by distracting the Assyrian commander (2 Kings 19:7). His army leaves Israel to confront an enemy invading their country (2 Kings 19:8).

Sometimes we do our best praying when desperation sets in. When we have done everything we know to do, we need to pray more. If you are anxious and nearing hopelessness, take encouragement from God’s response to Hezekiah’s faith-filled plea. Bring your needs to God, whatever they are, and be honest with Him. The Lord will see. The Lord will hear. The Lord will protect you and give you strength! Sometimes He answers prayer in the unlikeliest ways. Whatever your need is, bring it to God. Ask Him to deliver you and bless you, then see what He will do!

Lectio Divina  is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the Senior Pastor of  Calvary Church  in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of  A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.