By Gboyega Omolayo
For over two hundred years after king Solomon died, things were hardly alright for Israel, God’s chosen people. First the kingdom was split into two (as God had said would happen because of the iniquity of Solomon in departing from God – 1 Kings 11:26-39) and in addition, both kingdoms had their share of evil rulers that ruled without discretion, leading to some of God’s people being removed from the promised land, held in captivity and oppressed by the enemy.
It was in such a precarious time that Hezekiah became the king of the Southern kingdom. One thing marked Hezekiah out though, he made a decision in his heart to seek and follow God’s word. He did not stop at making the decision, he took steps to walk in the reality of it, rallying everyone round to do the same. He had discovered that it was only following God’s word that could deliver him and God’s people from the enemy as well as bring God’s blessing and increase to His people. This fact also holds true for the believer today.
As Hezekiah rallied the people, they complied. They first prepared God’s temple, removing from the house of God everything that was ungodly and offensive to God, whatever it was that was not compliant to God’s word. When that was completed, Hezekiah called everyone in his kingdom as well as the Northern kingdom to come and keep the ordinance of God in observing the Passover. The people gave heed to this call and came to Jerusalem to present themselves before God. Seven days they kept the Passover rites as required by law but they did not stop at that. Of their own will and determination, they decided to keep an additional seven days, having realized that they had erred. They went over and above to prove to God they loved Him. The feast had not been kept by God’s people since the days of Solomon (2 Chronicles 30:26) for over 200 years, simply put they had not been following God’s word. No wonder there was so much destruction in the land, it was so bad that God’s people who were once the envy of others had become objects of ridicule (2 Chronicles 29:8).
Upon completion of the feast, everyone departed with joy to their homes but not before ensuring that everything that represented evil against the true worship of and service to God was removed from the land. Shrines were thrown down, idols destroyed all over Jerusalem and the people went home in peace.
Now then, one would expect that prosperity would immediately spring up in the land, peace blossom all around without the attacks of their oppressors, the enemy that had vexed them making life miserable for them. One would also expect the immediate repossession of all of what had earlier been taken from them by their enemies. Not so however, for it is given to the destroyer, the enemy of God’s people, to always seek to destroy, for hardly had God’s people settled down before Sennacherib, the enfant terrible, king of Assyria laid siege on Jerusalem to plunder the people of God again (2 Chronicles 32:1-2)! The bible says concerning the enemy of God’s people in 1 Peter 5:8 that we should Be sober, be vigilant; because our adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. In John 10:10a it says The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…
Things had however changed for the people of God because they had decided to follow God’s word. Hezekiah then fortified the people with God’s word and encouraged them, tasking them that for these three reasons they should not be afraid (2 Chronicles 32:7-8):
- The host of heaven was with them and are more in number than the oppressors, the attackers
- The attackers’ power was inferior to the power of God which the host of heaven with God’s people has
- God will fight for His people
The people believed Hezekiah but Sennacherib was just about started. He attacked the hope that the people had in God’s word and boasted of the destruction his forces (even from the time of his fathers), had successfully brought against other lands in times past (call it generational or territorial curses or collective bondage or captivity if you like). He told God’s people in effect that ‘make no mistakes, as we had successfully plundered others before you because of our powers, we will plunder you too, whether you and your God like it or not’.
At this time, Hezekiah did something remarkable, he did what God’s people today are expected to do. It was time for deliverance and he prayed to God, he cried to Him for just that. He asked for nothing else, he did not ask for the neck of Sennacherib, he did not ask God’s people to go and bring some special offering so God could deliver them, he did not go around seeking help from other gods, he did not think up strategy that he felt could take care of the invading army (for there was no human strategy that could help him), he did not scamper around looking for kings of other nations through networking to come and join him to fight Sennacherib, he did not give in to perplexity and despair or whine and complain, he prayed and cried to God to deliver him and God’s people (2 Chronicles 32:20) and glory to God who hearkens! God answered him, for the bible says the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, His ears are open to their cry (Psalms 34:15). God answered in His way, and His way brought what Hezekiah asked for. He gave Hezekiah deliverance from the precarious situation, Sennacherib was not only sent packing, God ensured he could not come back to hustle or trouble Hezekiah.
Are you a believer? Have you purposed in your heart to do God’s will for your life? What is that thing that Satan has used to hedge you in, to trouble, oppress and limit you spiritually, financially, in your health, in your career, your job or your children’s life or your family? You have a God whose eyes are upon you and whose ears are open to your prayers. Cry to him for deliverance. Jesus said in John 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father IN MY NAME, he will give it you. Jesus cannot lie, He said exactly what God would do. Believe Him, ask God in the name of Jesus and heaven moves on your behalf just the same way it moved for Hezekiah. More so you have been given the Holy Spirit by whom you cry Abba Father (Romans 8:15), you stand on a better covenant (than Hezekiah stood) established upon better promises (Hebrews 8:6). Quit despair, quit frustration today, stop running around looking for what God has already given you. Believe His word and act on it, cry out to Him who alone can deliver based on the promise He has given you in His word and He hears you and He answers there and then. Crying to God for deliverance in time of trouble is not a sign of weakness, it is how it has been designed for us to have victory without fighting with our strength because by strength shall no man prevail(1 Samuel 2:9b).
When you cry to Him and the burden is lifted from your spirit, continue in thanksgiving to God for what He did for you when you cried to Him. Nothing can stop your deliverance from becoming reality. Do not let Sennacherib fool you. Once you called on God, He did to him and his host exactly what He did in the days of Hezekiah. Hold on to your victory, you are delivered, you are free. The person that believes sees the glory of God (John 11:40).
Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all (1 Timothy 4:15).
Gboyega Omolayo is a writer and minister in [email protected], Allen, Texas. You can read more from him at: http://truthfoundations.blogspot.com.