Daily Bible Reading Reflections

On a Day of Distress, Rebuke, and Disgrace…

It was “a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace” (2 Kings 19:3). The great king of Assyria had the kingdom of Judah in his sights and taunts were flying over the walls of Jerusalem. “Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?”

As soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the LORD. (2 Kings 19:1)

Hezekiah was scared, confused, and pressured. So how did he find stability in unstable times? He grieved, he humbled himself, and he worshiped. As a letter full of additional taunts and threats arrived on his doorstep, Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, he spread that letter before the LORD, and he prayed.

“O LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. Incline your ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. So now, O LORD our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O LORD, are God alone.” (19:15-19)

God, you are… enthroned, Ruler of every kingdom, Maker of heaven and earth.

God, I’m asking… incline your ear, open your eyes. We need your help. Save us, please.

God, my aim… that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you are God alone.

It was one of the most devastating, confusing, scary, pressure-packed days of Hezekiah’s life, but 2 Kings 19 is a gift from God for readers of all time. What can we do when it feels as if the very ground is slipping out from beneath our feet and the sky is crashing down around us? Hezekiah grieved the situation. He humbled himself under the mighty hand of the living God. And he worshiped, casting all his anxieties on the Maker and Sustainer of heaven and earth.

That’s an example worth remembering on days of distress, rebuke, and disgrace.