Prepare For War (2)
"After Hezekiah received the letter and read it, he went up to the LORD's Temple and spread it out before the LORD" 2Kings 19:14
You are about to learn one of the greatest divine principles of fighting the battles of life. In the part one of this message, we mentioned some of the veterans of war in the bible. Here we will try to get some few highlights of their most trying battles. But, let's start from a man that I respect so much. He had so much respect for the God of Israel. He knew, trusted and served this God to the best of his ability.
The bible said that their was never a king like him in the land of Judah. This man was very faithful in obeying all the laws of God. Did God disappoint him? Never! Never! His prayers at anytime of need (especially at the time of battles) have always promptly and dramatically attracted the attention of heaven. Hezekiah received a letter from the king of Assyria threatening to attack Judah. And what did he do? He took it to the Temple of God and spread it before Him! Great!
What is that threat of war, battle, death, retrenchment, sickness, oppression that you have received? What is that information that you know will work against your destiny? Just be ready to take such to the Mighty Man of war today. Remember, how the bible told us last time that He is a worrior and that nobody can defeat Him in a battle. The king of Assyria - Sennacherib has been on the neck of Judah.
He once threatened them and King Hezekiah gave him tons of gold and silver; stripping even the ones on the Temple doors to placate him. But such enemies will always come back. Sure, he came back threatening to send all of Judah on relocation to another territory. He insulted their God, their king and everything they stood for. He boasted of how the kings of Assyrian had dealt with other nations and their gods. He derided Judah and their God -Jehovah. Look at how King Hezekiah described the whole situation - he said that is was a day of trouble, insult, and disgrace. It was like when a child is ready to be born, but the mother has no strength to deliver it. Terrible!
King Hezekiah immediately took this letter of threat to the Temple and spread it before God; making a very powerful, comprehensive, biblical supplication on behalf of Judah. I love men that pray. You can not defeat a man of prayer and holiness. These are the two things the enemy fears most. Those that know their God will master these two things and they will always do exploits for the kingdom. They shall always remain indomitable, indefatigable and indestructible. Praise God! Hezekiah prayed, "O LORD, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdom of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth.
Listen to me, O LORD, and hear! Open your eyes, O LORD, and see! Listen to Sennacherib's word of defiance against the living God. It is true, LORD, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these nations, just as the message says. And they have thrown the gods of these nations into the fire and burned them. But of course the Assyrians could destroy them! They were not gods at all - only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands. Now, O LORD our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of earth will know that you alone, O LORD, are God." Wow!
And why won't God answer this very power supplication? No wonder, He couldn't resist rushing to rescue them. It was consciously and properly targeted to provoke God to action. We can even make a great book for this prayer. But for lack of space, let's just make one or two comments on each item in it. First, the king spread the letter before Him to 'read' by Himself.
Then, he praised God, magnifying His throne and power, and also extolled His works! Yes, Hezekiah knew Him. Anybody that will go to battle with God on his side must first acknowledge and appreciate Him. You must acknowledge His existence, faithfulness, almightiness and sovereignty. He made all things. God is perfectly in control of the universe. He is in control of every situation around us.
He sees and hears
Hezekiah then asked God to hear and see Sennacherib's words of defiance against the living God. Yes, the king was speaking as a man. God sees and hears all things. He knows all things from the beginning to the end. He has the whole world and its affairs in Him palms. So, before Him, there is nothing hidden. No secret. No suddenness. No variableness. He had seen and heard the threat before King Hezekiah and people of Judah. Yes, God knows your enemies and their plans better and before you. He knows the actual point when they will strike. To us it is hidden, but to God, it is always open and bare.
A real threat
It is very important here to note that King Hezekiah did not deny the power and the exploits of the enemy. But he posited that Sennacherib was able to humiliate those nations and their gods because they were idols and not real. He challenged God to rescue them and prove to the world that He alone is God. And immediately, God responded through Prophet Isaiah. He was visibly angry with the tirades from that heathen king against Him and His people. That same night, the angel of the LORD visited the Assyrian camp and slaughtered 185,000 soldiers.
And in the morning, the remaining soldiers, seeing the bodies of their dead colleagues, scampered home with their boastful king. Sennacherib was later assassinated by his own sons. That was how the matter was finally settled. What is that situation that is threatening you? Who is that Sennacherib? Just take the threat and spread it before God. Pray the way Hezekiah did and the LORD of war will rescue you. I always do this and it has been working for me. God bless you! Till next week, God bless you!
Rev Gabriel Agbo is the author of the book Power of Midnight Prayer. Website http://www.authorsden.com/pastorgabrielnagbo E-mail: [email protected] Tel: 08037113283