Have you ever found yourself suddenly under attack and you can’t figure out why? Things were going well, you were on the right track and feeling blessed then all of a sudden things went south. You lost your job. Your car broke down. You got sick. You can’t help but wonder what’s next!
King Hezekiah experienced something like that. He was a good king in a long line of terrible ones. He did what was pleasing to the Lord. He trusted Him. Remained faithful to Him. Obeyed Him. And yet, he found himself in some unfortunate situations.
During Hezekiah’s reign, the King of Assyria (who had already captured Israel) surrounded Judah and began launching threats, warning them to surrender or else. (2 Kings 18-19) Things were not looking good. Hezekiah had a whole kingdom full of people wondering how he would get them out of the trouble they were in. He tried to handle the situation on his own, but nothing worked. Invasion seemed inevitable. Then Hezekiah remembered to seek the Lord:
“Listen closely, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see…Now Lord, our God, please save us from his power so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You, Lord, are God – You alone.” – 2 Kings 19:16, 19 CSB
The Lord heard his prayer and promised to intervene. Hezekiah was strengthened and he held his ground. God promised deliverance, Hezekiah believed Him, and God came through.
Later in his life, Hezekiah faced another life-threatening situation when he was struck with a deadly illness but refused to give up. (2 Kings 20) He had seen God intervene in an impossible situation before and he knew He could do it again. Hezekiah cried out, the Lord heard him, and he was healed.
“Please, Lord, remember how I have walked before you faithfully and wholeheartedly and have done what pleases you.” – 2 Kings 20:3 CSB
“I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will heal you.” – 2 Kings 20:5 CSB
Psalm 121 is a Psalm about God’s protection that has been attributed to King Hezekiah. I wonder if he wrote this Psalm to the people of Judah to encourage them when the Assyrian army was invading. Or maybe he wrote it to himself when he was deathly ill and needed a reminder of God’s faithfulness.
Whatever the case, Hezekiah penned this timeless reminder that we can hold on to today:
I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip your Protector will not slumber. Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep.
The Lord protects you; the Lord is a shelter right by your side. The sun will not strike you by day or the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all harm; He will protect your life. The Lord will protect your coming and going both now and forever.
– Psalm 121