Isaiah 37

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Scripture

Isaiah 37:1

When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the Lord.

Observation – What does it say?

Hezekiah heard the bullying and threatening words of Sennacherib king of Assyria’s field commander. And, in his distress he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth (a symbol of mourning and often repentance) and sought God. Then he sent a request to Isaiah to pray as well.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Hezekiah sought God FIRST. Before he sought the advice of any adviser, before he called the elders for a meeting and before he even asked other godly people to pray, he sought God himself. Even before turning to the great man of God, Isaiah, Hezekiah sought God himself.

Later he received another taunting message from the Sennacherib and he did the same exact thing:

Isaiah 37:14-15  14 Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord…

God responds to Hezekiah by declaring he will protect his people and that Sennacherib will be destroyed. And in verse 21, God tells Hezekiah why: Because you have prayed to me…” 
 
God responds to his people when they look to him and seek him first.
 
Sometimes breakthrough, peace and deliverance are missed simply because we fail to look to God and ask him for help ourselves. James 4:2 says, You do not have because you do not ask God.” Although it’s great to have friends, leaders and pastors to pray for us, none of them can have a relationship with God for us. Nothing can substitute going to our own prayer closet and praying and worshiping with our own mouths. For the Christ-follower, seeking God is their FIRST response to bad news.
 
SIDE NOTE: This is why we at Desert Streams say one of our core values is: prayer precedes (comes first and before anything else) and pervades everything we do. And, it’s also why we choose to put seeking God first every year by taking 28 days to pray and fast together. I hope you’re all planning to join us for that exciting time! To see the Prayer and Fasting Manual, click here.

Life Application

Be quicker to kneel than to text, quicker to pray than to plan, quicker to fast than to phone a friend, quicker to worship than to worry.

God, thank you for the example of Hezekiah. You are our only hope! When we get bad news, feel discouraged or afraid, it makes no sense to look anywhere else for help before looking to you. Thank you for giving us wisdom to plan and for surrounding us with others who will gladly pray for us and support us. But please keep us from substituting those things for seeking you ourselves, and seeking you first! Amen.
 
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