September 21, 2021
 
 
 
Written by Larry Stockstill
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hezekiah proved the awesome power of prayer through two incidents in his life. First, he faced the terrible army of Sennacherib, who threatened to totally annihilate Jerusalem. In such a desperate moment, Hezekiah merely brought Sennacherib’s threat and “spread it out before the Lord” (Isaiah 37:14). God heard Hezekiah’s intercession and sent the death angel to destroy 185,000 men in one night!
 
Second, Hezekiah faced impending death because of sickness. Again his response was to pray: “When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord” (Isaiah 38:2). God was so moved by his prayer that He told Hezekiah He would extend his life by fifteen years (v. 5), and to prove His promise would come true, He caused the sun’s shadow to move backward (v. 8).
 
Oh, how God yearns to answer your prayers, and how able He is to do it! His Word promises, “You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas” (Psalm 65:5).
 
Be bold enough to ask Him for what you need, even when it looks hopeless. He will literally move heaven and earth to answer your prayer!
 
 
SCRIPTURES:
 
 

Isaiah 37:1-38:22

Jerusalem’s Deliverance Foretold

37 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the Lord.He sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and the leading priests, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz.They told him, “This is what Hezekiah says: This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the moment of birth and there is no strength to deliver them.It may be that the Lord your God will hear the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to ridicule the living God, and that he will rebuke him for the words the Lord your God has heard. Therefore pray for the remnant that still survives.”

When King Hezekiah’s officials came to Isaiah,Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard—those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.Listen! When he hears a certain report, I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.’”

When the field commander heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish, he withdrew and found the king fighting against Libnah.

Now Sennacherib received a report that Tirhakah, the king of Cush, was marching out to fight against him. When he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word:10 “Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria.’11 Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered?12 Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my predecessors deliver them—the gods of Gozan, Harran, Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar?13 Where is the king of Hamath or the king of Arpad? Where are the kings of Lair, Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah?”

Hezekiah’s Prayer

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:16 Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.17 Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see; listen to all the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.

18 “It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste all these peoples and their lands.19 They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands.20 Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, Lord, are the only God.”

Sennacherib’s Fall

21 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria,22 this is the word the Lord has spoken against him:

“Virgin Daughter Zion

despises and mocks you.

Daughter Jerusalem

tosses her head as you flee.

23 Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed?

Against whom have you raised your voice

and lifted your eyes in pride?

Against the Holy One of Israel!

24 By your messengers

you have ridiculed the Lord.

And you have said,

‘With my many chariots

I have ascended the heights of the mountains,

the utmost heights of Lebanon.

I have cut down its tallest cedars,

the choicest of its junipers.

I have reached its remotest heights,

the finest of its forests.

25 I have dug wells in foreign lands

and drunk the water there.

With the soles of my feet

I have dried up all the streams of Egypt.’

26 “Have you not heard?

Long ago I ordained it.

In days of old I planned it;

now I have brought it to pass,

that you have turned fortified cities

into piles of stone.

27 Their people, drained of power,

are dismayed and put to shame.

They are like plants in the field,

like tender green shoots,

like grass sprouting on the roof,

scorched before it grows up.

28 “But I know where you are

and when you come and go

and how you rage against me.

29 Because you rage against me

and because your insolence has reached my ears,

I will put my hook in your nose

and my bit in your mouth,

and I will make you return

by the way you came.

30 “This will be the sign for you, Hezekiah:

“This year you will eat what grows by itself,

and the second year what springs from that.

But in the third year sow and reap,

plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

31 Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah

will take root below and bear fruit above.

32 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant,

and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors.

The zeal of the Lord Almighty

will accomplish this.

33 “Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the king of Assyria:

“He will not enter this city

or shoot an arrow here.

He will not come before it with shield

or build a siege ramp against it.

34 By the way that he came he will return;

he will not enter this city,”

declares the Lord.

35 “I will defend this city and save it,

for my sake and for the sake of David my servant!”

36 Then the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies!37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.

38 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king.

Hezekiah’s Illness

38 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”

Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord,“Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah:“Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life.And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city.

“‘This is the Lord’s sign to you that the Lord will do what he has promised:I will make the shadow cast by the sun go back the ten steps it has gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.’” So the sunlight went back the ten steps it had gone down.

A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah after his illness and recovery:

10 I said, “In the prime of my life

must I go through the gates of death

and be robbed of the rest of my years?”

11 I said, “I will not again see the Lord himself

in the land of the living;

no longer will I look on my fellow man,

or be with those who now dwell in this world.

12 Like a shepherd’s tent my house

has been pulled down and taken from me.

Like a weaver I have rolled up my life,

and he has cut me off from the loom;

day and night you made an end of me.

13 I waited patiently till dawn,

but like a lion he broke all my bones;

day and night you made an end of me.

14 I cried like a swift or thrush,

I moaned like a mourning dove.

My eyes grew weak as I looked to the heavens.

I am being threatened; Lord, come to my aid!”

15 But what can I say?

He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this.

I will walk humbly all my years

because of this anguish of my soul.

16 Lord, by such things people live;

and my spirit finds life in them too.

You restored me to health

and let me live.

17 Surely it was for my benefit

that I suffered such anguish.

In your love you kept me

from the pit of destruction;

you have put all my sins

behind your back.

18 For the grave cannot praise you,

death cannot sing your praise;

those who go down to the pit

cannot hope for your faithfulness.

19 The living, the living—they praise you,

as I am doing today;

parents tell their children

about your faithfulness.

20 The Lord will save me,

and we will sing with stringed instruments

all the days of our lives

in the temple of the Lord.

21 Isaiah had said, “Prepare a poultice of figs and apply it to the boil, and he will recover.”

22 Hezekiah had asked, “What will be the sign that I will go up to the temple of the Lord?”

 
 

Galatians 6:1-18

Doing Good to All

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else,for each one should carry their own load.Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Not Circumcision but the New Creation

11 See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!

12 Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.13 Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh.14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God.

17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

 
 

Psalm 65:1-13

Psalm 65

For the director of music. A psalm of David. A song.

Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion;

to you our vows will be fulfilled.

You who answer prayer,

to you all people will come.

When we were overwhelmed by sins,

you forgave our transgressions.

Blessed are those you choose

and bring near to live in your courts!

We are filled with the good things of your house,

of your holy temple.

You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,

God our Savior,

the hope of all the ends of the earth

and of the farthest seas,

who formed the mountains by your power,

having armed yourself with strength,

who stilled the roaring of the seas,

the roaring of their waves,

and the turmoil of the nations.

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;

where morning dawns, where evening fades,

you call forth songs of joy.

You care for the land and water it;

you enrich it abundantly.

The streams of God are filled with water

to provide the people with grain,

for so you have ordained it.

10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges;

you soften it with showers and bless its crops.

11 You crown the year with your bounty,

and your carts overflow with abundance.

12 The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;

the hills are clothed with gladness.

13 The meadows are covered with flocks

and the valleys are mantled with grain;

they shout for joy and sing.

 
 

Proverbs 23:24

24 The father of a righteous child has great joy;

a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Source(s): https://www.churchofthehighlands.com/bible/;  https://www.biblegateway.com