Taking our BURDENS directly to GOD
April 20 Bible Reading: 2 Kings Chapters 19-21
"And so it was, when King Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord" (2 Kings 19:1) "And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord." (2 Kings 19:14)
When King Hezekiah was threatened by an invasion from Sennacherib the king of Assyria, he tore his clothes in anguish, covered himself with sackcloth as an outward expression of grief and took his burdens directly to God. He tore his clothes to express horror at the daring blasphemy of Sennacherib and put on sackcloth to show his mental distress. He went into the temple to pray to God for refuge from his affliction (2 Kings 19:1). He then sent his people to Isaiah to obtain the prophet's counsel and comfort, and received an immediate answer from God through Isaiah. And Isaiah said to them, "Thus you shall say to your master, 'Thus says the Lord: "Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. Surely I will send a spirit upon him, and he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land." (2 Kings 19:6-7)
However, when Sennacherib sent a letter to King Hezekiah threatening him again with total destruction, he again took his burden directly into God’s presence. Hezekiah went into the temple of God, spread the letter before God and prayed to God for deliverance. "Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone." (2 Kings 19:19)
God answered King Hezekiah’s prayer by giving a verbal assurance of deliverance (v. 20-34), and sent His angel to the Assyrian camp to kill 185,000 during the night time (v. 35). This caused Sennacherib the king of Assyria to return back to Nineveh (v. 36, compare 2 Kings 19:7), where he was murdered by his own two sons in cold blood while he was worshipping his god (v. 37).