Faithlife Sermons

Seeking God

ISaiah  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  38:15
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Many people cry out to the Lord in their time of desperation.
We hear of things like “jail-house conversions”
People who have no interest in walking with the Lord know to call out to Him when their child is sick, etc.
Hezekiah is not one of those kinds of people who only turn to the Lord when a crisis hits.
As a matter of fact, Hezekiah was a good and godly King who led the people of Judah toward National Revival.
And his leadership was not simply lip-service to the faithful and to the Lord, while privately living as a scoundrel. He was the real deal.
In Isaiah 36.1 we read.
Isaiah 36:1 HCSB
In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.
Here’s the story:
Sennacherib is choking off Judah. He has defeated most of the nations around Judah.
He has conquered most of the major cities of Judah.
Jerusalem is feeling the squeeze. Hezekiah is feeling the squeeze.
Don’t forget, Isaiah has been prophesying for decades that Assyria would not succeed.
All the way through the reign of Hezekiah’s evil father, Isaiah has consistently warned against idolatry, allegiances with other godless nations, etc, while at the same time encouraging people from the King down to follow God. Nobody listened.
Then Hezekiah became King and sought the Lord.
In chapter 36 Sennacherib sends a delegation to meet with Judah’s delegation and demands surrender with the promise that the transfer of power will be as painless as possible.
The Assyrians go so far as to say that God will not be able to help any more than the idols of other nations had helped them before Assyria conquered them.
Times are bleak. The days are desperate. Things seem hopeless.
In chapter 37 we learn how Hezekiah responded to the crisis.

Realize the seriousness of the problem

Isaiah 37:1 HCSB
When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and went to the Lord’s temple.
Isaiah 37:3 HCSB
They said to him, “This is what Hezekiah says: ‘Today is a day of distress, rebuke, and disgrace, for children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to deliver them.
(I have seen many people deny reality in the name of faith.)
The name it and claim it crowd will chastise you for identifying REAL problems.
All of us have probably had someone in our lives say “oh don’t say you’re sick… speak your healing”

Trust Godly Counsel

Isaiah 37:2–7 HCSB
Then he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and the leading priests, who were wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They said to him, “This is what Hezekiah says: ‘Today is a day of distress, rebuke, and disgrace, for children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to deliver them. Perhaps Yahweh your God will hear all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke him for the words that Yahweh your God has heard. Therefore offer a prayer for the surviving remnant.’ ” So the servants of King Hezekiah went to Isaiah, who said to them, “Tell your master this, ‘The Lord says: Don’t be afraid because of the words you have heard, which the king of Assyria’s attendants have blasphemed Me with. I am about to put a spirit in him and he will hear a rumor and return to his own land, where I will cause him to fall by the sword.’ ”
Full of faith
Familiar with Scripture
Faithful Track-record.

Seek God in Personal Prayer

Isaiah 37:14–15 HCSB
Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers, read it, then went up to the Lord’s temple and spread it out before the Lord. Then Hezekiah prayed to the Lord:
Prayer gets talked about more than practiced.
It’s good to seek other godly people to pray.
By the way stop this silliness: “Seeking prayers, good vibes, and positive thoughts”
We don’t need good vibes, and happy thoughts. This is not some Bob Ross painting project.
We need people praying who know the Lord and who can touch heaven.
If you have a crisis and the first thing you do is post some passive aggressive ambiguous post about needing prayer on FB and then you don’t pray about it yourself....
We learn some things about praying from Hezekiah

He exalted the Lord in his prayer

Isaiah 37:16 HCSB
Lord of Hosts, God of Israel, who is enthroned above the cherubim, You are God —You alone —of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth.

He explained the problem to God

Isaiah 37:17–19 HCSB
Listen closely, Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, Lord, and see. Hear all the words that Sennacherib has sent to mock the living God. Lord, it is true that the kings of Assyria have devastated all these countries and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but made by human hands —wood and stone. So they have destroyed them.
He even brought a letter from Sennacherib with him to “show the Lord”
It’s not that God didn’t know what was going on. Hezekiah NEEDED to talk to the Lord about.
The song says “tell him all about your problems”

He expected God to move

Isaiah 37:20 HCSB
Now, Lord our God, save us from his power so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord —You alone.
For Judah’s good and for God’s glory.
Hezekiah prayed bold, big prayers
BTW believing that God would move was based on the fact that Isaiah had spent a lifetime declaring that Assyria would not take Judah. In other words, Hezekiah’s confidence in God was not based on a whim, a demand, or wishful thinking, but on the WORD OF GOD.

Let God be God

Isaiah 37:33–34 HCSB
“Therefore, this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria: He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or build up an assault ramp against it. He will go back the way he came, and he will not enter this city. This is the Lord’s declaration.
Principles to live by:
God will always do what His Word Promises
God will sometimes move to do things beyond what His Word promises
God will never go against His own will to answer yes.
God will not always obligate Himself to undo your mess, or override the consequences of sin, either yours or someone else’s.
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