Laying your cares before the Lord
And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD . . ." (2 Kings 19:14-15).
The letter was sent by the Rabshakeh, the Assyrian official, to intimidate Hezekiah into surrender. As we noted yesterday, his argument was that Hezekiah's God was no different from the other gods of the surrounding nations, who could not deliver those nations from the power of the Assyrian Empire.
What Hezekiah did with this letter is instructive for all of us. His response is inspiring. What does he do? He takes this blasphemous letter, goes to the temple of God, and lays it in front of the Lord. Why did he do this?
First, he did it because he knew God cared. You don't take a problem to someone who is just going to ignore you. What would be the use? It is wasted time. But Hezekiah knows he is not wasting time with this. God will see this letter, he will see the predicament in which Hezekiah and Judah were entangled, and he will act.
Second, he did it because he knew that God was capable. Hezekiah knew he could take any problem and lay it before the Lord and he would take care of it. Why? Because God is able. He not only knows and cares, but he is able to do what we cannot do. The psalmist put it this way: "For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places" (Ps. 135:5-6).
Finally, he did it because he knew that God calls us to do this very thing. We are to take our cares and lay them before the Lord. It is when we fail to do this that we so often become ensnared in needless worry and care. "Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved" (Ps. 55:22). "Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God" (Phil. 4:6). This is what Hezekiah did. What is the result? "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (7).
But where did such confidence come from on Hezekiah's part? It came from the fact that this good king knew that God and Judah were in covenant. God had made Israel his own, and had pledged himself to its defense. Where does our confidence come from? Not from our worthiness, but because God sent his Son to die for the sins of sinful men and women so that they too could be in covenant with him. How do we know we are in covenant with God? Through faith in his Son, for it is by faith that we receive the redemption purchased by Christ and are justified by his righteousness. So trust in him, commit yourself to him, and know that you can bring every worry and care to the Father through Jesus Christ.