2 Kings 19:1 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the Lord.
Hezekiah’s first response to the devastating threats of the Assyrians was to humble himself before God. As events bore out, that was definitely the right thing to do! We don’t have the custom of tearing garments and wearing sackcloth as signs of distress today, so the idea of going to church wearing burlap seems pretty strange to us, but it was the culture of that day, and the Lord received it. Hezekiah needed a specific, and not just a general, word of encouragement, so it is also very appropriate that he sent people to Isaiah. Isaiah obviously had a pretty well established reputation as a prophet at this time, and as such was an appropriate intermediary between the king and God. How different history would be if even Christian national leaders called on tested pastors in times of national emergency! However, even in England, where there isn’t any legal separation of Church and State, that hasn’t happened very often. We tend to rely on merely human solutions as we desperately try to figure things out, and the result is never as good as if we had acted as Hezekiah did. The world is in a real mess right now, with predictions of economic collapse in every corner of the globe, on top of the huge problem of Islamic activity on every side. Human solutions just don’t work, as all the machinations of the IMF and the Federal Reserve Bank demonstrate. What is called for is the faith and humility Hezekiah demonstrated, so God’s people need to get serious about praying for that to happen.
Of course I’m talking to myself here. I’ve experienced God’s provision so thoroughly that the “economic collapse” business doesn’t worry me so much, but there’s plenty of stuff to stir me up. I myself need to be humble before God, and I need to pray consistently and persistently for a spirit of humility and repentance to come on national and world leaders. Such a spirit doesn’t come naturally to them! I need to pray for God’s people to wake up, stand up, and live as God’s agents, His representatives, in all purity and power, instead of being thoroughly compromised with the world, as the majority are now. In military terms, when an installation has been compromised it means that the enemy has gotten in and the defenses are nullified. That is exactly what has happened to the Church. As we pray for leaders who are submitted to God, we need to check our own level of submission and obedience. As Jesus said, genuine love for Him means doing what He has said. (John 14:15) Rather than just saying we love God, we need to live it out every day, in every area of our lives.
Father, I have grown in my obedience, but I’m certainly not perfect, as You know better than I do. Help me walk in consistent humility and loving obedience to You at all times, not relying on human solutions to things, especially not my own, but seeking Your plan, Your solution to everything, so that Your will may be done on every level, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!