“He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him.”2 Kings 18:5
In 1 and 2 Kings we read accounts of various leaders of God’s people. It tells us of kings who did great evil in the sight of God as well as of those who turned back to the Lord, destroyed all the idols, and followed God’s law. In 2 Kings 18-20 we read about King Hezekiah, a king described as one who trusted in the LORD.
Hezekiah was king when the Assyrians threatened Jerusalem. The Assyrian army had already captured Israel and taken them into captivity. Their sights then set on Jerusalem. The king of Assyria sent messengers to Jerusalem to get them to surrender. These messengers mocked both God and Hezekiah. They threatened God’s people, pointing out all the cities and towns they had already conquered. Hezekiah lamented, tore his clothes and put on sackcloth. He then called for the prophet Isaiah who told him not to fear the Assyrian army, for God would make certain they did not attack Jerusalem.
The Assyrian king again sent threatening word to Jerusalem, continuing to mock them, warning them of what his army would do to them. How did Hezekiah respond? He brought these frightening threats to the house of God and “spread them out before the LORD” (2 Kings 19:14). He prayed to God and asked for his deliverance.
“O LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. Incline your ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. So now, O LORD our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O LORD, are God alone” (2 Kings 19:15-19).
In the face of great fear, Hezekiah turned to the LORD, the great I AM, with a holy fear, a fear of the Lord. He turned to the one who is greater than all earthly kings. He turned to the one who created all things, to the one true God. To the holy and sovereign God who rules over all, including the hearts of kings (Prov. 21:1). Hezekiah turned to God and trusted in him. God then responded to his prayer, “He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the LORD. For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David” (2 Kings. 19: 32-34).
God preserved his people. He kept his promise to David that his seed would rule over an everlasting kingdom. For in due time, the King of Kings would incarnate in the house of David, the one who would rescue his people from their greatest enemy: sin and death.
Hezekiah’s prayer of trust in the face of fear is a reminder for us to turn to the Lord with our own cares and fears. As we do so, we pray to the one who created all things. We pray to our covenant making and keeping God. We pray to the one who proved his faithfulness at the cross. We pray to the one who is greater than all that we fear.
A Prayer of Trust in the Face of Fear
Father in heaven,
I come to you with many cares and worries and fears. Life seems like a constant battle. I’m attacked on every side by fears both within and without. The circumstances in the world around me leave me reeling. Everything seems so big and out of control. The trials in my life make me weary. I fear I can’t endure them. And my own sin keeps me from trusting in you. Like God’s people of old, I am tempted to turn to false idols to rescue me. I place my hope in counterfeit gods to make my life easier, safer, and comfortable.
Hezekiah’s prayer reminds me of what is true. You alone are God. There are none beside you. You created all things and by your power they remain. You keep and preserve all you have made by your grace. You are greater than all powers and rulers and authorities. You are seated on your heavenly throne and no one can unseat you. No one can thwart your purpose and will.
You are the unchanging I AM. You are the same God who met Moses at the burning bush proclaiming, “I AM WHO I AM” (Ex. 3:14). You are the same God who fulfilled your promise to David, the same God who delivered your people from Assyria, and the same God who delivered us from sin at the cross through the person and work of your son, Jesus Christ.
Forgive me for looking to my fears and seeing them as greater than you. Forgive me for forgetting who you are. Forgive me for all the ways I place my trust in lesser things. Bear in me the fruit of greater trust. Help me to see you as greater than all that I fear.
Meet me here in my fears with your comfort and love. Rescue and deliver me. Provide for my needs. Be my rock and refuge. Hide me in the shelter of your wings. Help me to remember all that is true.
Because you delivered me from the curse of sin by the death of your Son, I know you are with me and for me this day. I trust and hope in you.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Originally published here.