Read 2 Kings 18
Focus on verses 3-4
Hezekiah did what was right…so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, and the Lord blessed Hezekiah. The Lord also allowed Hezekiah to face some very difficult situations such as the one described at the end of today’s reading. The Assyrians are on the march; they have defeated all the surrounding nations including Israel, and are now knocking on the gates of Jerusalem. Hezekiah is facing a severe test of his faith. He has to choose between trusting God to somehow miraculously deliver Him from the Assyrians, or he must trust the Assyrian King and surrender putting himself and his people at the mercy of the Assyrians.
The loudest lesson I hear as I read this is that while God honors and blesses those who walk in obedience, He does not necessarily spare us from difficult tests of faith. In fact, it would seem that perhaps as we grow and mature in our walk with Him, the tests actually get more difficult. This is actually entirely in keeping with the way we mature in every other walk of life. More is expected from an upper classman in college than from a middle school freshman. Similarly, as our faith and experience in the Lord grows stronger, the Lord trusts us to be able to pass some of the harder faith tests in life. One might also compare it to an athlete who trains and strengthens his body in preparation to compete in a manner worthy of winning the prize. How does a long distance runner bring his body into condition to run a marathon? Is it not by pushing himself or herself just a little further each day? Perhaps you are in the midst of a test of faith as you read this. Your choice is similar to that of King Hezekiah…will you put yourself at the mercy of you circumstance, or trust that God has a better plan for you?