King Hezekiah was in trouble. As King of Judah, he watched as the Assyrian armies took over the Northern Kingdom of Israel and soon turned their ambitions toward his Southern Kingdom. After not only watching them surround his land, but listening to their taunts against God, King Hezekiah found himself at a loss. He could not compete militarily with the might of Assyria. He did not have the armies or chariots, and Assyria knew it. Judah had no gold, silver, or treasure left with which to bargain, as they’d already given it all to Assyria in an earlier attempt to escape demise. They had exhausted their options, come to the end of themselves, and had no where left to turn but God.
Do you know how this feels? Perhaps during this new school year, it feels a lot of like uncharted territory. All the things we, as a society, have leaned on in the past have been moved to an online platform, and we’re left with so many unknowns.
I leaned on football for a scholarship; what’s going to happen?
I studied so hard for the SATs; will they even count?
I escaped from my crazy house by doing band 24/7; what now?
We are at the end of our ropes in many ways; students aren’t sure what the year will bring; teachers are navigating new learning techniques, youth leaders are trying to reach students in new ways, and parents are juggling different schedules of work and school. We have nothing left to bargain with; we’re out of answers. This pandemic has everyone wondering what’s next, and no amount of technology, research, constant news updates, or physical health can keep us certain that our comforts and securities will return.
Hezekiah knew this helplessness and turned to the Lord. He didn’t do it as Aladdin asking the Genie for a wish, but with a humble, repentant heart, willing to submit to the Lord and demonstrate love for Him through obedience and faith. This is the heart that not only pleases God, but receives the best gift of all, especially in the midst of uncertainty: the certainty of God’s presence. We can move forward with questions if we know God is with us. We can live with uncertainty if we know that it’s the Lord who’s fighting for us. We can have hope in God, even as our hope in our things of this Earth fail to ease our minds. Our souls are secure despite any physical circumstances that leave us scared, and that soul safety is secured for us always and forever through Jesus’s death and resurrection.