The beautiful prayer of King Hezekiah (2 Kings 19:14-19:19)

“King Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers. He read it. Then King Hezekiah went up to the house of Yahweh. He spread the letter before Yahweh. King Hezekiah prayed before Yahweh. He said.

‘O Yahweh God of Israel,

Who is enthroned above the cherubim,

You are God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth.

You have made heaven and earth.

Incline your ear, O Yahweh, and hear.

Open your eyes, O Yahweh and see.

Hear the words of King Sennacherib

That he has sent to mock the living God.

Truly, O Yahweh,

The kings of Assyria have laid waste to the nations and their lands.

They have hurled their gods into the fire.

They were no gods, but the work of human hands, wood and stone.

Therefore they were destroyed.

So now, O Yahweh our God save us, I pray you, from his hand,

So that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you,

O Yahweh, are God alone.’”

King Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers and brought it to the house of Yahweh, the temple. He spread it out before Yahweh and began his great prayer. This is a beautiful prayer of monotheism. There is no doubt or question that there is only one God, Yahweh. There are no others. Clearly Judah has become a monotheistic religion of Yahweh. There might have been some ambiguity in the past, but not here. It is a personal prayer direct to Yahweh as he cries out “O Yahweh.” Yahweh is almighty in heaven above all the kingdoms of the earth. He has made heaven and earth as its creator. Now the personal plea comes as he asks Yahweh to listen how King Sennacherib of Assyria has mocked Yahweh. Truly he has destroyed many nations and destroyed many gods, but these gods were human made gods of sticks and stones. King Hezekiah wants Yahweh to show all his glory to all the nations of the world by saving Jerusalem.

 

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