I’m telling you. David reigned pretty well as King of Israel until that Bathsheba incident.
Then Solomon did a good job until he married all of those foreign wives. Which didn’t help.
Then everything fell apart. The kingdom split. The northern tribes (Israel) followed other gods immediately and did a bunch of awful things (like sacrificing their own kids) until Assyria carried them off.
And Judah (along with Benjamin) wasn’t much better. But King Hezekiah finally “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord…” (2 Kings 18: 3)
Then Assyria threatens Judah. The king of Assyria – Sennacherib – treats the one true God as if He is just any other idol/god. He thinks this God won’t help Judah any more than these false gods have helped other nations. So he mocks Judah’s God.
And King Hezekiah prays:
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 [king of Assyria], which he has sent to mock the living God…. 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: 15-16, 19
This is such a great prayer! Hezekiah has such faith in His God. He is the Creator! There is nothing He cannot do, including defeat Sennacherib. In response to Hezekiah’s prayer, God speaks through the prophet Isaiah:
“Your prayer to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard… I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.” 1 King 19: 20b, 34
And of course, God wins. The Assyrians are “struck down” by the angel of the Lord and Sennacherib’s sons kill him.
I like the faith of Hezekiah – complete trust in God to deliver Him. That’s the way I need to pray more often. And at the top of Hezekiah’s requests is that God defend His own reputation. I need to pray that way more often, too.
Dear Lord: Let Your reputation be the motive for all I pray and let Your power be the confidence by which I pray. Amen.