2 Kings 19:1
On hearing this report, King Hezekiah tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and entered the house of the LORD.
A Good Man's Prayers SoughtC.H. Irwin 2 Kings 19:1-7
Hezekiah and IsaiahJ. Orr 2 Kings 19:1-7
A Nation's Calamities, Counsellor, and GodDavid Thomas, D. D.2 Kings 19:1-37
A Nation's Calamities, Counselor, and GodD. Thomas 2 Kings 19:1-37

Hezekiah is in deep distress of spirit at the haughty, defiant, confident tone of Rabshakeh. He wants help in his trouble. He sends not to his men of war, not to his statesmen, for advice, but to the man of God.

I. CHARACTER GIVES CONFIDENCE. Isaiah was known to live near to God. Therefore Hezekiah had confidence in him. Here is a good test of the character of your companions and associates. Would you go to them in time of trouble? Would you expect them to give you any comfort? Would you tell them the inner secrets of your heart? If not, is it not because you have no confidence in them? Their character does not command your respect. Choose the company, seek the counsel, of good. men.

II. CHARACTER GIVES POWER IN PRAYER. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." The man who expects an answer to his prayers is the man who habitually lives near to God. Mary Queen of Scots said she feared the prayers of John Knox more than an army of ten thousand men. Therefore:

1. Live near to God if you would influence others. Power for service comes from fellowship with God. Men like Isaiah have that quiet power that enables them to inspire others with confidence. "Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard" (ver. 6). So with St. Paul on his perilous voyage to Rome. "I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me."

2. Live near to God if you would have power in prayer. The man who prays most is the man who knows the power of prayer.

"Thrice blest whose lives are faithful prayers,
Whose loves in higher love endure;
What souls possess themselves so pure,
Or is there blessedness like theirs?"

And it came to pass when King Hezekiah heard it, he rent his clothes.

1. The nature of the threatened calamity. It was the invasion of the king of Assyria. This was announced in startling terms and in a haughty and ruthless spirit by Rab-shakeh.

2. The influence of the threatened calamity.

(1)It struck the kingdom with a crushing terror.

(2)It struck the kingdom with a helpless feebleness.

II. THE BLESSING TO A NATION OF A RULER WHO LOOKS TO HEAVEN FOR HELP. What, in the wretched condition of his country, does King Hezekiah do? He invokes the merciful interposition of heaven. In this wonderful prayer

(1)He adores the God whom Sennacherib had blasphemed.

(2)He implores the Almighty for His own sake to deliver the country.

III. THE ADVANTAGE TO A NATION OF A TRULY WISE COUNSELLOR. Whether Isaiah was a Divinely inspired man, and had a right in any especial sense to say, "Thus saith the Lord," or not, he may be fairly taken in this ease as the representative of a wise counsellor, and that for two reasons: —

1. He looked to heaven rather than to earth for his wisdom.

2. What he received from heaven he communicated to men. In the communication(1) Sennacherib is apostrophised in a highly poetic strain admirably descriptive of the turgid vanity, haughty pretensions, and heartless impiety of this despot.(2) Hezekiah himself is personally addressed, and a sign given him of coming deliverance.(3) The issue of Sennacherib's invasion is announced. Such was the communication which in language passionate, poetic, and powerful, Isaiah made to this perplexed and terrified nation. It involves two things: The deliverance of his country; the ruin of the despot.

IV. THE STRENGTH OF A NATION THAT HAS GOD ON ITS SIDE. Who delivered the imperilled nation? Who overwhelmed the despot? "The zeal of the Lord of hosts."

1. How swiftly was the deliverance effected. "That night."

2. How terrible the ruin which that deliverance effected — "An hundred fourscore and five thousand men" destroyed.

(David Thomas, D. D.)

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