Sunday, December 11, 2016

December 11 - 2 Chronicles 32

Today's reading in our daily plan is 2 Chronicles 32. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Sennacherib's invasion of Judah is also described in the Bible books of 2 Kings and Isaiah.
  • Hezekiah gets word of and prepares for the invasion (verses 3-9).
  • Sennacherib sends word to the people, seeking to scare them by mocking their faith in God (verses 9-19).
  • Hezekiah and Isaiah (the prophet) pray to God in response to the threats they face, and in preparation for the battle (verses 20-21). We get more detail about what they prayed in 2 Kings 19:1-34 and Isaiah 37:1-35).
  • God responds to their prayer and dependence on Him by giving them a great victory (verses 22-23).
  • The author alludes to things happening at the end of Hezekiah's life (the miraculous sign in verse 24, his pride in verse 25) without explaining them, perhaps because he assumed that people reading the story would be familiar with those details because they had read about Hezekiah and this part of his life in 2 Kings 20:1-11 and Isaiah 38:1-8.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Notice that when Hezekiah faced a scary situation he did two things: (1) He did everything in his power to prepare for and deal with the situation (verses 3-9) and (2) he prays, and totally trusts God with the outcome (verses 20-21). That is a great example to follow. Some people do everything they can, but don't really look to God. Some people pray, but don't do everything we can. We need to work like it depends on us, and pray like it depends on God, knowing that ultimately we are dependent on Him for victory.
  • Hezekiah also sought to inspire the people, encouraging them to see with eyes of faith. In the same way, we need to see things with God's eyes, and encourage others to do so as well.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • When you're stressed or face something daunting, do you tend to rely on yourself (and not really devote serious time and focus to pray), or do you tend to pray and rely on God (but not do everything you can do, because you're "just trusting God)? What could help you to start living in the balance of the two, not ignoring your responsibility, but ultimately putting your faith in God for the results?
  • Is there someone in your life who is currently facing something difficult, and who you could encourage to have eyes of faith? When will you do that?