God’s gift to us is too wonderful for words with no strings attached. A gift is not a gift unless it is accepted. God has given you His Son, but ownership is conditional on acceptance. God does not force His gift on us, but He asks us to receive by faith the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. A person who deliberately refuses God’s offer of love, mercy, and forgiveness is lost. Most people gratefully receive a gift when given in love. The greatest sin that a person can commit is to refuse God’s love.
2 Kings 19:14 “Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord.”
Here is one of the best pictures of prayer in the Bible. Hezekiah is king over Israel when the cruel and powerful Assyrian army marches against them. Rabshakeh, the army’s spokesman, sends a threatening letter and tells Hezekiah not to trust in his God for deliverance.
Here was an enormous temptation and a trial, all wrapped into one little scroll. There is the imminent danger of being razed to the ground by the Assyrian empire; then there is the verbal prompting not to trust in God for a rescue.
But how does Hezekiah deal with this letter? He receives it, he reads it…and then he takes it straight to the Lord and spreads it before Him. What a wonderful picture of prayer! It is the spreading of our problems, our temptations, our struggles before the Lord in the face of every temptation to do otherwise.
Are you today wrestling with a temptation to sin that is threatening to conquer you? Spread it before the Lord. Is your heart weighed down with some terrible worry, or sorrow, or pain? Spread it before the Lord. Have you felt the weight of your guilt before a holy God for the first time? Spread it before the Lord.
No one has ever come to the Lord and gone away disappointed. Hezekiah did not, and you will not.