Are you in a tough situation? Are you in a rough situation? Are you in a troubling situation? Are you in a challenging situation? Are you in an exciting situation? Are you in a troubling situation? Are you worried? Are you getting to the end of your rope? Are you unsure what to do? Are you unsure where to turn? Are you looking for answers? Are you looking for direction? Are you looking for instruction? Are you looking for hope? Are things looking desperate? Are things looking tough? Are things looking hard? Are things looking difficult?
Where will you turn? Who will you call? Who will you cry out to? Who will you share it with? Who will you turn to? Who can you ask? Who can you trust? Who can bring hope?
Will you look at what others going thru? Will you try to help them? In your time of need will you help? In your tough time will you help? In your situation will you reach out and help someone else? Will you try to be helpful?
Or going back to the original question…
Where do you turn in your desperation?
Remember, the battle belongs to the Lord!
Today’s reading begins in 2 Kings…
Hezekiah’s Cry of Desperation
1When King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the House of Adonai. 2Then he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe and the senior kohanim, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet son of Amoz. 3Then they said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah: This day is a day of distress, rebuke and contempt. For children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength for giving birth. 4Perhaps Adonai your God, hearing all the words of the Rab-shakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master has sent to mock the living God, will rebuke the words which Adonai your God has heard. So offer prayer for the remnant that is left.” 5When the officials of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, 6Isaiah said to them: “Thus you will say to your master, ‘Thus says Adonai: Do not be afraid of the words you have heard, with which the boys of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. 7Behold, I am putting a spirit in him, and he will hear a rumor, and will return to his own country; then I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.’” 8Then the Rab-shakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, for he had heard that he had withdrawn from Lachish. 9Now he heard a report of Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia saying, “Behold, he has come out to fight against you.” When he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah saying: 10“Thus will you speak to King Hezekiah of Judah saying: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying: Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands—utterly destroying them—so will you be delivered? 12Have the gods of the nations delivered those my fathers destroyed—Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the children of Eden who were in Tel Assar? 13Where is the king of Hamath, or the king of Arpad, or the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, or Ivvah?’” 14Then Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it. Then Hezekiah went up to the House of Adonai and spread it before Adonai. 15Hezekiah prayed before Adonai, saying, “Adonai, God of Israel, who is enthroned upon the cheruvim. You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made heaven and earth. 16Incline Your ear, Adonai, and hear! Open Your eyes, Adonai, and see! Listen to the words of Sennacherib that he has sent to mock the living God. 17It is true, Adonai, the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands, 18and have cast their gods into the fire—for they were not gods, but the work of human hands—wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. 19Now, Adonai our God, save us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, Adonai, are God.” 20Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent word to Hezekiah saying, “Thus says Adonai, God of Israel: ‘Because you prayed to Me about King Sennacherib of Assyria, I have heard you. 21This is the word that Adonai has spoken about him: “The virgin Daughter of Zion will despise you and mock you. The Daughter of Jerusalem will shake her head at you. 22Whom did you taunt and blaspheme? Against whom did you raise your voice and haughtily lift up your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel! 23Through your servants, you have blasphemed my Lord and said: ‘With my many chariots I have climbed to the heights of the mountains, to the remotest parts of Lebanon! I cut down its tall cedars and choice cypress trees. I have gone to its farthest lodge, its thickest forest. 24I have dug wells and drunk foreign waters, and with the soles of my feet I dried up all the streams of Egypt.’ 25Have you not heard? I did it long ago! From ancient times I planned it. Now I have brought it to pass— that you should turn fortified cities into heaps of rubble. 26Their inhabitants are weak-handed, shattered and ashamed They are like the grass of the field and green herb, like grass on roofs, scorched before it is grown up. 27But I know your sitting down, your going out, and your coming in, and your raging against Me. 28Because your raging against Me and your arrogance reached My ears, I will put My hook in your nose, and My bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way you came.” 29‘“So this shall be the sign to you: This year you will eat what grows by itself, in the second year what springs from that. But in the third year, you will sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 30 “‘The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will take root downward and bear fruit upward. 31For from Jerusalem a remnant will go out, and survivors from Mount Zion. The zeal of Adonai-Tzva’ot will accomplish this.’” 32Therefore thus says Adonai concerning the king of Assyria: “He will not come to this city, or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield, or throw up a siege-ramp against it. 33By the way that he came, by the same he will return, and he will not come into this city” —it is a declaration of Adonai. 34“For I will defend this city to save it, for My own sake, and for My servant David’s sake.” 35Then it came about that night that the angel of Adonai went out and struck down 185,000 men in the Assyrian camp. When the men arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. 36So King Sennacherib of Assyria withdrew, went away, and returned home, and stayed in Nineveh. 37One day, as he was worshipping in the house of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sarezer struck him down with the sword, and escaped to the land of Ararat. Then his son Esarhaddon became king in his place.
–2 Kings 19
Be courageous! Do not be afraid! Do not be dismayed!
With God on our side, all things are possible! Our God who is able to exceedingly more than we could ever ask or imagine, in Him do I put my trust!
Assyrian’s Failed Seige of Jerusalem
1After these acts of faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah. He encamped against the fortified cities, intending to break into them for himself. 2When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and intended to wage war against Jerusalem, 3he consulted with his officers and warriors about blocking the waters of the springs outside the city, and they supported him. 4Many people assembled and blocked off all the springs and the raging wadi in the land saying, “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?” 5Then he took courage and rebuilt the entire wall that had been broken down, raised up the towers, added another outer wall, fortified the Millo in the city of David, and made plenty of weapons and shields. 6He also appointed military officers over the people and assembled them before him in the square at the city gate, and encouraged them saying, 7“Chazak! Be courageous! Do not be afraid or dismayed by the king of Assyria and the whole horde that is with him—for we have more with us than he has with him! 8With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is Adonai Eloheinu to help us and to fight our battles.” So the people were encouraged by the words of King Hezekiah of Judah. 9After this, when King Sennacherib of Assyria, while he and all his forces with him were besieging Lachish, sent his servants to Jerusalem to Hezekiah king of Judah and to all Judah who were in Jerusalem, saying: 10“Thus says King Sennacherib of Assyria, ‘What are you relying on that you would stay in Jerusalem, under siege? 11Is not Hezekiah misleading you, to let you die by famine and thirst, saying, “Adonai Eloheinu will deliver us from the hand of the king of Assyria?” 12Has not the same Hezekiah removed His high places and His altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem saying, “You shall worship before one altar and upon it you shall burn incense?” 13Do not you know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of the lands? Were the gods of the nations of the lands ever able to deliver their land out of my hand? 14Who among all the gods of these nations—which my fathers utterly destroyed—could deliver his people from my hand? How then is your God able to deliver you from my hand? 15So now, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you like this. Do not believe him, for no god of any nation or any kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand and from the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you from my hand!’” 16His servants spoke further against Adonai Elohim and against His servant Hezekiah. 17Sennacharib also wrote letters reviling Adonai, the God of Israel, speaking against Him saying, “Just as the gods of the nations of the lands have not delivered their people from my hand, so the God of Hezekiah shall not deliver His people from my hand.” 18Then they cried out loudly in Hebrew to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall to terrify and frighten them, in order to capture the city. 19They spoke against the God of Jerusalem as of the gods of the peoples of the earth made by human hands. 20Then King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz prayed about this and cried out to heaven. 21Then Adonai sent an angel who annihilated every mighty warrior, commander and officer in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he withdrew in disgrace to his own land. When he entered the house of his god some of his own children struck him down with the sword. 22Thus Adonai delivered Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all, and helped them in every way. 23Many brought offerings to Adonai in Jerusalem and valuable gifts to King Hezekiah of Judah. From then on he was highly regarded in the eyes of all the nations.
Hezekiah’s Pride and Humility
24In those days Hezekiah became deathly ill, but he prayed to Adonai who responded to him and gave him a sign. 25But Hezekiah did not respond according to the favor done to him. His heart became haughty, so wrath came upon him and upon Judah and Jerusalem. 26Then Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride in his heart—both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem—so that the wrath of Adonai did not fall upon them in the days of Hezekiah. 27Now Hezekiah had very abundant riches and honor. He even made treasuries for silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields, and for all kinds of valuables, 28and storehouses for the harvest of grain, wine and oil, and stalls for all kinds of cattle, and sheepfolds for the flocks. 29Moreover, he built towns and acquired flocks and herds in abundance, for God had given him very many possessions. 30It was also Hezekiah who stopped the upper spring of the waters of Gihon and channeled them downward to the west side of the city of David. Hezekiah succeeded in all that he did. 31But when the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon were sent to him to inquire about the wonder that had happened in the land, God left him alone to test him, to know all that was in his heart.
Hezekiah’s Death and Honor
32Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah and his good deeds, behold, they are written in the vision of the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz, in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 33So Hezekiah slept with his fathers and they buried him in the upper section of the tombs of the sons of David. All Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem honored him at his death. His son Manasseh became king in his place.
–from 2 Chronicles 32
Jesus didn’t give up! Jesus knew that in this world there will be trouble! Jesus overcame the world! Jesus conquered the grave! Jesus is the answer!
Turn to Jesus! Ask Jesus into your heart! Walk with Him and talk with Him throughout your day! Ask Him for wisdom and discernment! Seek Him and you will find Him! Be transformed by His love and His sacrifice! He gave His all for you and for me so that we can be saved! Will you receive the gift? Will you accept the gift? Will you invite Jesus into your life? Will you ask?
Bound and Sentenced
1Then Pilate took Yeshua and had Him scourged. 2The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and dressed Him in a purple robe.3They kept coming up to Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and slapping Him over and over. 4Pilate came out again. He said to them, “Look, I’m bringing Him out to you, to let you know that I find no case against Him.” 5So Yeshua came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. “Behold, the Man!” Pilate said to them. 6When the ruling kohanim and officers saw Him, they yelled out, “Execute Him! Execute Him!” Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves and execute Him! For I don’t find a case against Him.” 7The Judean leaders answered him, “We have a law, and according to the Torah He must die, because He claimed to be Ben-Elohim!” 8When Pilate heard this word, he became even more fearful. 9He went into the Praetorium again and said to Yeshua, “Where are You from?” But Yeshua gave him no answer. 10So Pilate said to Him, “You aren’t speaking to me? Don’t You know that I have the authority to release You, and I have the authority to crucify You?” 11Yeshua answered, “You would have no authority over Me if it hadn’t been given to you from above. For this reason, the one who handed Me over to you has the greater sin.” 12Pilate tried to let Him go after this; but the Judean leaders cried out, saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar!” 13So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Yeshua out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place called the Stone Pavement (but in Aramaic, Gabbatha). 14It was the Day of Preparation for Passover, about the sixth hour. And Pilate said to the Judean leaders, “Behold, your king!” 15They shouted back, “Take Him away! Take Him away! Execute Him!” Pilate said to them, “Should I execute your king?” The ruling kohanim answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” 16Finally, Pilate handed Yeshua over to be crucified.
A Sacrificial Death
17Then they took Yeshua. He went out, carrying His own crossbar, to the Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18There they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on each side and Yeshua in between. 19Pilate also wrote a sign and put it on the execution stake. It was written, “YESHUA HA-NATZRATI, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 20Many Judeans read this sign, because the place where Yeshua was executed was near the city; it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. 21The ruling kohanim of the Judeans were saying to Pilate, “Don’t write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.’” 22“What I have written, I have written,” Pilate answered. 23So the soldiers, when they executed Yeshua, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part for each soldier. They took His tunic also, but it was seamless, woven top to bottom in one piece. 24So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be.” This was so the Scripture would be fulfilled, “They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” So the soldiers did these things. 25Standing near the execution stake of Yeshua were His mother, His mother’s sister, Miriam the wife of Clopas, and Miriam from Magdala. 26Yeshua saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby. He tells His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27Then He tells the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that very hour, the disciple took her into his own home. 28After this, when Yeshua knew that all things were now completed, to fulfill the Scripture He said, “I am thirsty.” 29A jar full of sour wine was sitting there, so they put a sponge soaked with the sour wine on a hyssop branch and brought it to His mouth. 30When Yeshua tasted the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. 31It was the Day of Preparation, and the next day was a festival Shabbat. So that the bodies should not remain on the execution stake during Shabbat, the Judean leaders asked Pilate to have the legs broken and to have the bodies taken away. 32So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then the other who had been executed with Yeshua. 33Now when they came to Yeshua and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35He who has seen it has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. 36These things happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, “Not a bone of His shall be broken.” 37And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they have pierced.”
Buried in a Rich Man’s Tomb
38After these things, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate if he could take Yeshua’s body away. Joseph was a disciple of Yeshua, but secretly for fear of the Judean leaders. Pilate gave permission, so Joseph came and took the body away. 39Nicodemus, who had first visited Yeshua at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40Then they took the body of Yeshua and wrapped it in linen with the spices, as is the Jewish burial custom. 41Now in the place where He was executed, there was a garden. In the garden was a new tomb where no one had yet been buried. 42Because it was the Jewish Day of Preparation and the tomb was nearby, they laid Yeshua there.
–from John 19