Daily Devotion and Prayer for March 21st, 2024

+ DAILY PRAYER +

Assyrians Advise against Trust in Yahweh Then the chief advisor said to them, “Please say to Hezekiah: ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: “What is this confidence that you trust? 20 You think only a word of lips, ‘I have advice and power for the war.’ Now, on whom do you trust that you have rebelled against me?…

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

     Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my pleas for mercy!

     In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness! 

     Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan,

     and he hears my voice. 

     Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you;

     He will never permit the righteous to be moved. 

Psalm 69:33-36

33  For the LORD hears the needy

and does not despise his own people who are prisoners. 

34  Let heaven and earth praise him,

the seas and everything that moves in them. 

35  For God will save Zion

and build up the cities of Judah,

and people shall dwell there and possess it; 

36  the offspring of his servants shall inherit it,

and those who love his name shall dwell in it. 

Reading for Thursday March 21st     2 Kings 18:19-19:7

Assyrians Advise against Trust in Yahweh

19 Then the chief advisor said to them, “Please say to Hezekiah: ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: “What is this confidence that you trust? 20 You think only a word of lips, ‘I have advice and power for the war.’ Now, on whom do you trust that you have rebelled against me? 21 Now, look! You ?rely? on the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt, which when a man leans on it, it goes into his hand and pierces it! So is Pharaoh the king of Egypt for all who are trusting on him! 22 But if you say to me, ‘On Yahweh our God we trust,’ is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, and he had said to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘In the presence of this altar you shall bow down only in Jerusalem?’ 23 So then, please make a wager with my lord, with the king of Assyria, and I will give to you a thousand horses ?if you are able on your part to put riders on them.? 24 How ?can you repulse a single captain among the least of the servants of my master?? Yet you rely for yourself on Egypt for chariots and horsemen! 25 Have I now come up against this place without Yahweh to destroy it? Yahweh has said to me, ‘Go up against this land and destroy it!’ ” ’ ”

26 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah and Shebna and Joah said to the chief commander, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we are understanding, but you must not speak Judean with us in the ears of the people who are on the wall.” 27 The chief commander said to them, “Is it solely to your master and to you my master has sent me to speak these words? Is it not for the men who sit on the wall to eat their feces and to drink their urine with you?”

28 Then the chief commander stood and called with a great voice in Judean, and he spoke and said, “Hear the word of the king, the great king of Assyria! 29 Thus says the king, ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to rescue you from my hand. 30 Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in Yahweh, saying, “Certainly Yahweh will rescue us, and this city shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria!” ’ 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria, ‘Make with me a treaty of peace and come out to me that each may eat from his vine and each from his fig tree, and each may drink water from his cistern! 32 Until I come and take you to a land like your land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees, olive oil, and honey, that you may live and not die! You must not listen to Hezekiah, for he has misled you by saying, “Yahweh will deliver us!” 33 Did the gods of each of the nations ever rescue the land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? For did they rescue Samaria from my hand? 35 Who among all of the gods of the countries have rescued their countries from my hand that Yahweh should rescue Jerusalem from my hand?’ ”

36 The people were silent, and they did not answer him a word, for the command of that king was saying, “You shall not answer him.” 37 Eliakim the son of Hilkiah who was over the palace, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder came to Hezekiah with torn clothes, and they told him the words of the chief commander.

Isaiah Sends Encouragement to Hezekiah

19 It happened that when King Hezekiah heard, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went to the temple of Yahweh. He sent Eliakim who was over the palace, Shebna the secretary, the elders, and the priests, all clothed in sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, ‘A day of distress, rebuke, and disgrace is this day, for the children ?are about to be born?, but there is no strength to bear them. Perhaps Yahweh your God will hear all of the words of the chief commander whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to insult the living God, and he will rebuke the words that Yahweh your God has heard. Therefore lift up a prayer for the remainder who are left.’ ” So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, and Isaiah said to them, “Thus you must say to your master, ‘Thus says Yahweh, “You must not be afraid because the face of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me. Look, I am putting in him a spirit. He will hear a rumor and return to his land. Then I will cause him to fall by the sword in his land.” ’ ”

Lord’s Prayer

Daily Prayer

   Almighty and everlasting God, You sent Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, to take upon Himself our flesh and to suffer death upon the cross.  Mercifully grant that we may follow the example of His great humility and patience and be made partakers of His resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Concluding Prayer

    Heavenly Father, send Your Holy Spirit into our hearts to direct and rule us according to Your will, to comfort us in all our afflictions, to defend us from all error, and to lead us into all truth; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.