Daily Devotion and Prayer for March 22nd, 2024

+ DAILY PRAYER +

The Assyrians Defy God When the chief commander returned, he found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, for he had heard that he had departed from Lachish. He heard about Tirhakah, the king of Cush, saying, “Look, he has set out to fight with you,” so he again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Thus you shall say to Hezekiah the king of Judah, ‘Let not your God whom you are trusting deceive you,…

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 22:1-5

1  My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Why are you so far from saving me,

from the words of my groaning? 

2  O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,

and by night, but I find no rest. 

3  Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 

4  In you our fathers trusted;

they trusted, and you delivered them. 

5  To you they cried and were rescued;

in you they trusted and were not put to shame. 

Reading for Friday March 22nd     2 Kings 19:8-37

The Assyrians Defy God

When the chief commander returned, he found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, for he had heard that he had departed from Lachish. He heard about Tirhakah, the king of Cush, saying, “Look, he has set out to fight with you,” so he again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Thus you shall say to Hezekiah the king of Judah, ‘Let not your God whom you are trusting deceive you, by his saying, “Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria!” 11 Look, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the lands, by utterly destroying them, and shall you be delivered? 12 Did the gods of the nations that my ?predecessors? destroyed deliver them? Not Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, nor the children of Eden who were in Tel Assar. 13 Where are the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?’ ”

Hezekiah Prays to Yahweh

14 Hezekiah took the letters from the hand of the messengers and read them. Then he went up to the temple of Yahweh, and Hezekiah spread them out before the presence of Yahweh. 15 Then Hezekiah prayed before the face of Yahweh and said, “O Yahweh, God of Israel who lives above the cherubim. You are God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the world; you have made the heavens and the earth. 16 Incline your ears and hear; open, O Yahweh, your eyes and see and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to insult the living God. 17 Truly, O Yahweh, the kings of Assyria have utterly destroyed the nations and their land. 18 He has hurled their gods in the fire because they are not gods, but the work of the hands of a human made of wood and stone, so they destroyed them. 19 So then, O Yahweh our God, rescue us, please, from his hand, that all of the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Yahweh, you alone are God!”

Isaiah Brings a Prophetic Response

20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says Yahweh the God of Israel, ‘What you have prayed to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard. 21 This is the word that Yahweh has spoken concerning him:

She despises you, she scorns you,

the virgin daughter of Zion.

Behind you the daughter of Jerusalem

shakes her head.

22 Whom have you mocked and reviled?

And against whom have you have raised your voice

and have haughtily lifted your eyes?

Against the Holy One of Israel!

23 By the hand of your messengers you have mocked the Lord,

and you have said,

‘With my many chariots I have gone up

to the height of the mountains.

To the remote areas of Lebanon,

I have felled the tallest of its cedars,

the choicest of its cypresses.

I have entered the place of overnight lodging.

Even to the edge of forest of its fertile land.

24 I dug wells and I drank foreign water,

and I dried up with the sole of my steps

all the canals of Egypt.’

25 Have you not heard?

From long ago I have determined it,

from the days of old I have planned it,

and now I am bringing it to pass.

It shall be turned into a pile of rocks;

fortified cities are ruined.

26 Their inhabitants, short of hand, shall be dismayed;

and they shall be ashamed.

They have become green plants of the open field,

and tender grass,

green grass of the roof

and blight before the standing grain.

27 Your sitting, your going out, and your coming in I know,

and your raging against me.

28 Because you are raging against me,

and your arrogance has come up in my ears,

I will put my nose ring in your nose

and my bridle in your mouth.

And I will turn you back

on the way that you have come.

29 “ ‘This will be the sign for you: Eat the volunteer plants for the year, and in the second year, the volunteer plants that spring up from that. But in the third year, sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 30 The remainder of the house of Judah that survives will again take root below and bear fruit above. 31 For from Jerusalem a remnant shall go out and survivors from Mount Zion; the zeal of Yahweh will do this.

32 “ ‘Therefore thus says Yahweh to the king of Assyria, “He shall not come to this city, nor shall he shoot an arrow there, nor shall he bring a small shield near her, nor shall he cast a siege ramp against her. 33 By the way that he came to her he shall return; but to this city, he shall not come,” declares Yahweh. 34 And I will defend this city to save her for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.’ ”

An Angel Neutralizes the Assyrian Army

35 It happened in that night that an angel of Yahweh went out, and he struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of Assyria. When they got up early in the morning, look! All of them were dead corpses. 36 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria set out and went and returned and lived in Nineveh. 37 It happened that he was worshiping in the temple of Nisroch his god, and Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him with the sword. Then they escaped into the land of Ararat, and Esarhaddon his son became king in his place.

Lord’s Prayer

Daily Prayer

   Merciful and everlasting God, You did not spare Your only Son but delivered Him up for us all to bear our sins on the cross.  Grant that our hearts may be so fixed with steadfast faith in Him that we fear not the power of sin, death, and the devil; 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.