“Then he worked hard repairing all the broken sections of the wall and building towers on it. He built another wall outside that one and reinforced the terraces of the City of David. He also made large numbers of weapons and shields.” — 2 Chronicles 32:5
Over 2,000 years ago, King Hezekiah made a puzzling decision. He hid the “Book of Remedies.” Until then, when someone was sick, they would simply consult that book and do what it said. Their illness was always cured. And that was Hezekiah’s concern. No one was reaching out to God anymore! He hid the cures away for the rest of time, hoping that the difficulty in healing would lead people to God. Instead of placing their faith in remedies, they would learn to have faith in their Father above.
So you would think that when the neighboring Assyrians threatened war, Hezekiah would follow his own counsel and pray and have faith. After all, he was all about trusting God! However, as we read Chapter 32 in the book of 2 Chronicles, it appears that Hezekiah was ignoring his own counsel. Rather than praying, Hezekiah was taking every physical precaution possible in order to ensure victory. He built walls, diverted the water supply, and made swords!
A popular joke about a man with faith goes like this: A flood has swept through his land and the man has climbed up to his roof. A rowboat comes by, and the rower tells him to get in. The man says, “No, I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me.” The waters rise and soon a speedboat comes to the man’s rescue. “Climb in,” the driver says. “No, I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me,” the man on the roof says. The speedboat speeds away. The waters rise even higher and a helicopter comes towards the man and offers to drop a rope. The man says, “No, I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me.”
The waters continue to rise, and the man is swept away and drowns. When he gets to heaven he marches right over to God and says, “How come you didn’t save me?” The Heavenly Father says to him “I sent you two boats and a helicopter! What more did you want?”
Having faith does not preclude doing your part. While most people err on the side of relying too much on their effort, it is also possible to do too little. Having faith means doing what you can and then trusting in God. That’s why Hezekiah takes all of the physical precautions that he can before going to war. But he doesn’t stop there. He also turns to God in heartfelt prayer and inspires his people to trust in the Lord.
Every life challenge – be it health, sustenance, war, and so on – requires the same response — the “Hezekiah response.” First, take action and do your part. Take the medicine, look for a job, and secure your country. But then pray and trust that God will do His. One step without the other is incomplete. Together they can get you through anything.