The world is full of favoritism. No matter who we are, we all show favoritism and we receive (or don’t receive) it. Some people benefit because of the way they look, who they know, or what they can offer to a certain situation. Sometimes this is fair—the best person for the job should get the job. Sometimes this is unfair—people are stereotyped based on factors they cannot control.
In our passage today, we see God’s appointed king, Hezekiah, in what must be an unfamiliar situation. As the king, he always received favoritism and he always got what he wanted. Even the most humble kings expect a level of respect for their position. Yet, here Hezekiah is begging God for mercy. You see, the Assyrians didn’t care about his authority in Israel; they were on a mission to destroy him and his people. The man who had everything was terrified of losing it all. These Assyrians represented a threat that his own people had never posed to him: he could be overthrown or even killed.
When we’re in this type of distress, we don’t always turn to the Lord, as Hezekiah does in this passage. Instead, we try to fix it ourselves. Or, we rely on someone else to fill the role of deliverer that only God can fill. People make lousy gods, and yet we bow down and worship them anyway.
Hezekiah seems to realize that his army can’t save him. His throne can’t save him. Not even bartering a deal can save him. He realizes only God can save him. This is a lesson we must never grow tired of learning and relearning. Sin turns us away from God, but grace turns us to Him. He doesn’t play favorites with those who love Him. He loves unconditionally.
“You are God – You alone” is part of the prayer of a king (Hezekiah) asking the Lord to deliver him (Isaiah 37:16). Even the mightiest people need the Lord, the true King, to deliver them—same as the lowly. God shows no favoritism. We all need the same measure of grace and mercy to deliver us, regardless of who we are. We need everything Jesus gave through His death and resurrection. Nothing else will do.
Written by Brandon D. Smith