There is only one God.
Rabshakeh, an officer of the king of Assyria, taunts King Hezekiah of Judah with a letter threatening Judah’s destruction. At this point in history, Assyria has already destroyed several other nations from the face of the earth, many of which Rabshakeh mentions: Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and Telassar. In ancient times, it was believed that gods were regional. Each nation worshipped its own god or gods. Nations that were destroyed were believed to be nations whose gods were weak and incapable of protecting them. So to paraphrase the message in his letter, Rabshakeh asks Hezekiah, “Where were the gods of these nations? What makes you think that your God will deliver you from Assyria when all of these other gods could not save their nations?”
In response, King Hezekiah does not hesitate to bring this concern directly to God. Hezekiah goes directly to God’s Temple and shows Him the threat that Rabshakeh has sent. And in his prayer to God for help, Hezekiah says, “Lord God of Israel Who is enthroned above the cherubim, You are God – You alone – of all the kingdoms of the earth…. save us from his hand so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God – You alone.”
Through prayer, Hezekiah reveals that He knows God. He is assured that God is the only True and Sovereign One. While Rabshakeh declares that other gods could not save their people from Assyria, Hezekiah knows that other gods have not answered prayers because they do not exist. Hezekiah knows that only One God exists and answers prayer: the God of Israel. He knows that God is not only God over Israel, but Sovereign over all the kingdoms of the earth. Through prayer, Hezekiah reveals that his desire is aligned with God’s desire to be known by other nations. Hezekiah understands that Israel’s best interest is contingent upon God’s Will being fulfilled. Hezekiah is concerned about his nation, but first and foremost that His God would be known by other nations.
God does answer Hezekiah, and indeed brings a victory for Judah against Assyria. Unlike the fate of other nations who cried to their gods prior to destruction, Israel is preserved because their God answers prayer. But it’s important to see here that God responds favorably to Hezekiah as he comes to God understanding Who He is, and what His desire is for His people. When we go to God in prayer, that is how we must go to God, too. We may not always know the details of what the future hold for us. Regardless, we can always count on 1) Who God is – the One True and Living God – and 2) God’s answering prayers as we align ourselves with His Will to be revealed.