By way of application, God is just as sovereign over the affairs of a nation today as He was in the time of king Hezekiah. He is still unfolding His plan for human history at this very moment. He is still about the business of bringing His sovereign decree to pass. Therefore, ought we to fear when the affairs of our nation seem to fall apart? Ought we to grow anxious when international relations grow increasingly hostile? Or even threaten to invade us on domestic soil? The answer to all of these questions is: of course not. God is using every aspect of our human existence to bring to pass His foreordained decrees.
Now, what about our personal relationships with others? Ought we to grow anxious when they fall apart or grow hostile toward us–assuming the breech in relationship was unprovoked by any sin on our part? Ought we to seek revenge or vindication? Of course, we can seek to show the opposing party the error of their ways (i.e. sin) and pray for their repentance, recognizing that their actions are first-and-foremost an offense against God (as did king Hezekiah). However, if we truly believe that God is working all things in His divine plan for the good of His children and for His own glory (Romans 8.28-30), then should we not also seek to find the “good” in the situation? That is, should we not seek to understand how the unfolding of events can be used by God to humble us (as was the intended effect of the Assyrian hostility toward Israel), to make us more like His Son (Romans 8.29)?
Oh, dear Christian, if we were to approach life with such a perspective, it would radically change our heart’s response to those who persecute us. We might actually be able to obey the command of our Lord to “love [our] enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5.44). We might also be able to “count it all joy, when [we] meet trials of various kinds,” as the author of James encourages us to do (James 1.2). When we submit to God’s sovereign rule over our lives and look to His Word to inform us about His intended purposes in the events that He has allows into our lives, we can actually grow closer to Him and deepen our love, dependence, and understanding of Him as we seek to walk in obedience to Him … just as king Hezekiah did!