Taking Root Downward and Bearing Fruit Upward

“The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward” (Isaiah 37.31).

How does a capable leader face a national crisis? Judah’s king understood that he was facing distress, rebuke, and disgrace from an invading kingdom. He also understood how vulnerable and weak he truly was. So, he called for prayer for the surviving remnant of Judah. 

Messengers brought a letter from the king of Assyria. He threatened Hezekiah and God’s people in this letter. “Don’t let your God, on whom you rely, deceive you by promising that Jerusalem won’t be handed over to the king of Assyria …Will you be rescued? Did the gods of the nations that my predecessors destroyed rescue them? Where [are the former kings of these nations]? 

So, Hezekiah prayed:  “LORD of Armies, God of israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you are God – you alone- of all the kingdoms of the earth …Now, LORD our God save us from his power so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, LORD, are God – you alone.” God heard Hezekiah and defeated Assyria in one night. Later, when the king of Assyria returned home, his sons ruthlessly killed him while he was praying to his false god. 

This is a great victory for Hezekiah but a greater victory for the honor and glory of God. Judah did indeed experience a time of prosperity and revival after this. God’s promise was that she would take root downward and bear fruit upward. This is what happened in the short term and it will indeed happen again in the long term. 

Do I believe? Do I pray? What must I spread out before the LORD this morning? Do I believe that God alone is the answer to my dilemma …that He is more than enough? Because I pray as God’s child, I know that He has heard me. All my enemies are God’s enemies. If they are His enemies, they will either repent or perish. I have waning zeal and sapped strength, but the zeal of the LORD of Hosts will perform it. God will deliver me for His glory and my good. I shall once again take root downward and bear fruit upward!

Father, may we once again take root downward and bear fruit upward (Isaiah 37.31). Meet with us this coming week. Keep us from the evil one. Restore the years eaten away by self and sin. Open the vista of Your glory. Do a great work in our midst for Your glory. We will draw near to You. Draw near to us. Make us aware of Your presence. Bring us comfort ….bring us conviction.

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