Take Root Downward and Bear Fruit Upward

from Lynda Lindsey

The conclusion of Hezekiah’s prayer: So now, O Lord our God, save us, please, from his (the king of Assyria’s) hand that all the kingdom’s of the earth may know that You, O Lord, are God alone. II Kings 19:19

Isaiah’s prophecy: Assyria will fail to capture Jerusalem: And this shall be the sign for you: this year eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs of the same. Then in the third year sow and reap and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord will do this. II Kings 19:29-30

The Lord’s word concerning the king of Assyria: By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city… for I will defend this city to save it, for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David. II Kings 19:33-34

Hezekiah, faced with a problem no mortal king could solve, clothed himself in sackcloth and ashes and humbly prayed for God’s rescue. The Assyrians, mocking and blaspheming God, were nearly at Jerusalem’s gates; unless God came to Judah’s rescue, Jerusalem would fall. Hezekiah cried out to the one true God, Creator, the Lord God of hosts, head over all the armies of heaven and implored God to hear with His ears and see with His eyes, and come, save, and rescue His people. Hezekiah wanted every earthly kingdom to know God alone is God and that only God deserves glory!

God, defender and Savior, offered Hezekiah a miraculous sign that the Assyrian enemy would not prevail. The land, neglected, devastated and impoverished by war, would provide food for the war-weary survivors, not just for the first year, but through the next three years, at which point Judah would once again be solidly established and deeply rooted, able to produce abundant, fruitful harvests. God drove away the enemy and sustained His people, allowing time for the land and the people to be renewed and refreshed.

Plants that develop a deep root system flourish, increase and yield abundant crops; spiritually, when we repent and turn to God, we become like healthy plants, sending down deep roots and yielding up abundant fruit for God’s kingdom. God sees and hears our troubles; not only does He rescue and save us, He defends and sustains us, allowing us to mature and be fruitful. The enemy may roar, but we need not fear, for God has secured victory over the evil one. Daily, God renews, revives, and refreshes us in Christ; so put down deep roots, bear fruit upwards, and give God all glory!