2 Kings 18:1-8; 2 Chronicles 29-31, Psalm 48
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In Isaiah we read that there would be a REMNANT of people that would be left behind during the exile and captivity.
2 Kings 18 — Hezekiah is the King in Judah. Hezekiah means “Jehoviah is my strength.”
His father was Ahaz, a very evil King of Judah!! He had the Temple doors locked up. BUT his mother was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. Verses 3-4 begins by telling us “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done. He REMOVED the high places, SMASHED the sacred stones and CUT DOWN the Asherah poles. He BROKE INTO PIECES the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.)”
NEHUSHTAN means “thing of brass”…… the Israelites and people of Judah were worshiping EVERYthing except God!!! In Numbers 21, the Israelites once again became discouraged, and in their unbelief they murmured against Moses for bringing them into the wilderness. They had forgotten that their own sin caused them to be there, and they tried to blame Moses. (I KNOW… SHOCKER!!) As a judgment against the people for their sin, God sent poisonous serpents into the camp, and people began to die. Then the people realized they were the ones in sin so they confessed their sin to Moses and asked for God’s mercy. When Moses prayed for the people, God instructed him to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole so the people could be healed. Although the bronze snake was just a piece of metal, God was teaching HIS people something about faith. (Plus it was a foreshadow of Christ…..and if you ever look at the emblem used in the medical community…..you will see a snake associated with it…. amazing–eh??) Yet here we are several hundred years later ….. and they are WORSHIPING the BRONZE snake but…….Hezekiah solved that issue!! Just because something “looks” religious….does not mean it can not become an idol in our personal lives…..ughhhh!! These religious things are simply things…they can not save us…heal us…bring us eternal life…..there is ONLY ONE who can do that!!
Hezekiah was very wise. Look a the next verses in 2 Kings 18: “5 Hezekiah TRUSTED in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was NO ONE LIKE him among ALL the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. 6 He HELD FAST to the Lord and DID NOT STOP FOLLOWING HIM; he KEPT the commands the Lord had given Moses. 7 AND THE LORD WAS WITH HIM; he was SUCCESSFUL in whatever he undertook. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. 8 From watchtower to fortified city, he defeated the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory.”
WHAT A BREATH OF FRESH AIR IT WAS READING TODAY’S READING.
In Hezekiah’s wisdom, he not ONLY did away with the idols, altars, and gods his people worshiped rather than worshiping GOD; but he also RE-CONSECRATED the items of the Temple. WHY???? It was because the Temple had become DEFILED by all the idols, other gods, and everything else HIS people worshiped EXCEPT the ONE TRUE God!!!
2 Chronicles 29-31 — Hezekiah — I am just so happy to be reading about him right now…. WHAT a GREAT example he set for God’s people. With all the kings we have read about …their names all begin to blur together. BUT…. if you can… REMEMBER HEZEKIAH. These people have not worshiped the LORD God Almighty in 200 years and Hezekiah brings back the original law that God had commanded. Did you notice that we were reading about ALL 12 TRIBES again!!???
The people of Israel were encouraged to RETURN to the LORD. The word RETURN is used and not the word COME!! Think about that…. God created us….HE knew us before we were in our mother’s womb…HE shared secrets with us….HE WANTS us to RETURN to HIM…. RETURN to our CREATOR. When life gets rough and we make the wrong choices……we are the ones who move away from HIM…. HE is always there waiting for us to RETURN to HIM.
2 Chronicles 30:15-20 is so beautiful. The Passover Lamb was slaughtered according to Mosaic law. The priests and Levites were ashamed and consecrated themselves. Burnt offerings were brought to the Temple of the Lord. Things were being done the way God had outlined them in the times of Moses. MANY in the crowd had not consecrated themselves for the feast.
“18 Although most of the many people who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun had not purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover, contrary to what was written. But HEZEKIAH PRAYED FOR THEM, saying, “May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone 19 who SETS THEIR HEART ON SEEKING GOD—the Lord, the God of their ancestors—even if they are not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary.” 20 And the LORD HEARD Hezekiah and HEALED the people.
God is so good!!! When the people returned to HIM, HE answered. LOOK at the POWER ONE LEADER can have on their nation!!!!
I am reminded of God’s promise from 2 Chronicles 7:14 “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Psalm 48 — Ahhhhh — GREAT is the LORD and WORTH of Praise!!!! AMEN!!
Sharing HIS love,