Bible In One Year-Day 135 (Thursday, May 15, 2014)
Commentary: 2Kings18-20. Hezekiah, an unusual King in Judah, was ruthless against idolatry. His walk with God was likened to that of David and even beyond in that he broke and destroyed the serpent Moses made for the Israelites when they were faced with some difficulties on their journey to the Promised Land. They had perverted the purpose and idolized it. Apart from that, the serpent was done with its purpose. The hatred he had for idolatry made him to remove the serpent from their midst. Unfortunately, many ministries are still following traditions, not following the leading of the Holy Spirit and this has become idols in their midst. This was what Jesus condemned within the Jews.
Matthew 15:3 “But he answered and said to them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?”
Mark 7:13 “Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”
This cannot redeem anyone, no matter how long one remain in that tradition.
1 Peter 1:18 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;”
Though we had Kings before Hezekiah who did what was right in the sight of God, he was different in the sense that he removed the high places which others left untouched. He made sure that his people were restored in the real way of worship in Jerusalem. King of Assyria came to ridicule Hezekiah based on his trust in the God of Israel and even extended the mockery to the God of Israel by comparing Him with other gods;
2 Kings 18:33-35 “Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered at all his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?Where are the gods of Hamath, and of Arpad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah? have they delivered Samaria out of mine hand?Who are they among all the gods of the countries, that have delivered their country out of mine hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of mine hand?”
Hezekiah did not deny his stand with the God of the universe. It was true he had no might as the king of Assyria. He, however, went humbly into the power house of God to tender his grievance. He called Prophet Isaiah into the issue; a lesson for us to know where to go when the enemy or a problem wants to ridicule us and our God. In difficult situations we should learn to call on God in a secluded place where we could hear Him. Hezekiah is very good in tendering prayer letters before God and he was never disappointed at anytime; 2 Kings 19:3 “And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.”
Isaiah read to Hezekiah the reply of God to his letter
2 Kings 19:6-7 And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.Behold, I will send a blast (or spirit) upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.
From God’s response, we could notice an uncommon weapon God used, “spirit of rumor”. This spirit summoned the servant of the king of Assyria home that he was needed. Christians should be very careful about this spirit. By this spirit, churches rise against one another, men of God condemn one another concerning their callings, and enmities bred amongst Christian brethren. The enemy uses this spirit to bring division in the body of Christ. The spirit of rumor isn’t a good spirit but it could still answer to God when needed. Just as He approved the spirit of lying to deceive the prophets of Baal against King Ahab, He used the spirit of rumor to summon the servant of king of Assyria home to meet his death because he requested for the manifestation of the power of the God Hezekiah trusted in.. The king of Assyria again sent another message to Hezekiah. Again, Hezekiah tendered the evil message before God; 2 Kings 19:14 “And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.” Hezekiah’s prayer was deep over this letter and God had no option but to answer. God gave a profound poetic response which wasted no time in coming to pass. Again Hezekiah received a clinical prophecy of death in chapter20, he tender it to God in prayer without wasting time. The life of Hezekiah was one that symbolized the affliction of the righteous. However, he never gave up trusting and praying to Him. The prayer he offered in each problem was deep and effectual; the prayers touched God.
Psalms 11:7 “For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.”
All these rages were because he pulled down the evil altars in high places. When you go into warfare against ancient gates these are the problems you face; the rage of darkness. But we need to know that God will never forsake His own. Psalm2 says “why do the heathen rage and people imagine a vain thing …” Hezekiah refused to compromise his faith and trust in God and he never regretted. The second stanza of this hymn is quite encouraging “What a friend we have in Jesus”
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
The question I have for you is “are you getting tired of writing letters to God?” I admonish you to learn from King Hezekiah; Psalms 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
Our reading for today is 2Kings21-23. Keep the fire burning and alive. GOD IS NEVER TIRED OF READING YOUR LETTERS.
Psalms 50:15 “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.”
Psalms 91:15 “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.”
Psalms 97:11 “Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.”
Colossians 2:8 “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”