TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Today’s readings cover the leadership of King Hezekiah of Judah, a king who walked in the ways of King David; that is, he followed God. The writer of 2 Kings even said about him, “not one of the kings of Judah was like him, either before him or after him” (2 Kgs. 18:5b).
In the light of Hezekiah’s faithfulness, the unfaithfulness of Judah and Israel in the past becomes even that much more glaring. Indeed, these two opposite pictures push me to evaluate where I land between them — whether closer to Israel or closer to Hezekiah.
2 Kings 18:4-6 He removed the high places, shattered the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake that Moses made, for the Israelites burned incense to it up to that time. He called it Nehushtan. Hezekiah trusted in the Lord God of Israel; . . . He remained faithful to Yahweh and did not turn from following Him but kept the commands the Lord had commanded Moses.
2 Chronicles 29:6 For our fathers were unfaithful and did what is evil in the sight of the Lord our God. They abandoned Him, turned their faces away from the Lord’s tabernacle, and turned their backs on Him.
I know that I’m not as faithful as Hezekiah was, and I trust I’m not as unfaithful as the people of Judah and Israel had been. That means I must fall somewhere between the two. The question is, “Am I today closer to Hezekiah in his faithfulness or the people of Judah and Israel in their rebellion?” If my answer today is “closer to the people of Judah and Israel,” I must hear loudly the call of King Hezekiah: “Return to Yahweh . . . . Don’t be like your fathers and your brothers who were unfaithful to Yahweh, the God of their ancestors so that He made them an object of horror as you yourselves see. Don’t become obstinate now like your fathers did. Give your allegiance to Yahweh, and come to His sanctuary that He has consecrated forever. Serve the Lord your God so that He may turn His burning anger away from you.” (2 Chron. 30:6-8)
PRAYER: Pray that all of us will (1) be honest in our evaluation of our walk today, and (2) return quickly to God any time we fail. Praise Him that He does not turn His back on us when we repent.
TOMORROW’S READING: Hosea 1-7