Read II Kings 18 -- 20
In Today's Reading:
Hezekiah's reign; Assyria invades Judah; Hezekiah and Isaiah pray; Hezekiah's miraculous healing
Following the death of Ahaz, Hezekiah succeeded his father as king of Judah. At that time, he was 25 years old. He reigned 29 years in Jerusalem. Like his forefather David, he pleased the Lord. When Hezekiah became king, he did not follow the ways of his evil father Ahaz; instead, he believed the prophets of God, including the unpopular Micah. Hezekiah not only benefited from the ministry of Micah, but he also gained spiritual encouragement from the prophet Isaiah. He destroyed the pagan shrines and false gods, as well as the bronze serpent that Moses had made because the people worshiped it. He carefully obeyed all the commandments of the Lord.
Hezekiah led the nation to keep the Passover and renew its covenant with the Lord andall the people shouted praises to the Lord. Hezekiah's spiritual reformation was followed by a radical reorganization of the entire administration of both the secular and religious affairs of the kingdom. We learn from Hezekiah that people will be blessed, and prayers will be answered, when the Word of God is obeyed.
The greatest opposition to Isaiah, Micah, and Hezekiah's reformation did not come from the pagan nations around Judah, but from the false prophets within their own country, as well as those who worshiped the idols which had been introduced earlier by King Solomon.
Some popular religious leaders today seem to do nothing to encourage people to forsake their sins, live godly lives, and read the Bible. Instead, they preach what appeals to man's physical desires. Others cry out: "Cooperate with the majority, compromise, be tolerant, avoid the extreme right, keep up with the times, don't offend anyone but let everyone believe what he wishes" Still, there are always the faithful few Christians who desire to please the Lord, even though the majority of people disregard the Word of God.
Devotional commentary also refers to: II Chronicles 30:26-27; Philippians 2:15-16.
By Hezekiah, who was faithful in leading the kingdom of Judah back to the Word of God (see II Kings 19) — a reminder of Jesus' words to the Pharisees in His attempt to awaken their need to see themselves as sinners and recognize Him as their Savior (see Mark 2:17).
18:6 clave = clung, was devoted to; 18:17 Tartan = the title of Assyria's commander in chief; Rabsaris = the chief financial official; Rabshakeh = the chief officer; 18:31 by a present = by paying tribute; 19:3 bring forth = give birth; 19:7 blast = spirit of bad fortune; 20:3 sore = bitterly and loud.
Staff: Jim Ryan · Adam Lock and the Bible Pathway International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts on WWCR, Nashville TN · the International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Aunt Bessie's 85th birthday · Government Official: Rep. James Traficant, Jr. (OH) · Country: Bosnia and Hercegovina (4 million) on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe · Major language: Serbo-Croatian · Little evangelism being done · 40% Muslim; 28% Serbian Orthodox; 14% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your heart to God in prayer (see Lamentations 3:41).
Optional Reading: Romans 11
Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 1:23