Highlights In Today's Reading:
We learn from Hezekiah. God protects Hezekiah from the fiery plight his brother suffered from their evil father (16:3). His godly character is recorded (18:3-8). When threatened, he spreads the threat before the Lord and prays: Save Thou us (19:14-19), and God does (19:32-36). Sick unto death, he prays again, receives a miraculous recovery, and the sundial moves backward (20:1-11).
Ahaz had been one of the most wicked kings in Judah's history. The prophet Micah publicly proclaimed the warning of God against the leaders in Judah, for they hate the good, and love the evil. . . . make My people err. . . . Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps (Mic. 3:2,5,12). In the third year of Hoshea . . . Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. . . . And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord (II Kin. 18:1-3; II Chr. 31:20-21). 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 godly ministry of Micah, but gained great encouragement from the faithful prophet Isaiah as well. Hezekiah removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, all of which were used for idol worship. He trusted in the Lord God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah. . . . For he . . . kept His Commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses (II Kin. 18:4-6).
Hezekiah also led the nation to keep the Passover and renew its Covenant with the Lord. So there was great joy in Jerusalem. . . . Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came . . . even unto heaven (II Chr. 30:26-27). We learn from Hezekiah that people are blessed and prayers are answered when the Word of God is honored.
There are a few in every generation who faithfully let all the Word of God be their Guide. True Christians believe Christ died as Savior for our sins, have turned from sin, and now yield to the lordship of His indwelling Holy Spirit to guide them as they read their Bible.
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness (Rom. 8:8-10).
Thought for Today:
The failures of our past cannot keep us from the blessings of God when we turn from our sin to obedience to the Word of God.
By Hezekiah, who was faithful in leading the kingdom of Judah back to God and His Word (II Kin. 19) — a foreshadowing of Jesus' words to the Pharisees in His attempt to awaken them to their need to see themselves as sinners and recognize Him as their Savior (Mark 2:17).
18:6 clave =b> clung, was devoted to; 18:17 Tartan =b> the title of Assyria's general, commander in chief; Rabsaris =b> the chief financial official; Rabshakeh =b> the chief officer, or possibly chief cupbearer; 18:31 by a present =b> by paying tribute; 19:3 bring forth =b> give birth; 19:7 blast =b> spirit of bad fortune; 20:3 sore =b> bitterly and loud.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Robert Pagel • Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Official: Rep. Vernon Buchanan (FL) • Country: Liechtenstein (32,000) in western Europe • Major languages: German and Alemannic dialect • Religious freedom • 87% Roman Catholic; 12% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Do not worry about anything, but pray about everything (Phil. 4:6).
Optional Reading: Romans 11
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:15