Read 2 Kings 18 -- 20
In Today's Reading:
Hezekiah's good reign; Assyria invades Judah; Hezekiah and Isaiah pray; Hezekiah's sickness; his miraculous healing; foolish display of his wealth; his death.
Verses for Today:
Hezekiah. . . . trusted in the Lord God of Israel. . . . And the Lord was with him (2 Kings 18:1).
When Hezekiah became king of Judah, he did not follow the ways of his evil father Ahaz, who had been one of the most wicked kings in the Kingdom of Judah's history. During Ahaz' reign, the prophet Micah publicly proclaimed the warnings of God against the leaders in Judah, for they hate the good, and love the evil. . . . the prophets that make My people err. . . . Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps (ruins) (Micah 3:2). Hezekiah the son of Ahaz King of Judah. . . . reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. . . . he did [what] was right in the sight of the Lord (2 Kings 18:1-3). Hezekiah believed the prophets of God, including the unpopular Micah. He not only benefited from the ministry of Micah, but also gained spiritual encouragement from the prophet Isaiah. Hezekiah removed the high places, and [broke] 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, nor any that were before him. For he . . . kept His Commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses (18:4-6).
Hezekiah led the nation to keep its greatest Passover and renew its covenant with the Lord. So there was great joy in Jerusalem. . . . the Levites . . . blessed the people; and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to His Holy Dwelling Place, even unto Heaven (2 Chronicles 30:26-27).
It is refreshing to read that Hezekiah did what was . . . right . . . before the Lord. . . . And in the Commandments . . . he did it with all his heart, and prospered (31:20-21). Hezekiah's spiritual reformation was followed by a radical reorganization of the entire administration of both the secular and the religious affairs of the kingdom. We learn from Hezekiah that anyone will be blessed and his prayers will be answered when the Word of God is obeyed with all his heart.
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 from those who worshiped the idols which had been introduced many years before by King Solomon.
Some popular religious leaders today say little or nothing to encourage people to forsake their sins, live godly lives, and read the Bible. Instead, these false prophets preach what appeals to man's physical and emotional desires. Others tell us: "Cooperate with the majority, compromise, be tolerant, let everyone believe what he wishes, and don't offend anyone's historic culture. There are a faithful few in every generation who are committed to remain blameless and harmless, the sons of God . . . in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation . . . Holding forth the Word of Life (Philippians 2:15-16).
By Hezekiah, who sought to lead the Kingdom of Judah back to God (2 Kings 19). Here we are reminded of Jesus' call: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Mark 2:17).
18:6 clave = was devoted to; 18:17 Tartan is 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; 19:32 cast a bank = build a fortification; 20:3 sore = bitterly and loud.
Government Official: Rep. James Traficant, Jr. (OH) · Pray for one more person to read through the Bible · Country: Cyprus (754,000) in the Middle East · Major languages: Greek and Turkish · No open evangelism or conversions to Christ · 75% Greek Orthodox; 19% Muslim; 1% Protestant; 1% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Wait upon the Lord and He will renew your strength (Isaiah 40:31).
Optional Reading: Romans 11
Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Peter 1:23