Read II Kings 18 -- 20
Ahaz had been one of the most wicked kings in Judah's history. 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 3:2,5,12). 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 (II Kings 18:1-3). 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. 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 the 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 (II Chronicles 30:26-27).
It is refreshing to read that Hezekiah did what was good and right and truth before the Lord his God. . . . And in the Law, and in the Commandments, to seek his God, 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 religious affairs of the Kingdom. We learn from Hezekiah that people will be blessed and prayers are 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 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, but 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, let everyone believe what he wishes, and don't offend anyone involved in the popular sexual sins of free love, homosexuality, and lesbianism." But, there are a few in every generation who reject the "broad way" and desire to be obedient to Jesus Christ, who said: Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction. . . . Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (Matthew 7:13-14). There are always the faithful few who desire to remain blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life (Philippians 2:15-16).
Christ Portrayed: By Hezekiah, who sought to lead the Kingdom of Judah back to God (II Kings 19). Here we are reminded of Jesus' call: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Mark 2:17).
Word Studies: 18:17 Tartan is the title of Assyria's commander in chief; Rabsaris means the chief financial official; Rabshakeh means the chief officer; 19:7 blast means spirit of bad fortune; 20:3 sore means bitterly and loud.
Government Official: Rep. James Traficant, Jr. (OH) · Pray for Ron & Gloria Bechtel, Universal Printing, printers of Bible Pathway in U.S. · Country: Greenland (60,000) northeast of Canada · Major languages: Eskimo dialects and Danish · Religious freedom · 98% Protestant; .1% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Seek God as more important than food to satisfy your hunger (Proverbs 3:13-18).
Optional Reading: Romans 11
Memory Verse for the Week: Colossians 1:13