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Bible Pathways - May 8, 2008


May 8

2 Kings 18

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Revival comes with the new king of Judah (18:5-7)! Hezekiah's life and death is all here. Discover the reason for the Lord's favor in his life (18:5-6). Don't miss his careless error (19:3). The Angel of the Lord (19:35) defeats his enemies.

The prophet Isaiah went to King Hezekiah who was sick unto death. . . . and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die. . . . Then he (King Hezekiah) turned his face to the wall, and prayed . . . I beseech Thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before Thee in truth. . . . the Word of the Lord came to him (Isaiah) . . . tell Hezekiah. . . . I will add unto thy days 15 years (20:1-6; compare 19:15).

Hezekiah had reigned about 15 years and had no son to continue his posterity.

There's not a cry nor a tear, a sickness, or death to which the compassionate heart of God is not touched. Did God arrange his death for his blessing as well as the nation?

Every situation of life is depicted for us in the Bible in order to give us an understanding of our relationship with God, our responsibilities to Him, as well as to others. Consequently, we have illustrations on the results of various ways to react to each situation. As we read through the Bible we gain guidance on how to understand our circumstances.

The ambassadors from Babylon came with a present to congratulate him for his recovery. It's disappointing that he gave no glory to God since it was God who had healed him. He proudly impressed the ambassadors with his exceeding much riches (II Chronicles 32:27) of silver, and gold, and much precious stones and jewels. By exposing his treasures he was encouraging the Babylonians to steal his wealth (32:28).

We need to ask ourselves: “What spiritual good did these additional 15 years accomplish? His son also became an evil king.” As we consider Hezekiah's prayer and the results, how little we know what is best for us.

Would Hezekiah have been a greater blessing if he had prayed as our Master who prayed: Not My will, but Thine, be done (Luke 22:42).

When we know that a person will not recover from their illness, is it the truest kindness to give false hopes of a quick recovery when we know there is no hope of recovery? If they knew the facts, would the termanally ill person be led to turn their face to the wall and earnestly pray for God to cleanse them of their sins, and to receive Christ as Savior and Lord.

Be . . . ready . . . for the Son of Man cometh at an hour as you think not (Luke 12:40).

Thought for Today:

The church of our day must be careful not to let their traditions overrule the commandments of God.

Christ Portrayed:

By Hezekiah, who was faithful in leading the kingdom of Judah back to the Word of God (II Kings 19) — a foreshadowing of Jesus' words to the Pharisees in His attempt to awaken their need to see themselves as sinners and recognize Him as their Savior (Mark 2:17).

Word Studies:

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.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Marie Bagby and in memory of Aunt Bessie; Arabic International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Victor Danz • Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Official: Rep. Vernon Buchanan (FL) • Country: Nepal (24.3 million) a mountain-ringed Himalayan state between Tibet and India • Major language: Nepali • Limited religious freedom • 85% Hindu; 10% Buddhist; 3% Muslim; 2% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Realize that the will of God is often different from our own desires (II Corinthians 12:8-9).

Optional Reading: Romans 11

Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 1:7

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