Today’s readings.. (2 Kings 18), (Ezekiel 8), (Luke 4)

What is it to trust – and to show your trust by your actions?  That is, specifically, in the LORD as your God? We read in 2 Kings 18 today of an outstanding King who came to the throne in Jerusalem, “and he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.” [v.3] He is seen to be a genuine descendant of David, a really worthy king, his immediate father, Ahaz, does not get a mention.
The new king’s commitment to the LORD is tested to the uttermost. Isaiah had a lot to do with him, as we will read tomorrow. The Assyrian commander comes and shouts to the defenders on the walls of Jerusalem, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: on what do you rest this trust of yours?  Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? [v.19,20]
We meditate on this point of view – do we see the Bible as “mere words”? Such is human nature, that it now appears this way to many church people as they wilt under the constant barrage of atheistic and humanist propaganda.
Remember though what we read last week in 2 Corinthians 10, “the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion …” [v.4,5]
Back in Kings, v.22 is to be noted, “if you say to me (says the Assyrian), ‘We trust in the LORD our God’ is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed …”  This indicates that deserters to the Assyrian side had told him this. Hezekiah had decreed “You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem.”
Is this not parallel with those who desert the real truth of the Bible to believe and worship in the way that appeals to them?
The last verse in the chapter tells us how the Jewish officials “came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and told him all the words of the Rabshekah” (the Assyrian commander). Ch. 19 tells us how the kings servants “come to Isaiah.  Isaiah said to them, ‘Say to your master, ‘Thus says the LORD: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard … I will put a spirit in him so that he shall hear a rumour and return to his own land …”
Several chapters in Isaiah are more clearly understood against the background of events during Hezekiah’s reign.
Today we do not have a living Isaiah to go to – but this word of God is “living” – Hebrews 4 v.12 tells us, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing the division of soul and spirit … discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  Now turn up and note verse 13.

 

* Click verse text to see cross references.
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