每日诗歌: come now is the time to worship (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPWq8eM4lu8)
2 King 18 [Read]
2 King 19 [Read]
John 6:22-44 [Read]
What does it mean when the LORD is with you? For Joseph we learned that it meant prosperity (Gen 39:2), and for David it meant power and success (1Sam 18:14). But is that all for us to expect?
Hezekiah was a good king, and he did all that was right in God’s eyes (18:3). We need to look at the background to really appreciate the weight of this statement. He took over the reign from his evil father Ahaz, who stood out as one of the worst kings of Judah, who walked in the ways of the kings of Israel (16:3) and made a pagan altar in God’s holy temple (16:11). Furthermore, the kingdom was in serious financial and military troubles. Assyrians had depleted their fortune (16:8), and they were in the process of eliminating the Northern kingdom (17:3-6). If these were not scary enough, Hezekiah was only 25 years old when he became the king. To do what he did under the circumstances is extremely admirable.
“The LORD was with him, and he was successful in whatever he undertook” (18:7). That is what we expected. When a person trusted in the LORD wholeheartedly like Hezekiah, God must reward him with great success. But is that all for us to expect? The success did not last long. Eight years after destroying the Northern kingdom, Assyria came down hard on Judah. Hezekiah wobbled and gave in to the invader (18:14). After all, he has done everything right but still being attacked by the evil kingdom. How many of us can truly say that we would not give in like he did?
But he repented and prayed for the remnants in Jerusalem (19:4). God answered his prayer: “once more, the remnant of the house of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above” (19:30). Even though the situation seemed hopeless, God easily turned it around after his servant repented and prayed. The angel of the LORD went out and destroyed the invading army in one night. The faith of the king prevailed, but only after a painful experience.
“The LORD dwells in thick darkness” (1Ki 8:12, ESV). Darkness is never positive, but surprisingly that’s where God makes his dwelling. As we go through darkness in our lives, it helps to remember that’s where God dwells. Walking in darkness is never pleasant, and wobbling is understandable. But a sincere supplication with repentance will take us deeper into the darkness when all things suddenly turn bright.
Keep on reading,