Our New life in Christ: Our Goal is to become holy (Romans 6:19)

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Paul explains our new life in Christ with an illustration of slavery-  you decide if you want to be ruled over by sin or ruled over by righteous living. We each chose to be either a slave to sin , which leads to death,  or a slave to righteous living in Christ which leads to eternal life.

It seems this new life of being born again begins with baptism, it is the spark that makes everything move into place. Acts 5:32 says the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey. This act of Baptism plus obedience with a pure heart of sincere love of the brethren (1 Peter 1:22-24) is the total act of being born again in a purification of the soul through the Word of God, which endures forever. Therefore! lay aside all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, evil speaking (I’ll go on with.. evil shows, music, movies, words, news) and instead, desire God’s word so you can grow.

This reminds me of the verses:

Be simple to what is evil and wise to  what is good
(Romans 16:9)

So you must commit you soul to Him, your faithful creator, in doing good
(1Peter 4:18)

There is NO DOUBT that life is full of temptations everywhere we turn. Even though we have died to sin through Christ’s death and resurrection, sin still stands at the door with enticing sweetness yet hidden so deceitfully is the stench of death . As Jesus said: the way to life is narrow, it is difficult and few people find it. The road to death is wide and broad (easy way) (Matthew 7 and Luke 13)

So, I tell you as the Lord warned Cain in Gen 4;6-7, If you don’t do what is right, sin lieth at your door, it desires you rule you, but you must rule it. Sin wants to control you, rule you, devour  you, reign with a power over you.

Now in Baptism:

  1. You are joined with Christ
  2. You died and were buried with Him
  3. United now with Christ in His death and raised to new life with Him
  4. Sin no longer has power over you
  5. You are no longer a slave to Sin, you have been set free from the Power of Sin
  6. You have the ability to live a NEW LIFE under the freedom of God’s grace
  7. Your old sinful way was crucified and put to death

just as Jesus died once to break sin’s power, and now He lives for the Glory of God,

  • we too, must live for Him
  • give ourselves completely to God
  • we must not give into our sinful desires (yes, they may still be there)
  • do not let your body be an instrument of sin – don’t let your mouth, eyes, hands, feet, ears become instruments of sin – I’m going a step further and don’t let the way you dress, speak, etc.. become an instrument of sin either – God see’s our motives !

Sin is NO longer your master.

However, sin and the power of sin don’t take a nap because you’re saved and baptized.  The power of sin is still at work, remember satan is god of this world, and this sin/power wants to destroy you. It’s not all over after you say the sinners prayer.  Yet God has given you everything to be victorious,

 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.  But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
1 Corinthians 15:57-58

(Posts on spiritual warfare: 1- Shoes of peace, Eph 6:13  2- Eph 6: Put on your armor, 3-Eph 6: Put on the belt of truth  4- Eph 6, know your enemy  5- Eph 6 Armor of God new discoveries )

Now that the Holy Spirit is in you, live a life that does not grieve Him. The Holy Spirit is like a best friend but even greater. He will never leave you.  He will guide you, comfort you and direct you, but when you don’t obey, it grieves  and saddens Him greatly.  This is because the Holy Spirit wants what is best for you, He directs you according to the Father’s will and cares deeply for you.

So it’s up to you.

You become a slave to whatever you obey

Remember the term slavery is used as an illustration to help us , in our human weakness, to understand this concept.

You can be a slave to righteousness or a slave to sin

You can set your foot on the difficult narrow path to life that few find or you can easily jump on the wide broad easy path that leads to death.

The freedom of Gods’ grace and the gift of the Holy Spirit are given to us as free gifts,  but for what?  So we can get salvation and keep on sinning? Did Christ die for nothing? Can we keep doing everything we desire? No, these great gifts given to us because God wants us to become HOLY!

I know, weird concept, me? be holy? be perfect? YES.  I know church likes to bring people in with “no perfect people” marketing, but the reality is, that Jesus told us to be perfect as He is perfect (Matthew 5). We are to be holy as He is holy. (1 Peter 1:16, Lev 21:8) He will make us Holy. Yeah, not many will tell you that, but don’t let this message scare you away. Think about it, what an amazing life goal. What? give up on anger? malice? deceit? hate? greed? impatience? lying? evil words? watching filth? lusts of the flesh? Is there really a sin you want to cling to? The devil wants you to think this goal of being righteous and holy is a boring life, but this is a LIE! God wants you to live in abundance, in joy, in peace- yes, even in difficult times, hope and eternal life lie ahead.  You must continue to fight the good fight

run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.  Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.
1 Tim 6:11-12

Work hard to show the results of your salvation,
obeying God with deep reverence and fear.

Phil 2:12

The Lord isn’t an evil master beating you down reminding you of all your sins. He gives you His Holy Spirit who is kind and gentle. He will lovingly convict your heart of things you need to change and eliminate from your life. He will not condemn you nor will he crush you, but gently take you by the hand and show you the way to go. You never need to fear.

Be aware of the enemies lies. Remember:

  • You are worthy ( who you are in Christ)

  • You are loved

  • You are chosen

The Lord desires to be with you, to walk with you and be one with Him and in Him building up the temple of the Lord.

 

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

 

 

Return to the Lord “Return to me and I will return to you” (Malachi 3, Zechariah 1:3)

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The Lord says;

My people are foolish,
they do not know me,
they are stupid children with no understanding,
they are so clever at doing wrong
and have no idea how to do right!”
(Jeremiah 4:22)

You have left me as a prostitute leaves her husband;
    you are utterly defiled.
 Your deeds won’t let you return to your God.
    You are a prostitute through and through,
    and you do not know the Lord.
(Hosea 5- to the priests and leaders)

 

This scripture isn’t directed at the world or unbelievers, it’s directed at believer’s, God’s people , His leaders, priests and teachers. Check yourselves for foolishness, falling astray or following the world and it’s ways.

Consider carefully the parable of the seeds, have you gotten off track with worries, cares of life, materialism – have your ideas of right and wrong gotten twisted? Remember also the craftiness of satan in the garden, be careful and continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.(Read Phil 2) Consider Matthew 13, think carefully…..

A farmer went out to sow his seed.  As he was scattering the seed:

(1) some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up
(2) Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.  But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.
(3)  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants
(4) Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.  Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:
(1) When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.
(2) The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy,  But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
(3) The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.
(4) But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Which one are you?
Which one do you want to be?
Which one do you need to be careful of?

 

  • Open your bible and read it, make it part of your every day
  • Test everything you see and hear (even at church, tv-televangelists , at bible studies)
  • Do not join in the worlds wicked ways
  • Do not be like the world,  remember satan is god of this world (2 Cor 4)
  • Be wise to what is good and simple to what is evil (Romans 16)
  • Our sin defiles everything we do (Haggai 2)
  • Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish (joel 2:13)
  • Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for your sins have brought you down. Bring your confessions, and return to the Lord. Say to him, Hosea 14:1-2
  • REPENT Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.(Luke 3:8) ” I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.” Luke 5:32
  • REPENT if you’ve done wrong ” “If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”
  • BE QUICK TO FORGIVE (Read Matthew 18)

I had a dream a few years ago, I stood on a bank of a fast flowing river. It seemed like I had just watched a live version of the bible stories up until Noah’s day. In the water, I saw bits and pieces of wood, people’s material things – just everything scattered among the people moving quickly in the water’s current. It was a great and strong current moving very quickly, everything had been engulfed in it. I was standing and watching everything moving past me, I looked up I saw a man on the other side of the water. He was dressed in white and had his hands outstretched .I heard him say “I call them back, I call them back”

 

 

Consider your ways! says the Lord. Haggai 1-2

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Haggai was a prophet to the people rebuilding Judah after their captivity. A remnant of Jews were returning to the land.

(Contemporaries of Haggai: Ezra, Zechariah of Iddo, Zerubabbel, Jeshua, Darius, possibly Xerxes, artaxerxes- kings of Persia, possibly Daniel and more..)

At this time, the people had built up luxurious homes for themselves but the temple had not yet been built ( or maybe it had only laid groundwork, but it was not completed)  Looking over the last several books of the old testament,  the Jews started to rebuild many times but were always faced with obstacles . Sometimes it was the annoying pestering of locals who didn’t want the Jews to succeed ( they harassed them daily with discouraging words) and other times it was written decreed orders from the king to stop rebuilding.

Yet, Hagaii steps on the scene with a Word from the Lord to rebuild.

The people knew they had to rebuild, yet so many obstacles came in their way until they finally were so beat down, worn out and discouraged they ultimately stopped. There was no more fight in them – or so they thought. They only needed a few words of encouragement and new strength, which the Lord gave them.

Timelines: According to scripture,  the first message of Haggai from the Lord, and rebuilding began on 9/21 in the second year of King Darius (of Persia) , again on 10/17 they received another message to rebuild, be strong and be not afraid, then again on 12/18 another message of Be strong! Don’t be afraid and again we’re told the temple is rebuilt. I don’t know, and it’s not written, but I am going to guess that they often became discouraged and this is why God had to come back 3x to encourage them to rebuild.  They were always being harassed and knocked down with words… God continued to tell them to get back to work and be strong.

 This all started in the 2nd year of King Darius  and the temple was completed (according to book of Ezra) in the 6th year of King Darius, on the 3rd day of Adar. Adar is of March, it’s a special month, being the month of Purim (Esther) when the Jews were saved and it is also known as the month Moses was born and the month he passed.

Back to Haggai:

The Lord’s Message to the people

” Look at what’s happening to you! Consider your ways!”

  • You live in luxury, yet my house lies in ruins
  • You plant much but harvest little
  • You eat and are not satisfied
  • Your wages disappear as if you have holes in your pocket
  • You hoped for a rich harvest but they were poor
  • And this is because I, the Lord, blew it all away because my house lies in ruins and you busily tend to your own ways”

The people listened and GOD SPARKED THEIR ENTHUSIASM, HE STIRRED THEIR SPIRIT, HE WOKE THEM UP- how cool is that? It means to stir up, rouse, be excited, be triumphant, wake up! How many of us could use that spark to lift us up and continue on in the work God has set ahead for us. (pray for it!)

Then again, a month later, God sends another message “BE STRONG”

  • Be Strong Zerubabbel
  • Be Strong Jeshua
  • Be strong all you people
  • AND GET TO WORK! – Yes, that’s what the Lord said, Get to work, and He continued to encourage them with these words

 I AM WITH YOU
MY SPIRIT REMAINS AMONG YOU
DON’T BE AFRAID

And a 3rd time 12/18 He tells the people to look carefully at their lives. Sin defiles us and our work.

  • Look at what’s happening to you
  • You refuse to turn to me
  • Think Carefully
  • I am giving you a promise, I will bless you. Obey, Work, Be strong, Don’t be afraid!
  • I am with you, I will bless you

and so, we are told, the rebuilding  began (again)

myphotojer616

I want you to understand that you have work to do, we all do. Some of you have been sitting dormant for too long, yes you’ve been knocked down, yes you’re weary- but God says, get up and get back to work. He will stir and excite your spirit for the work ahead, He will give you the energy, power and wisdom to complete it. Pray and make the first move towards it. We could look at this rebuilding of the temple as the rebuilding of the church- that’s us, not a building- together aiming for unity and oneness in Christ which is essential in our walk. Lift your head up friend, don’t let your adversary take you down, yes there’s a war – a war to stop your work and a war for your soul, but you’re not going to give up, no you aren’t, am I right?

 

 

Haggai is only 2 chapters long- read it, please. Also, read Ezra 4 and see how their enemies discouraged them, do this so you understand the tactics of the enemy to beat, tear down and wearied God’s people. Read Nehemiah and Ezra, notice, that in the midst of their enemies, God gave them favor from a distant King who allowed them to rebuild which infuriated their neighbors. Both Cyrus and Darius. Kings of Persia decreed for the temple to be rebuilt. Yes, the people were able to continue their work for the Lord even though everyone around them hated them, falsely accused them and continued to weary them with words. But God was with them, He strengthened them and His Spirit was among them. Today His Spirit is in us- His Power is in you. Amen

Hezekiah, 13th King of Judah

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King Hezekiah handled the distribution throughout all Judah, doing what was pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord his God. In all that he did in the service of the Temple of God and in his efforts to follow God’s laws and commands, Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful.

A little background before we begin: the nation of Israel divided after King Solomon (because Solomon abandoned the Lord – 1 King11)  The north, or Samaria, had 10 tribes and the south, Judah had 2 tribes. Long story short, North Israel- Samaria  was ultimately destroyed while  Hezekiah reigned in Judah, the kingdom of Israel was  taken captive by Assyria and the people were scattered among the nations. The remaining nation of Judah stood alone. The bible tells us the that the fall of Israel was due to the sins of their kings and the people. I’m not talking about one or two sins, I’m talking about years and years of the people rejecting God, rejecting God’s laws, refusing to listen to warning and finally meeting their ultimate destruction.

Enter King Hezekiah at age 25 as King of Judah. Now Judah was not without fault, but within Judah, God saw a remnant of righteousness and King Hezekiah was one who stood out at being righteous before the Lord.   The Kings had the power to bring sin or righteousness into the nation with their leading. Hezekiah’s father, King Ahaz was a wicked king, even sacrificing his own sons and being in alliance with Assyria, yes the nation who destroyed their own family to the north, Israel. Hezekiah, his son,  steps in and changes everything – for the good.

Hezekiah begins to rule in the 3rd year of King Hoshea of Israel. Just 6 years later, Samaria/Israel is wiped out and destroyed by Assyria leaving only southern Judah ruled by Hezekiah standing strong. Samaria/ Israel falls during Hezekiah’s of Judah’s 6th year because ” Israel refused to listen to the Lord their God and obey him” . Assyria eventually goes after Judah, because, unlike his father, Hezekiah will not submit to Assyria. Assyria is  unsuccessful, all  thanks to the Lord’s amazing help, his angelic army, and his strategic maneuvers.

Hezekiah’s story begins in 2 Chronicles 29 and 2 Kings 18 (Also in Isaiah)

K Hezekiah did what was pleasing to the Lord

  • He repaired and opened the Temple doors
  • Demanded the Levites purify themselves and once again lead the people to worship the Lord
  • Cleansed the temple
  • brought back the Passover
  • during his reign, the leaders of Simeon completely destroyed the descendants of Ham and the Meunites- No trace of them remains today. They destroyed them and took their land. They also destroyed the few Amalekites who survived.
  • Brought back the feasts of the Lord
  • held the greatest celebration to the Lord since the days of Solomon
  • He remained faithful to the Lord in everything, obeying all the commands of Moses
  • He conquered the Philistines in Gaza
  • he broke the bronze serpent that Moses had made because the people of Israel had been offering scarifies to it. They had named it Nehushtan
  • Brought goods back into the storehouses for the Priests
  • brought knowledge to the people by having Levites teach the knowledge of the Lord
  • repaired walls, erected towers, put up a second wall , reinforced terraces
  • manufactured weapons and shields
  • built special treasury buildings for his silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields and other valuables
  • built a pool and dug a tunnel to bring water into the city
  • saved a nation because of his humble heart and obedience to God
  • He constructed many storehouses for grain, new wine and olive oil.
  • He made many stalls for his cattle and pens for his flocks of sheep and goats
  • He built many towns and God gave him great wealth
  • He blocked up the upper spring of Gihon
  • he brought back the Passover and feasts of the Lord
  • he purified the priests, the temple and the people
  • collected and recorded Proverbs of King Solomon Pr 25-
  • He brought back and obeyed all the commands of God, the commands the Lord have to King David
  • “And so he succeeded in everything he did” 2 Chronicles 32:30
  • lived during time of prophet Isaiah and prophet Micah of Moresheth

Once the Temple and priests were cleansed, he gathered the people and made a great offering/ sacrifice to the Lord for the sins of all the people

Imagine this first gathering of worship:

 The entire assembly worshiped the Lord as the singers sang and the trumpets blew, until all the burnt offerings were finished. Then the king and everyone with him bowed down in worship. King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to praise the Lord with the psalms written by David and by Asaph the seer. So they offered joyous praise and bowed down in worship…. So the Temple of the Lord was restored to service.  And Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because of what God had done for the people, for everything had been accomplished so quickly.

This was an amazing day for the people, imagine everyone in the land coming together as one to offer praise and honor the Lord with song and rejoicing, but also with repentant hearts and acknowledgment of their sin and God’s mercy

This was just the beginning! He sent word inviting the people of Ephrain, Manasseh, Jerusalem, all Israel to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. At this time, the people had not celebrated Passover. Word went out to all the people, some mocked them and others humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem.

A HUGE crowed assembled to celebrate God’s holy feast of unleavened bread! They removed the idols and the pagan altars. Although they missed the original day of Passover, instead of waiting for the proper day the following year, they held the Passover a month later than usual. The local people were not properly prepared or cleansed for this special feast so  Hezekiah prayed,  “May the Lord, who is good, pardon those 19 who decide to follow the Lord, the God of their ancestors, even though they are not properly cleansed for the ceremony.”  And the Lord listened to Hezekiah’s prayer and healed the people.

I find it amazing how quickly and instantly God hears prayers – there is no time delay or a waiting period. There may be a waiting period to be answered, but God immediately hears prayers. (also see Daniel, his prayer was instantly heard and instantly answered but demonic forces stood in the way of the answer arriving)

Imagine this holy celebration! It was the GREATEST CELEBRATION since the days of King Solomon:

The people of Israel in Jerusalem joyously celebrated the Festival of Unleavened Bread for 7 days! Each day the Levites and priests sang to the Lord, with  loud instruments The celebration continued for seven days. Peace offerings were sacrificed, and the people gave thanks to the Lord, the God of their ancestors.The entire assembly decided to continue the festival another seven days, so they celebrated joyfully for another week.  The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced, including the priests, the Levites, all who came from the land of Israel, the foreigners who came to the festival, and all those who lived in Judah. There was GREAT JOY, for Jerusalem had not seen a celebration like this one since the days of Solomon, King David’s son. Then the priests and Levites stood and blessed the people, and God heard their prayer from his holy dwelling in heaven.

Wow, just wow.

After the celebration, the people continued to destroy all the idols, pillars, poles, shrines and pagan altars. K. Hezekiah made so many good changes, by good, I mean by bringing the people back to the Lord. Teaching them, bringing knowledge of God’s word to the people, restoring the duties of the priests and Levites in order to Honor the Lord as well as bringing the tithes of people back to the temple. The people gladly gave until there was an overflow of abundance.

TROUBLE COMES, Here comes Assyria….

King Sennacherib of Assyria invades Judah (remember, he had just destroyed Samaria and taken the land captive and Hezekiah’s father was bf with Assyria) . Hezekiah strategically blocks the Assyrians water supply, increases military strength, creates new weapons and enforces protection around the city. He tells the people: “Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side!  He may have a great army, but they are merely men. We have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!” Hezekiah’s words greatly encouraged the people.

TAUNTING WORDS OF DISCOURAGEMENT AND DESPAIR

King Sennecherib of Assyria mocks King Hezekiah of Judah and his hope in God. His words are meant to discourage and crush the hope of the people. He mocked the God they hoped in. (2 Chronicles 32) The Assyrians shouted the threats and hopelessness to all who had gathered along the wall to listen. Instead of speaking in Arabic, they shouted in Hebrew so all the people could hear and understand. And they shouted:

  • What makes you think your God can rescue you from me?
  • Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you! Don’t listen to your king!
  • your king, Hezekiah, will never be able to rescue you from my power.
  • Don’t let your king fool you into trusting in the Lordby saying, ‘The Lord will surely rescue us. This city will never fall into the hands of the Assyrian king!’
  • no god of any nation or kingdom has ever yet been able to rescue his people from me or my ancestors.
  • Hezekiah is misleading you
  • Make a peace treaty with me and you will be blessed
  • perhaps you will say to me, ‘We are trusting in the Lordour God!’ But isn’t he the one who was insulted by Hezekiah?
  • Have the gods of any other nations ever saved their people from the king of Assyria?
  • Which of their gods was able to rescue its people from the destructive power of my predecessors?
  • the God of Hezekiah will also fail
  • What are you trusting in that makes you so confident?
  • What god of any nation has ever been able to save its people from my power? So what makes you think that the Lordcan rescue Jerusalem from me?”

These words of discouragement were shouted to all the people gathered on the walls of the city in their own language so they could understand and try to terrify them. King Hezekiah’s men tell the men to Assyria to shhhhhh! and talk in Arabic so the people wouldn’t hear but they refused and said ” King of Assyria wants all the people to hear it, for when we put you to seige, they will suffer with you! You will be hungry, thirsty so much you will eat your own dung and drink your own urine”

However, the king had commanded the people to be silent and not to answer the Assyrians so the people did not utter a word. The Kings men reported to Hezekiah and  tore their clothes in despair as they went. Hezekiah joins them, he tore his clothes, put on burlap and went to the Temple. He sent his men to call on Isaiah and request prayer  and tell the Lord how the king of Assyria had defied the living God.

ISAIAH STEPS IN

The prophet Isaiah and K.Hezekiah cried out in prayer.  and the Lord sent and angel to destroy the Assyrian army 185000 of them, the ground was littered with corpses when the rest of the Assyrian army awoke! God hears prayer! As prophesied, King Sennecherib of Assyria went back to Ninevah, his capital, and as he was worshiping his god Nisroch, his 2 sons killed him with a sword and Esahadon became next ruler of Assyria..see below for full story:

King Hezekiah sends messengers requesting prayer and and update on what is going on with Assyria.  Isaiah reports to K. Hezekiah: ” The Lord says: Do not be disturbed by this blasphemous speech against me from the Assyrian King’s messengers. Listen! I myself will move against him and the king will receive a message that he is needed at home. So he will return to his land where I will have him killed with a sword”

Then, as the Lord had said,  King Sennecherib  is called back home to Assyria and eventually killed by his own sons.(with a sword)- and even on his way back home, before his death, he sent more threats to Hezekiah, saying don’t trust in your God! He deceives you with promises.

Hezekiah prays in the temple with the letter spread out before the Lord and asks the Lord to look at the words , listen to the defiance against the living God.

Isaiah sends message to King of Assyria/ King Sennecherib 2 Kings19:20-30

The daughter of Zion laughs in your face –  oh Assyria, you are despised, we shake our heads as you walk by, what a joke you are

Who do you think you’ve been defiling? Against who did your raise your voice? No one messes with our God, the living God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, No one.

You think your men and your chariots make you so great? you think because you’ve destroyed nations that you are above God? You sit in your abundance of pride, but God is not mocked.

Your end approaches. Have you not heard? The Lord planned this out before you existed! Long ago, and now it is happening. I planned for you to crush those nations, that was the Lord, not your own power.  But Oh Assyria, the Lord know you very well. He knows where you go, where you came from, the words youve spoken against Him and now the Lord says ” I will put a hook in your nose and a bit in your mouth. I will make your return by the same road on which you came”

Isaiah gives Hezekiah a promise from the Lord (vs29) and another word against the king of Assyria- that their armies would not enter Jerusalem, nor surround it, the king will return to his own country

THAT NIGHT!

An angel of the Lord went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 18500 Assyrian soldiers

Hezekiahs untimely death and sickness about this time- Hezekiah is in his 14th year of reign and all this stuff with Assyria just went down…

Hezekiah becomes deathly ill,  Isaiah brings a word from the Lord to him ” Get your affairs in order, you are going to die, you will not recover” but prayer….. Hezekiah prayed to the Lord and before Isaiah had left, the Lord said – Go back and tell Hezekiah, I have heard his prayer and in 3 days I will heal you. I have seen your tears. I will add 15 years to your life and I will rescue you and this city from Assyria- for the sake of my servant David.

The SUN GOES BACKWARDS? FIG OINTMENT?

Read 2 Kings 20:7-11 We have and odd verse that Isaiah made a fig ointment that was put on the kings boils, then he was healed. Also a sign was given to Hezekiah proving God would heal him, he was given the option of the shadow on the sundial to forward 10 steps or backward 10 steps, Well Hezekiah says backwards, because it always goes forward. And Isaiah prayed, and the Lord caused the shadow to move 10 steps backward on the sundial of Ahaz!

Sin of PRIDE Sneaks in the Heart 

After the Lord healed him, scripture says : “But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem.  Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the Lord’s wrath did not come on them during the days of Hezekiah.

The Test of Hezekiah’s heart

You have to read the version in Chronicles, Isaiah and Kings to get the full picture . Here it is:

God withdrew himself from Hezekiah in order  to test him and see what was really in his heart.  This happened when Hezekiah decided to show the ambassadors from Babylon every single thing he owned when they visited him”

The son of the king of Babylon heard Hezekiah was healed of his sickness (boils) and sent good wishes and a gift to Hezekiah. Hezekiah welcomed the people of Babylon into his house and showed them everything in his royal treasuries.

This reminds me of a verse in 2 John :If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement. Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work.” Hezekiah should not have let the ambassordors to Babylon in his house nor shown them all he had.

Somehow, that I do not understand, this was a test of Hezekiah’s heart. Was he firm in standing with God? Did he honor God’s house? Who did he trust? it seems he did not pass this test.

Isaiah soon comes along and questions Hezekiah about what he’s just done..yeah- showing the enemy all your treasures, being their friend and bringing them into your house. The Lord then sent a message: The time is coming when everything in your palace, all the treasures stored up by your ancestors until now, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left. Some of your very own sons will be taken away into exile” and the King thought to himself ” At least there will be peace and security during my lifetime” ( Hezekiah knew something more)

We always need to be on alert for sin in our heart. K. Hezekiah became proud and the Lord was angry,  The anger came against the land of Judah and Jerusalem but not during K. Hezekiah’s lifetime

Hezekiah in book of Jeremiah:

Hezekiah was remembered among the people in Josiah’s day (Hezekiah’s great grandson) for honoring God’s prophet when doom was pronounced on  them. Usually a king would kill a bearer of bad news, but when the prophet Micah prophesied disaster and ruins, King Hezekiah respected the words and instead of killing him, King Hezekiah and the people turned from their evil ways, begged for mercy and worshiped the Lord. Then the Lord changed his mind about the disaster had pronounced against them.

Hezekiah in Proverbs

He collected the proverbs of King Solomon.(over 200 years had passed, Hezekiah was 13 kings after Solomon. See proverbs 25, probably chapters 25-29, Here are a few King Hezekiah collected

Don’t visit your neighbors too often,
    or you will wear out your welcome.

Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart
    is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather
    or pouring vinegar in a wound

It’s not good to eat too much honey,
    and it’s not good to seek honors for yourself.

A person without self-control
    is like a city with broken-down walls.

Hezekiah did not have a godly example of a father: (133 years of history condensed below)

Understand that Hezekiahs father, King Ahaz, was a wicked king – the opposite of his son Hezekiah. Ahaz reigned for 16 years starting at age 20. Hezekiah’s righteousness was probably taught to him from his mother -which might explain why her name is mentioned ” His (Hezekiahs) mother was Abijah, (Abi) the daughter of Zechariah”. He also knew much about history which is evident during his reign, as well as the laws of God. Ahaz, his father, rejected the Lord, he sacrificed his sons in the fire, he burned incense to shrines, shut the temple doors so no one could worship the Lord, he worshipped Ball, he made pagan shrines in all the towns, he rearranged the temple and sacrificial times and made his own rules based on what he saw the pagans doing in Assyria and their idol worship.

Hezekiah ruled for 29 years beginning at age 25. At age 39 he was given another 15 years to live. He died at age 54-55 and his (wicked) son Manasseh (age 12) ruled in his place, he was king of Judah for 55 years until his son Amos ruled (2 years)  then Josiah (age 8) rules for 31 years. King Hezekiah was a great and godly king, he did much good yet the sin of pride came in as a destroyer. Just like we see with King Solomon who, although a great and wise king, died in his sins. How easily the world pulls us into sin. We need to be diligent in our walk along the narrow path – a path that is difficult and few find it. Don’t get caught on the highway to hell, the path that is wide, easy and many choose- Matthew 7,  Isaiah is accused of walking this “narrow path” in Isaiah 30:11 ‘Get off your narrow path and stop telling us about your Holy One of Israel

Verse to think about:

Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward. Anyone who wanders away from this teaching has no relationship with God. But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son. 2 John 1:8