The Politics of Fear
Majestic King, You are worthy of full devotion. My heart and life is Yours.
Read 2 Kings 18:1-16
 In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.  He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah.  He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done.  He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.)  Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him.  He held fast to the LORD and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the LORD had given Moses.  And the LORD was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.  From watchtower to fortified city, he defeated the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory.  In King Hezekiah’s fourth year, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched against Samaria and laid siege to it.  At the end of three years the Assyrians took it. So Samaria was captured in Hezekiah’s sixth year, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel.  The king of Assyria deported Israel to Assyria and settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in towns of the Medes.  This happened because they had not obeyed the LORD their God, but had violated his covenant-all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded. They neither listened to the commands nor carried them out.  In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.  So Hezekiah king of Judah sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish: “I have done wrong. Withdraw from me, and I will pay whatever you demand of me.” The king of Assyria exacted from Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold.  So Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the temple of the LORD and in the treasuries of the royal palace.  At this time Hezekiah king of Judah stripped off the gold with which he had covered the doors and doorposts of the temple of the LORD, and gave it to the king of Assyria. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow is Hezekiah described?
Hezekiah was the most God-honoring monarch of the southern kingdom, Judah (5). He brought reforms, but unlike other kings after God’s heart he didn’t go halfway. He smashed the heart of the idol worship, the high places, the Asherah and anything else that had damaged the covenant (4). This took great political courage. But Hezekiah was more concerned with the approval of God and doing right than the approval of his subjects (6). Hezekiah’s courage was also revealed on the battlefield (8). Because of this, God gave Hezekiah victory and success in everything (7). Which is why his first response to the threat of Assyria is a bit puzzling. Hezekiah must have feared conquest, because his first response displays fear (14). Fearing a fate similar to Israel’s, Hezekiah sought terms–humiliating ones (16). What else could Hezekiah do? The simple reality is that he was outnumbered. But here, at the crucial moment, Hezekiah nearly failed to do the one thing he had always done in the past: trust the Lord!
Write out the things in your life that seem insurmountable. Turn to the Lord with these things.
God, show me where I am letting fear in and help me trust You in the critical moments.
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