Trust God and…
Heavenly Father, You are not a stingy God. Your kindness has no limits, and Your mercy is abundant. I give You my praise.
Read 2 KINGS 18:1-16
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.
“The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. No more stumbling around… Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it” (Eph. 5:8,10; The Message)!
After the tragedy of Israel’s exile to Assyria, it is a relief to find a story of a good Judean king, especially one who finally gets rid of the tempting high places and relics (4) that have become a fetish. Many will be familiar with the incident in this king’s life (ch. 20) when he prays for his life to be extended. A friend, of mine; whose youngest child was only three years old at the time, recalls lying in hospital with a life-threatening illness, praying that like Hezekiah she would be given 15 more years to see her child grow up. God answered her with healing, but she says, “I always remember that this king did not end his life well.”
Even at this earlier point, given the statements that Hezekiah did right (3) and relied on the Lord (5), the narrative continues in a surprising way. Though Hezekiah has some military victories against the Philistines, Assyria’s allies (8), his trust in the Lord doesn’t protect Judah from eventual loss of towns. He is not relying on God alone–he surrenders the tribute demanded and later petitions Egypt for help, an action specifically forbidden through the prophet Isaiah (Isa. 22:8-11; 30; 31).
You have probably heard the saying, “Trust in God and keep your powder dry.” Is that the right blend of reliance on God and sensible self-help? Certainly God seems to expect his chosen leaders to use the wisdom and resources he has given them, but he also delights in delivering against the odds (e.g. Gideon, Judg. 7) so that his hand is seen in the outcome. Nevertheless that doesn’t override the importance of seeking his face and asking for his help. That is the first step in trusting.
“You do not have because you do not ask God” or because “you ask with wrong motives” (Jas. 4:2-3). How can you apply James’s warning in your own life?
Lord Jesus, You were faithful to Your Father’s call, right to the end. I want to finish well for You.
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