Thursday, January 5, 2012

big contrast

He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. For he held fast to the LORD. He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the LORD commanded Moses.
2 Kings 18:5-6

Hezekiah stands out in sharp contrast from most of the other kings of Israel and Judah in the recent recounts of 2 Kings. His is a worship of Yahweh that is fully devoted to following God's Law. Hezekiah has a zero tolerance policy for all idolatry. He cleans house in Judah. He is bound and determined to seriously follow the LORD and to lead the nation in obedience to the Law of Moses.

And as Judah repents and returns with zealous hearts to worship God, Israel falls to Assyrian exile, the polar opposite of faithfulness to the Lord. Hezekiah's spiritual leadership saved a remnant at just the most crucial time. And God would be glorified by keeping covenant in Jerusalem as a faithful few worshiped him, turned from idols, and followed the Mosaic Law.

Hezekiah's leadership reminds me of a very simple principle: It is never too late to start doing what is right. And that truth was literally what saved Judah from the fate of all the rest of the Israelites. God will reward love for Him, obedience to following Him, and faithfulness in worshiping Him. We may not always see it as sharply as we do in this account. But it is clearly always the best thing to trust and obey the Lord and His Word.

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