Prayer Focus: Iraq

Bible Reading: 2 Kings 18:1-8; 2 Chronicles 29-31; Psalm 48

Scripture

He did what was pleasing in the LORD’s sight, just as his ancestor David had done.  (2 Kings 18:3 NLT)

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. (2 Chronicles 31:21 NLT)

Observation

Hezekiah was one of the few good kings of Israel.  Where other kings were setting up pagan altars and turning away from God, Hezekiah tore down the pagan altars, restored the Temple and turned the nation back to God.  He never gave up.  He started strong and finished well.  He sought the Lord and the Lord prospered Israel for it.

Application

There are certainly a lot of theological implications here and a lot to investigate regarding the character of God in these passages.  Psalm 48 is replete with praise to God for His faithfulness.  I encourage you to read these passages carefully to see how God calls for our obedience, even demands it.

But for this particular journal entry I zeroed in on that last bit, “Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful.”

I’m not a King, but there is an application here for all of us: finishing well.  It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you do in your life, a huge mistake at the end can ruin a lifetime of good deeds.  I’m not talking about salvation.  One mistake doesn’t cause us to lose our salvation.  I’m talking about the impact we have on our fellow humans.  A reputation built over a lifetime can be destroyed in a moment and forever.  For the Christians this doesn’t just mean ruining our own name, it means dragging the name of Jesus through the mud.  When a Christian falls the world laughs at Jesus.

I think the lesson of Hezekiah is to always live focused on pleasing God, in humility of our place, and respect for our brothers and sisters.  If we do that we’ll not only build a good reputation over a lifetime, but we’ll also finish well and Jesus will be glorified.

Prayer

Dear Lord, I don’t want to seek my own fame, or my own legacy, I just want my life to bring glory to your name.  Teach me to live in humility, always focused on you, so that when I’m finished those I leave behind will continue in You.  Amen.

Advertisements