Willing To Stand Out

“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.” 2 Kings 18:5-7

Many kings are spoken of in the Bible…some did what was right in the sight of the Lord and others are said to have done evil in the sight of the Lord. Of those good kings there is one that stands above the rest. It is said that there was none better before him or after him. What was it that made this king so exceptional? What was it that elevated him so high above the rest? 2 Kings 18:1-7 recounts the story for us… “ 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. 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.

As we read this account of King Hezekiah we see that he did many things right…he smashed the stones that set up the idol worship and cut down the poles surrounding the alters of idolatry. He also broke into pieces the bronze snake that Moses made to save the people in the wilderness. This snake was something that God provided to save all who looked at it…much like when we look to Jesus Christ we are saved. But, the people eventually began to worship this bronze snake, so Hezekiah broke it into piece. We see Hezekiah smashing, cutting, and breaking things that stood in the way of the people worshiping the true and living God. Likewise, we too can let things get in the way of our serving Jesus. We can allow idols to creep in and draw our attention away from the Lord and onto them. An idol can be a person, a possession or even a ministry. Anything that seeks to take the place of Jesus in our life is an idol. Where do you turn when something goes wrong? Who are you serving? What are your priorities? All of these questions reveal who it is that we serve. Do we turn first to Jesus before we turn to others? Does He have our heart, and our life? Is Jesus the ONE that we follow? We all want someone with skin on to look to, to emulate, to follow…but we must always remember not to put people in a position that they were never created to be in. Jesus wants to be number one in our heart and in our lives, which can often be seen in our daily priorities. Do we give Jesus the first of our day? Do we receive from Him directly and do we spend time getting to know Him? Do we commune with Him, pray to Him and listen to Him? Do we serve Him at our church? All of these questions reveal our priorities. No one or nothing should ever take priority over Jesus in our lives. For this to take place we must constantly be checking and rechecking our priorities. Asking ourselves if anything is in the way, if anything is hindering our walk or distracting our mind. We in a sense, are constantly doing what King Hezekiah did…we are smashing stones that we built up to put our idol on. We are cutting down the poles or things that surrounded the idol and we are breaking into pieces the idol itself. All of these are necessary, but what set King Hezekiah apart from the rest of the good Kings is that he not only smashed, cut and broke the idols…he took it a step further and removed them all together from the land.

Is there anything that you have built up in your mind or in your life…an idol…that has taken up a lot of your thoughts and your time…something that has hindered your relationship with the Lord? Maybe even caused you to sin? Smash it…cut it down…break it into pieces…and REMOVE it from your life. There were many good kings, but only one great king…who was willing to do what no one else would….he was willing to remove the hindrances…and the Lord blessed him for it. The key to Hezekiah’s strength, passion and priorities is found in verse 5; “Hezekiah trusted in the Lord God of Israel.” Do you trust the Lord today? If so, let Him reorder your priorities…let Him remove the high places as you trust in Him…Let him smash the stones that separate you from Him…and let Him break into pieces the idols that you have set up and are looking to. He is the only One that can remove what stands in your way. Let Him have His way and you too will be successful in everything you do!  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.

Michelle Randall