11 Aug Stand Firm
Read2 Kings 19:1-19
Thought for the Day: Sometimes we need to quit making deals!
When Hezekiah was twenty-five years old, he entered the family business – he was the king of Judah. However, unlike those who went before him, Hezekiah was obedient to God. He tore down the idols previous kings had turned to and asked the people to put God first in all they did. Then, the most terrifying empire of the Ancient World turned on Judah. Assyria, known for its barbaric acts, threatened to conquer the city of Jerusalem. Hezekiah feared for his people and tried to appease Assyria by compromising. He asked for an enormous sum of gold and silver to be gathered up. This included money that was taken out of the temple. This money was then given as payment to appease the Assyrians. This plan backfired and even served to further embolden the king of Assyria. Suddenly, Hezekiah had a worse problem. Jerusalem was under siege by the most terrifying army on earth.
Facing disaster, Hezekiah did something really remarkable. He learned from his mistake. He didn’t try the same thing a second time while expecting a different result. Instead, Hezekiah refused to compromise and declined the combination of enticing and threatening offers made by the Assyrians. Trusting God, Hezekiah refused to surrender. This time he listened to the advice he was given: “Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard”! Rather than letting fear lead to further compromise, Hezekiah led his people and asked them to stand firm and trust God. Amazingly – the city of Jerusalem didn’t fall. While the Assyrians systematically conquered everyone else in the region, the city of Jerusalem stood firm and the most powerful army on earth ultimately had to move on.
Like Hezekiah, it is easy to become fearful and compromise in the hopes that we will get a ‘good deal’. At the times we face challenging circumstances, compromising our core beliefs might even seem like a good option. However, just as Hezekiah learned, these compromises only serve to make situations worse. When he handed barrels of gold over to an enemy king, he only wanted more! What is remarkable is that Hezekiah learned from his mistakes and stopped compromising. In our lives, we have this same opportunity. No matter what has happened in the past, God gives us today as a new opportunity to seek Him first. It is never wise to try to cut clever deals. True wisdom is trusting God and standing firm in Him!
Pastors Stan and David