18 May Start A New Chapter
Read 2 Kings 18:1-8
Thought for the Day: No matter what came before, I can start a new chapter!
Yesterday, we considered the power of positive peer pressure and how we can encourage each other to follow God. But, what about those times when all the pressure is negative? At these times, He asks us to ignore the noise around us and instead have the confidence to break dysfunctional cycles. No matter what came before, we can be encouraged to start a new chapter by living out faith in God.
We can find encouragement from the example of King Hezekiah, a leader who became the King of Judah when he was only 25 years old. Despite his youth, Hezekiah began his rule by making a wise decision. Rather than continuing to follow idols and serve a foreign king like his father before him, this new king was different and followed God! He tore down the idols, pushed back against the Philistines, and rebelled against the King of Assyria.
Scripture is clear: Hezekiah “did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his ancestor David had done. He removed the pagan shrines, smashed the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles.” While his father had served the Assyrian king and followed pagan gods, Hezekiah repented. Rather than holding on to worldly things like idols and Assyrian favor, he “trusted in the LORD!”
It is easy to give in to the pressures we face. But, just because “everyone” else did it before us doesn’t mean we should do it now. One way that we can move forward is by realizing some things in the past need to be left in the past. For Hezekiah, the idols of his father and the kings who came before him needed to be removed from the Kingdom of Judah. For us, we can let go of the things that get in the way of our relationship with God. Let’s learn the lesson of Hezekiah by holding fast to God and starting a new chapter!
Pastors Stan and David