Have you been given the opportunity to lead others or take a position of responsibility in life? How will you make the most of your time in leadership? Will you seek the fulfill the Lord’s will when it comes to your influence and leadership? Hezekiah shows us how…
1 In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 2 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. 3 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done. 4 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. (It was called Nehushtan.)
5 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. 6 He held fast to the Lord and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses. 7 And the Lord was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook.
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
King Hezekiah took the throne when he was 25 years old. A young man by our standards, Hezekiah was mature for his time, and he was focused on bringing godly wisdom to the throne of David. He removed the idol worship from Judah, smashing the high places and cutting down Asherah poles, both of which were used to worship idol gods.
And he killed the sacred cow. Okay, actually it was a sacred snake. Back in the time of Moses, there was a bronze snake, which Moses made to give the people an object to look upon in faith and be saved from God’s judgment. Yup – sounds like a foreshadowing of Jesus coming to earth, doesn’t it?
Do you think it’s possible to make Jesus an idol? This is somewhat dangerous territory, isn’t it? Don’t say the wrong thing… lightning preparing to strike…
Here’s what happened with the bronze snake. Israel kept the snake from the time of Moses all the way to the time of Hezekiah!! That’s approximately 500 years. And by the time of Hezekiah, the people were burning incense to the snake. They had made it a part of their idol worship and it was coming between the people and God (that’s what idols do – they get in between us and God).
Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, holding fast to God and not ceasing to follow him. This is the point. It can be easy to stop trusting in God and to trust more in the church or the cross you wear or your bible. Treating Jesus like a get-out-of-jail-free card is idolatrous.
Our trust is to be in the person of Jesus. We have a direct and personal relationship with God in heaven through his son, Jesus. No artifacts or idols or statues or objects required.
Hezekiah made the most of his time by bringing people back to direct relationship with God and devoted following of the Lord’s will. Are there any sacred snakes or holy artifacts in your life which get in the way of relating directly to God through Jesus?
Break them into pieces…
Go to the next post in this series: Abundant Life Now