Week 2-Peace with God
Please read 2 Kings 17:29-41, 18:1-7
For (Hezekiah) held fast to the Lord, He did not depart from following him but kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses. And the Lord was with him; wherever he went out, he prospered. 2 Kings 18:6-7
As the week progresses, are you getting a good idea of what repentance looks like? I am! I keep saying to myself, "Lord, I want to leave the 'pigsty of me'. Please show me how to do it! I want your embrace alone." It encourages me to think that you too might be doing some intentional turning towards the Lord.
Today our passage is an excellent example of the “about face turn” that Dayna spoke of in her post yesterday. This particular repenting has to do with the nation of Israel. On many different occasions, Israel fell prey to worshipping the gods of the nations that had captured them. Scripture says, they feared the Lord but also served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away (v. 33). Shrines were built for worship of these gods, but more than the physical place, the Israelites tried to “share occupancy” in their hearts for both these idols and the one true God. We today are very much the same. Our idols may differ, but our hearts do not.
The thing is, God cannot allow double-hearted worship. He doesn’t force his holiness on his people; in fact, with sadness in his heart, he will move aside. Eventually and hopefully, we realize like Israel, these false gods do nothing but cause us harm.
In this passage we see king Hezekiah lead Israel to repent from this idol worship. He took action! He removed the high places and broke the pillars and cut down the Asherah…For he held fast to the Lord. He did not depart form following him… And the Lord was with him; wherever he went out, he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him (18:4-7).
Has something carried you away like that of Israel’s enemies? What are the idols that occupy your heart? Do you need to clean house the way king Hezekiah did with Israel? We too must take action! Choose to rid and rebel against these things, then run to the Lord. He is the only One who can prosper you in a way that truly benefits your wellbeing.
Today, take definitive action. Ask the Lord for help. His Spirit is power, and his Spirit is peace.
For further reading: Psalm 86:11-12; Acts 19:18-20; 1 John 5:18
Forgive us when we try to worship you alongside of something else. Help us to recognize our idols and then let go of them. Make us believe that we can live without them, and help us to trust your way. Here we are Lord, with both hands empty of idols and lifted up to you. With a whole heart of praise, we worship your name alone. Fill us with your peace. Amen