Sunday, July 14, 2013

Be Different. Be Courageous.

Remember Hezekiah's inspiring example a couple days ago...he started a movement toward God.  In today's reading, he reached out to the northern kingdom (who had attacked and took his own people captive) with an invitation to worship the Lord.  Many laughed at him, scorning and mocking the invitation  BUT many from the godless nation (and from his own nation) responded.  The desire to know God is lying in hearts all around us.  Let's be courageous enough to be different, wise enough to seek Him and invite others to do so as well!

There were a couple other cool things in this passage.  First, God met the seekers where they were at.  Their approach to Him was not as prescribed in the Law...and they were 'late' according to the religious calendar.  Hezekiah, when made aware of the 'lacks,' prayed for each soul and God forgave.  Our hearts are to seek Him and we can trust He'll meet us where we can get to.  One verse describing Hezekiah's success is the key to remember:  In every work he began (serving, law, commandments) to seek the LORD, he did it with ALL his heart.  God meets our heart efforts with mercy and compassion!

And the other piece that spoke deeply to me in this related to the brazen serpent Moses had lifted up in the desert when people needed healing from the venom of invading serpents.  That healing came from God...and foreshadowed Christ (when Jesus is lifted up, people are drawn to Him), but the people had begun to worship the symbol.  That danger continually exists...that which God has used in the past is never to be worshipped.  It is a tool for God, and though He is unchanging, His tools are not.  Hezekiah probably annoyed a lot of people when he destroyed that serpent.  It reminds me to passionately seek the Lord--never the things that represent Him. 

Press on to the Lord today and reject all else!  Who knows who may see your example and join you in lifting Him up!

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