In Chapter 16, one king and one prophet stand above all. King Hezekiah was a king that followed after God and did what was right in His eyes. You would think this would bring great prosperity to this king, but it didn’t. His obedience was no more a guarantee of prosperity than ours is today. We don’t obey to accumulate.
During the reign of Hezekiah, he received an intimidating letter from his enemies. Instead of getting mad and unleashing the army on them, he took the letter and “went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord.” This was an incredible act of humility. To date, this reminds me a bit of listening to our presidents discuss the difficult decisions they have to make in office. Every president, I have ever heard said that difficult decisions drove them to prayer before they did anything else. My decisions often don’t feel as important or difficult as those of kings and presidents, but my challenge is to do the same as Hezekiah and lay out the decision before Father and seek his will above my own.
The prominent prophet in Chapter 16 was a man named Isaiah. The book that bears his name in the Old Testament is a prominent book and is some of the best reading in the entire bible. The book is broken into three themes: Judgment (1-39); Comfort (40-55) and Hope (56-66).
It’s amazing to me that God continues to be full of mercy even though his people continue to turn their backs to him, to look to other gods and to blatantly disobey him. If he did that then, does he still do that today? My sins may not be blatant disregard for God, but they are no less offensive to him. His mercy is shown to me every day that I have breath and am able to continue on my journey, as up and down as it is.
The prophets continue to warn the people of God. They continue to foretell of God’s judgment against their disobedience. After Hezekiah, things get worse because his son, Manasseh, did not follow the faithful example of his father. When will they learn?
The Upper Story Take Away :: In the midst of disobedience, God’s mercies never fail. The holiness of God is more important than anything. He pursues those who are called his.
Then and today.