The Heart of God: The Decline of Judah (3)
And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27
Read and meditate on 2 Chronicles 29-32, 2 Kings 20, and Isaiah 36-39.
It seems God raised up faithful rulers like Hezekiah to remind His people of His promise to David, and to help them remain within His covenant. But without Isaiah, Hezekiah would not likely have trusted the Lord, for even he seemed to have a bit of an “I” problem, not unlike Solomon.
1. Hezekiah got off to a great start (2 Chron. 29). How do you see that he was determined to restore the nation to a proper covenant footing? What steps did he take to that end?
2. We note that Hezekiah’s chosen path to renewal was not, in the first instance, political and military, but spiritual and liturgical. What significance should we attach to this? Notice also Hezekiah’s specific instruction to sing and pray psalms as part of this (2 Chron. 29.30).
3. It seems as if the actions Hezekiah took in chapters 29-31 were like sails hoisted into the wind of God’s Spirit. Explain.
4. Then, just when everything was going so well, Sennacherib invaded. Why would God allow such a trial at a time when His people were demonstrating such covenant faithfulness? How did God use Isaiah to help keep Hezekiah and the people on course with the Lord?
5. Like Joash and Uzziah before him, Hezekiah proved that, when we take our eyes off the Lord and start thinking about “what’s in it for me,” we’re bound to run into the discipline of the Lord (Heb. 12.3-11). How does this fit in with the three unifying threads of revelation – God’s glory, God’s people, and God’s redemption?
The lesson of men like Hezekiah is that God can cause His blessings to abound, even though we have feet of clay, if only we will do things His way. This section begins with a lengthy description of the work of priests and Levites. Revival and renewal begin in prayer, worship, and sacrifice to the Lord, not in fortifications, armies, or public policy. And certainly not in mere self-interest. What’s the most important lesson for you from the story of Hezekiah?
I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.
T. M. Moore
Two books can help you gain a fuller understanding of the terrain we will be covering in this series. Kingdom Documents provides a concise overview of the primary teaching of the Old and New Testaments, and shows, through early Church creeds, how our forebears understood the primary teachings of God’s Word. (click here to order). I Will Be Your Goddevelops more fully the idea of God’s covenant and leads us to consider the practical implications of our covenant relationship with God (click here).
Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course, Introduction to Biblical Theology, offers a parallel study of our theme in this series, using brief video presentations and the workbook God’s Covenant: An Introduction. All courses at The Ailbe Seminary are available without charge.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.