The Battle of Kings (3) Start and finish well

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The Battle of Kings (3) Start and finish well

Post  fennywest on Thu 03 Jun 2010, 10:07 am

It was his finest hour

Soon as a he was crowned
He did as no other
Before him or after
Pleasing God, like David
His great-grand father
A re-born king of Judah
Who dared be different
What a moment of pride
When he was enthroned!

Removing pagan shrines
Smashing sacred pillars
Knocking down Asherah poles
Breaking down brazen serpent
Now an objet of worship
He was outstanding
Worth emulating
A man after Godís heart
A man who brought revival

He remained faithful
In obedience, careful
In integrity, truthful
In exploits, fruitful
Godís presence was full
Overflowing, bountiful.

But then from Assyria came
The arrow that brought him down
the moment of his weakness
afraid of invaders, marauders
he moved for a dangerous truce
appeasement, settlement

Silver and gold were given
in exchange for peace
the house of God was robbed
and disrobed of its gold
the temple and doorpost
were laid bare from the loot.

But you donít do deals with the devil
Give him an inch and heíll want a mile
Give him an ounce and heíll want a ton
Sure enough, he came for more
Until the penny drop off the eyes
Of the king who remembered his roots

It is often said, ĎIt is not how you start but how you finish that matters.í What a glorious start Hezekiah had! What a testimony that there was none like him- before and after him.

How proud God must have been when he became king of Judah!
When Assyria invaded Judah, King Hezekiah recapitulated to the extent of stripping the house of God Ė the doors and the doorposts- of its gold, to appease the invaders. Surely, this was a moment of weakness when he forgot whose he was and where his strength and protection came from. It was like Peter walking on water in obedience and faith in the Lordís command,Ď Comeí, and sinking a few moments later when he took his eyes off the Lord and focused on the wind and storm around him.

Typically after the appeasement, the enemy came for more. This is a picture of what happens in real life in our spiritual warfare. We often start very well and think because we have started well it will be rosy all the time. Despite Godís presence, there will be enemy attacks so that we donít become too comfortable. It is also to show us our weakness. We can never rely on our strength to win this battle. The battle is the Lordís. The moment we take our eyes off Him we will begin to sink like King Hezekiah. We are also reminded that compromise leads to demise but faith in God pays in the end.

Father, I come to You now, in the precious Name of Jesus, My Saviour and my Lord- my Hiding Place.

Thank You, Lord, for saving me, renewing me, planting my feet on your rock of salvation. Lord, I thank You for the privilege to put my hands to this plough. I pray, Lord, that I will not look back but forget the past and forge ahead, press on for the mark of the price of my high-calling in Jesus. Help me, Lord, to look unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of my faith. O that I will endure my cross like He endured His cross. O that I will not go back to my vomit but drink always from the well of salvation. O that I will not be ignorant of the devices of the enemy who will want me to compromise to trigger my demise. Help me, Lord, to follow hard after You regardless of the attacks of the enemy. My confidence is in You. You are my Healer, Strength, my Source, my Shield, My Shepherd, Shelter, my fortress, and I hide under the shadow of Your wings. In the name of Jesus, amen.

2 Kings 18

Hezekiah King of Judah

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 [a] 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 [b] Nehushtan. [c] )
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 cease to follow him; he kept the commands the LORD had given Moses. 7 And the LORD was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. 8 From watchtower to fortified city, he defeated the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory.
9 In King Hezekiah's fourth year, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched against Samaria and laid siege to it. 10 At the end of three years the Assyrians took it. So Samaria was captured in Hezekiah's sixth year, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel. 11 The king of Assyria deported Israel to Assyria and settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in towns of the Medes. 12 This happened because they had not obeyed the LORD their God, but had violated his covenantóall that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded. They neither listened to the commands nor carried them out.
13 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah's reign, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. 14 So Hezekiah king of Judah sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish: "I have done wrong. Withdraw from me, and I will pay whatever you demand of me." The king of Assyria exacted from Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents [d] of silver and thirty talents [e] of gold. 15 So Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the temple of the LORD and in the treasuries of the royal palace.
16 At this time Hezekiah king of Judah stripped off the gold with which he had covered the doors and doorposts of the temple of the LORD, and gave it to the king of Assyria.
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