An amazing story coming out of the Welsh Revival was about the conversion of dirty, drunken, foul mouth Coal Miners. Jails were full, police were busy, wives and children feared husbands and fathers returning home after their pub crawling after work. As the revival broke, children stood on pavements preaching Jesus Christ as Lord. The notorious miners walked past these children and the Holy Spirit took hold of them, bringing them to their knees. As they cried, tears cleaning the coal dust of their cheeks, calling upon God to forgive them of their wicked, drunken, wife abusing, absent fatherhood and more than anything, ask for salvation. The results were staggering! Prisons emptied. Bars closed. Police, not having work to do formed choirs singing in Churches and wherever people would have them. Wives were delighted. Families restored. It was truly a work of God. Where there is real Holy Spirit revival in the Church, communities are changed, Churches are full and godly morality restored. Read yesterday’s Note again and crave to be part of the Prayer Warrior Team of God for Revival. Before we move on … never forget what true revival is. Before it is personal it is communal! If one thinks it is personal it is not a true revival! Let’s return to Hezekiah …
1) Consider his amazing spiritual credentials.
(1) Remember this was Old Testament times.
2Ki 18:3 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD. To understand this part of the verse it included two things
(a) People lived under the Mosaic Law coupled to the Levitical System. The king kept the Law and Religious requirements to the letter of the Law.
(b) To the king there was more than a legalistic approach to God’s requirements. It was in his heart. In other words his religion was in his heart. A late friend and colleague of mine used to say that he was a Zulu and now he is a Christian. Hezekiah could do what was right in the Lord’s sight because he loved God, held to the Word and practiced godliness from the heart to the hand. Are you able to say that God and His Word are in your heart and this enables you to practice what is in the heart through the hand (deeds – actions)?
(2) He had an amazing example.
2Ki 18:3 just as his father David had done.
It is true that David was a warrior king with blood on his hands … yet he delivered the people of God from their enemies. He was their savior and he brought about the United States of Israel. David, like you and me had many sins. Sometimes he sinned badly and was forgiven much. God used him to pen some of the greatest poetry in the Bible (Psalms). He served His Lord until his dying day. The challenge for you and me is … “Will you serve God until your dying day?” The credentials were written down for us as an example. Would something like this be said of you and me at our funeral or to our great-grandchildren?
2) Consider his amazing spiritual activities.
2Ki 18:4 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 Nehushtan.)
(1) The high places were sites of pagan worship that the people of Israel found and converted the altars into places to worship God. God was never pleased with this and even though Judah had many good kings, none did anything about these places. Hezekiah however had the courage because he was godly and spiritual … he had them removed.
(2) The sacred stones were symbols of pagan male deities. He smashed them. He destroyed them.
(3) The Asherah poles were symbols of the pagan Canaanite goddess Asera (Asherah). He had these wooden images cut down and removed. These three memories of paganism and idolatry needed courage to remove … and Hezekiah was the man to do this.
(4) The bronze snake Moses had made. This refers back to Numbers:
Nu 21:6 Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8 The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.
This account is not magic or miraculous! Rather it is a declaration of faith. The people understood that these poisonous snakes were a direct result of the people as a nation turning from God and living in sin. They knew the answer was to turn back to God but they needed Moses as an intercessor. In obedience to God, Moses makes a bronze snake, puts it on a high pole and any Israelite who was bitten could look to that bronze snake and be healed. The bronze snake did not heal … faith in God who gave the instruction brought the healing. Somehow this bronze snake had been preserved in Jerusalem to remind the Israelites of how their fore-fathers trusted God. Sadly it became a relic that the people worshipped by burning incense. This was so widespread that the people gave the snake the name Nehushtan meaning bronze thing. Hezekiah realized the purpose of this bronze snake had run its course and needed to be destroyed, which he did.
Carefully review these four points and think through what things you might have hanging around your room or home or mind that attaches you to some previous religion, from clairvoyance to astrology charts (horoscope) to statues or relics such as a rosary, a Saint Christopher or using a Cross as a lucky charm. What about in the mind or heart … are there unbiblical beliefs, mysticism or some other sin lodged there? Did you see what Hezekiah did? He clean out all the idols and obstacles that represented paganism. This is one of the first steps towards holiness in one’s life, home and Church before God would send revival.
Ps 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.