“He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.” II Kings 18:5
None? There wasn’t anyone like him of all the kings? Not even King David? What did he do?
He obeyed in some huge things. Then he obeyed in some details that evidently no one else had done before. No one had thought that when God had ordered a Passover celebration that He was serious about them keeping it.
The list of Hezekiah’s obedience is impressive. First, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them. Then he had the filthiness taken from the holy place, and the priests and the house of the Lord sanctified. He was determined to have the lamps of the Lord lit and burnt offerings in the holy place. He brought the rulers back into a right relationship with God. The Levites started worshipping with cymbals, psalteries, and harps. Trumpets and songs rang out once again. The singers sang, they humbled themselves, and the people worshipped. Revival came to Judah!
Hezekiah even sent messengers from city to city, traveling for miles to tell the news, “Children of Israel, turn again to God.”
The response was not always good. Many times, there were those with rebellious attitudes who “laughed them to scorn and mocked them.”
But Hezekiah’s people prepared their heart to seek God. What the scorners may have thought didn’t even matter! I wish I could have been there, could have seen that Passover and heard their “great gladness.” The priests praised the Lord “day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the Lord.”
Loud tends to be my worship style also! Those Jewish worshippers seem like they would have been my kind of people!
They didn’t hurry out of there. Something was touched down deep in their heart. When they were done, they decided to worship for another seven days of gladness!
King Hezekiah had donated thousands of animals for the sacrifice. “So, there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem.” What songs! What prayers that rose up to heaven! What a celebration!
I’ve obeyed when it hurt. When I knew I needed to make something right or humble myself at an altar, and it was hard. When everything in me was protesting about the opinions of others!
But I also know what it is like to obey until something changed. Until joy came. Until it no longer mattered who was watching or what they thought! Until I had victory! I’ve stayed in that place of obedience until the smile of God brought waters springing up. And yes, I sang with all my heart to the Lord just like Hezekiah’s people…quite loudly!
I love this analogy. We can be loud and joyful about the things we enjoy on this earth, how much more to be full of joy and loud in praising the King of the Universe?
And on the other note, I am still learning over and over how to get and stay in the place of obedience until the victory comes. No matter if it was a wrong done to me that I must overcome and get the freedom from any attitude, just giving it to the Lord and not picking it up again, being in a place where I am pleasing people and not God, or whatever the deal is. You are right, in obedience comes victory.