August 22, 2016

Isaiah 37:20 “Now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O Lord, are God.”

Hezekiah is definitely one of the better kings recorded in the Bible! We have little idea what his contemporaries thought of him, but the record shows that for the most part he operated with genuine humility toward God, aware not only of his own weakness but also of God’s strength. He did make a boneheaded mistake, recorded in chapter 39, but that was if anything from bragging on God’s goodness to him. Here we find him in a genuinely dangerous situation. Sennacherib was a big enough “baddie” that we read about him in our history books, and he certainly had a reputation for ruthlessness, much as ISIS does today. He had indeed conquered kingdom after kingdom, and had every reason to hold their gods in contempt. He thought he could do the same with Judah, but Hezekiah knew that his God was very different from the idols of other nations. Judah was later conquered, but not from any deficiency on the part of Yahweh. Rather, it was from their own practice of giving Him lip service only, ignoring Him in every area of their lives. America was founded on a deep awareness of “Creation’s God,” and a majority of the Founding Fathers were committed to His Son, Jesus Christ. Today the majority of the population pays Him little or no attention, and current leadership seems committed to removing all mention of Him from the public square. We need people in leadership who, like Hezekiah, will seek God and strive to be obedient to Him. However, if that doesn’t reach down into the general population, destruction will be as inevitable as it turned out to be for Judah.

In thinking about America I have the advantage of physical perspective, since I live in Japan, but I have as much need to live in daily personal humility and righteousness as anyone. I live in a land that is filled with physical idols and inhabited by people who are deceived by them, or rather by the liar who is behind them. I am not to look down on the people who are deceived, but rather speak the truth to them in love so that their eyes may be opened. Japan has an amazing track record of spiritual blindness, but nothing is impossible for God. I am to keep myself available to Him, declaring the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that as many as will may repent and believe for their salvation.

Father, everywhere I look I see spiritual chaos, but I also see Your hand at work. Help me focus on You and not the junk, not losing hope but rather extending hope to those around me, so that Your house may indeed be full, (Luke 14:23) for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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