Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel.
There was never another king like him in the land of Judah,
either before or after his time.
2 Kings 18:5 NLT
This past week, I have been thinking quite a bit about the theme of self-discipline. For most of us, myself included, it is not a natural strength. I’m not even sure I how I could achieve excellence in discipline because it requires discipline to be disciplined. (Ha ha) BUT, I do have faith in God’s ability to teach me self-discipline – how could I use faith as my springboard into mastering self-discipline?
Then, my husband and I watched a movie that gave me a fantastic idea! In the movie, the main character is about to take on a day that will determine the trajectory of the rest of his life. As he leaves his home that morning, he puts tightly folded green piece of paper into his pocket. At the end of the movie, it is revealed that the paper contained a promise he was holding himself to for that day. It was his private reminder that – NO MATTER WHAT – he would keep this promise. It got me to ask myself the question: Do I trust God NO MATTER WHAT?
In 2 Kings 18, I was introduced to my new favorite Bible hero – Hezekiah. Hezekiah was the first king in a long, long time that FINALLY followed God’s full command to his people.
He did what was pleasing in the LORD’s sight, just as his ancestor David had done. He removed the pagan shrines, smashed the sacred pillars, and knocked down the Asherah poles. HE broke up the bronze serpent that Moses had made, because the people of Israel had begun to worship it by burning incense to it. The bronze serpent was called Nehushtan. Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was never another king like him in the land of Judah, either before or after his time. He remained faithful to the LORD in everything, and he carefully obeyed all the commands the LORD had given Moses. (2 Kings 18:3-6)
NO MATTER WHAT kings before him did, he trusted God enough to follow his commands. In the next chapter, The King of Assyria came to attack Judah, taunting Hezekiah and enticing his people to come with him to a better life, and Hezekiah didn’t falter. He sent a message to God’s prophet for help and wisdom. On the day a seemingly insurmountable evil arrived to destroy him, he was prepared. NO MATTER WHAT, Hezekiah trusted God enough to wait on the LORD for instruction.
Hezekiah trusted God NO MATTER WHAT because God loved him NO MATTER WHAT.
Challenge: I will build self-discipline with a green-pocket-paper reminder that I trust God no matter what because God loves me no matter what!
Dear Lord, thank you for putting Hezekiah’s story in my life to learn from. On moments when my discipline fails, remind me of his “no matter what” faith! Give me perseverance and strength to believe you love me no matter what. Guide me to honor you with a spirit of power, love and self-discipline. Amen.