Saturday, May 31, 2014

Where Is Hezekiah?

"...they have put no difference between the holy and profane,
neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean,
Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey,
 to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.

The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.
And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, 
and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none."
Ezekiel 22:26-27,29-30
(KJV - Emphasis added)


I didn't really plan to write this post today.
I had several other ideas simmering....posts with more fluff and less chance to offend.
After all, no blogger wants to lose subscribers, followers, and/or loyal readers, right?
As I contemplated whether to finish my fluffy post or write what God has laid so heavily upon my heart,
it hit me that to refuse to convey God's message would land me in the same spineless heap
as those of whom I grieve.

When Kevin, Zachary, and I are discussing a deep subject,
and Little Mr. Wisdom is really wanting to get his point across and tell his true feelings and opinions...
even if it means us hearing something we may not necessarily want to hear,
he will get this real serious look in his eyes and ask,  
"Daddy, Mama, do you want me to give it to you straight?"

Both he and we know that giving it to us straight means we will get the truth,
the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth, so help him, God.

Our response is always the same, "Yes, Zach, of course!".

We wouldn't want it any other way.

So, here it is.
Straight...honest.... fluffless and sugar-free.


I have been reading in the Old Testament books of 1st and 2nd Kings.
Time after time after time, an old king dies and passes off the scene,
and a new king is introduced.
Right away, after the introduction, a brief description is given of the new king.
For the most part, there were basically two types of kings.
The ones who were out-and-out evil...
who promoted heathen worship,
who followed after idolatrous, false gods,
and who turned the people's hearts away from the one true God....
and then there were the ones like Azariah, who...
"did that which was right in the sight of the Lord,
save that the high places were not removed."
and Jehoash, who...
"did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all his days...
but the high places were not taken away:
the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places."

Why did they do everything right except destroy the high places?

The high places mentioned in these verses were areas located on hilltops or elevated land sites,
designated for the worship of idols and pagan gods.

I hate to admit it, but I became downright frustrated through this part of my reading.
Because, each time a new king came on the scene,
I kept hoping to read,
"And ______________ did that which was right in the sight of the Lord,
and he utterly and completely destroyed the high places,
and followed God with ALL his heart."

It seemed like every king mentioned was either downright, openly evil,
or he looked really good on the surface,
only to find that he wasn't all the way good.
That he would do certain things right, but not everything right.
That he seemed to be an upright, Godly person,
but he was swayed by the opinions of the people and wanted to win their approval
by allowing a "choose-your-own-god", "do-what-feels-right" type leadership.

I kept reading...and reading....and reading....hoping and wishing with all my might
to find that finally, at last, one man had stood up and decided he would do what was right...
and do it all the way, 100%, and completely.
I kept searching for a man with a spine...
one who would go in and obliterate idolatry and turn the hearts of the people back to God.
As I read, my frustration grew.


Until finally, I found what...or should I say, who, I was looking for in the 18th chapter of 2 Kings.
Here I scanned the words that my heart SO longed to read!
"Now it came to pass...that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.
And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did.
He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves...
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.
For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, 
but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses.
And the LORD was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth: 
and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not."
2 Kings 18:1,3-7
(Emphasis added)

Finally.
At long last...a man sold out to God.
A man with a wholehearted integrity and unflinching determination to mind Him.
A man with genuine conviction and courage.
A man who was unafraid.
A man with a backbone.
A man who went far beyond lip service.
A man who meant what he said and said what he meant.
A man who aggressively attacked satan's agenda with a vengeance,
regardless of personal cost or sacrifice.
Who not only followed and pursued after God with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength,
but who had the audacity and shameless bravery to lead others to do the same.
Who did what needed to be done to rid the land of the sin, idolatry, and debauchery
that was continually invoking the wrath of Almighty God.
Who realized that God is a jealous God, and there is a penalty and repercussions for sin.
Who set an example of holiness and who, by that example, turned the hearts of those who followed him.

As I read about Hezekiah and the refreshing, welcome reprieve from the blatantly evil leaders
and half-good, half-bad leaders, I felt a deep yearning rise from the depths of my soul
and a burning question fill my mind.

Where, today, is Hezekiah?
Where could we find such a man now?

Is it just me, or is it hard to find someone who will proclaim and live the whole truth
and refuse to water it down, sugar coat it, or soft-soak it?

This "last days" age of time is filled with a new "brand" of what it means to be a Christian
and what it means to be a "good" leader.
There is a heavily-prevalent permissive, tolerant mindset among the world...
and yes, among the ranks of the "religious".
A cowardly tip-toeing around the truth.
A yellow-bellied squeamishness about standing up for Jesus.
A gutlessness about proclaiming God's Word...the way it was originally inspired and recorded.
We can't say this because it will offend so-and-so.
We can't call that sin because our membership numbers will drop.
We can't enact and enforce that law because we need every vote we can get.
Whatever happened to the equality factor in freedom of speech?
Why is it that just certain sides of certain issues are allowed to speak up?

Where, pray tell, is Hezekiah?


In light of the upcoming mid-term November election,
I find it hard to even bring myself to make the effort to go to the polls and vote.
I know I should.
I have faithfully voted every chance I've had since reaching voting age.
I am very thankful for this wonderful privilege,
and my opinion is, 
if you don't go out and vote, you really have no right or license to complain about the outcome.
I have faithfully, avidly, and fervently supported and encouraged the voting process,
but, to tell you the truth, I am becoming a bit jaded with it all.
Because it is hard to find candidates I can really put my weight behind
and support with all my heart.
Lately, it has been a matter of just voting for the stronger of two weak choices.

I long for there to rise...out of obscurity...out of the ashes of smoldering compromise...
a man who will stand firm for the one, true God.
Who will obliterate the "high places" of idol worship.
Who will be genuine.
Who doesn't care a drop what other people think
or worry an ounce over who gets offended.
Who will live in private, as he does in public.
Who will be who he appears to be.
Who is the same, no matter who he is speaking to or rubbing shoulders with at the moment.
Who doesn't lie...or cheat...or steal...or fraud.
Who loves Jesus with all his heart, and who isn't one smidgen ashamed to proclaim it.
Whose spine doesn't bend in the face of opposition or persecution.
Who will call sin what it is and realize that God is sovereign
and His law is supreme and trumps all others.
Who doesn't weasel out of his God-given responsibilities
within the realm over which he has been appointed steward.
A man like Hezekiah.

I love reading his story.
It inspires and encourages me every time.
Remember what happened later in his life?
He found that it pays off to stand firm for God and what is right.

He became very ill and sent for Isaiah, the prophet.
Upon reaching his bedside, Isaiah told Hezekiah to set his house in order,
for he was going to die.
After receiving this crushing news,
Hezekiah's heart was broken.
He turned to the wall and cried out to God,
reminding God of the righteous, upright life he had lived.
"Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying,
I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. 
And Hezekiah wept sore."
2 Kings 20:2-3

Listen to what happened.

"And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, 
that the word of the LORD came to him, saying,
Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, 
Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father,
I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: 
behold, I will heal thee: 
on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD.
And I will add unto thy days fifteen years..."
2 Kings 20:4-6

Remember...the verdict had already been reached.
Hezekiah was going to die.
Isaiah had already delivered God's message.

Hezekiah's prayer changed God's mind.

Imagine if he had been evil or just half-heartedly good, like those other kings.
What if he had no perfect track record to present to God in his moment of despair?
What if he had only halfway, not utterly, destroyed those high places of heathen worship?
Would God have granted his request for a prolonged life?

Hezekiah was a man who followed God...
regardless of what other kings, leaders, and the common people were doing,
in spite of popular opinion,
and no matter what his ancestors or predecessors did.

In a long succession of political leaders who refused to wholeheartedly mind God,
he broke the cycle.
He changed course.
He had a stiff backbone and an unapologetic determination to do the right thing.

I long for a modern-day, Hezekiah-like leader.
I yearn to hear of one, particular man who is endued with Hezekiah's attributes.
Whose entrance into the arena is marked and noticed
because of his unbending, unrelenting will and resolve
 to do good in the sight of the Lord God of Heaven.

Does anyone else cry out in prayer for this man to rise to the surface?

I am sick....so sick....of the moral decline and lawlessness in our world...
especially here...in the country in which I live...
because The United States of America was is a Christian country.
Our very legal system stands upon the foundation of the Ten Commandments.
Our founding fathers were unashamedly and courageously God-fearing men.

I long for boundaries to be restored and implemented.
I miss the ancient landmarks our fathers put in place.
I cry over these things....and pray with all my might.
Do you?

God is searching...needing someone to stand up and stand firm.



(If video doesn't load, click here.)




(If video doesn't load, click here.)

Where are you, Hezekiah?


28 comments:

  1. How funny...I kept thinking of writing a similar post. Yes, I am sick of the way this country is run, the way society thinks/acts/what they accept....And I long for more Godly men, period. Our country would be much better off if men and women acted like they're supposed to. I long to see men acting like men again. Instilling morals and values in their families and leading them. We DO need to quit sugar-coating everything. I had to leave my church because of that. I still can't find a church that speaks the truth. How sad! I am happy you wrote this post and I know others will be too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't wait to read your post, should the Lord lead and inspire you to write one! THANK YOU for standing for truth! We have had to make some tough decisions, too, and it is not easy to stand firm, but we must. No wonder Jesus asked the question if He would find faith when He returns. It lays heavily upon my heart, and drives me to my knees. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your heart...your words were so encouraging and such a blessing. God bless you. :)

      Delete
  2. You are really right. That is the cry of my heart too. I hope this message of truth reach many readers and create impact.
    God bless your heart:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bless your dear, kind heart, Joy! I have missed seeing you and hearing from you. So thankful you stopped by today. May God have mercy and send the desires of our hearts! Love to you, sweet friend. :)

      Delete
  3. Amen Cheryl! I love how you drew this out of the scriptures and applied it to "today". God's word is alive, and it excites me beyond words. I was cheering for Hezekiah's boldness as I read your post. My husband, daughter and I have been reading through the entire Bible together, and we remember this story. Well regardless if the USA ever has a Hezekiah, we have a Savior who is coming for His own, and HE will totally destroy the "high places" FOREVER! I love your posts! I want you to know that you have a great ministry here, and God is using you! Visit my blog at somuchathome.blogspot.com. It's new but I write about moments with the Lord and Bible studies. Just today, I wrote about how God showed His love and care through a baby bluebird. We serve an awesome God! Thank you for blogging (ministering)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you SO much for stopping by and leaving such wonderful, uplifting encouragement behind, Chris! So happy to meet you! Looking forward to visiting your blog and enjoying future visits together...both here and at your place. I so appreciate your kind comments and the way you share this burden for our country. God bless you and keep you in His care. :)

      Delete
  4. Hi Cheryl! I am your neighbor at the Beauty in His Grip link-up.
    I love the way you said that Hezekiah was 'sold out' to God. What a great phrase! I hope that the same can be said of me. I know I'll never be perfect, but I hope to always be thinking of God's way. And I pray that our country will too!
    Nice to meet you :)
    Ceil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice to meet you, too, Ceil!! So thankful you stopped by and for your kind comments!!

      Delete
  5. A forthright and honest post - and one with great wisdom and courage. Yes, where are the people who are willing to take a stand for truth, even if it means making some enemies? And yet, I don't want to point fingers at everyone and everything else. Today I am asking myself...

    Am I a Hezekiah?

    GOD BLESS!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, sweet friend! Yes, dear Lord, help us to be the example of who we want someone else to be. It all starts right here...with you and me. I am so thankful for and blessed by your visit today. God bless you in a special way!

      Delete
  6. AMEN!! It takes a REAL man to stand up for the truth, NO MATTER WHAT. The truth WILL offend, but do we care more about the person being offeneded or offending God? He gave us his word, and if it makes someone mad, then it's him they are mad at. Men of old used to up to challenges and standing for truth and they felt good about it and have been written about in our history books. What are men being written about today? Not much. Good post, Cheryl. Thank God you are raising a son who will tell it like it is. May he grow up to be a Hezekiah.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Sandra! It was so good to read your encouraging comments. What a good thought about us being more concerned about the person being offended than us offending God! How grieved His great heart must be as He sees what is going on in our world. Surely Jesus is coming soon. We have to lift up our heads, for our Redemption draweth nigh! Then we will be eternally glad we did the right things in this life. Lots of love to you, dear friend. :)

      Delete
  7. I echo your prayers for a man who will be a modern day Hezekiah. It seems hard to find one who will stand for truth. One who won't compromise his convictions to get the job. May God send our country a Hezekiah.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Pamela, it is the constant cry of my heart. We need to start a constant prayer vigil for God to send us a Hezekiah. Thank you so much for stopping by...your visit was a true blessing. :)

      Delete
  8. May we not look the other way and allow anything in our lives that reeks of a high place that is not an alter to God. Yes, we need more Hezekiahs and to even let ourselves BE one. Thank you for sharing your awesome post with us here at “Tell Me a Story.” At: http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Hazel, this is such a good point. We can be guilty of erecting high places where we put things above God in our lives. How true! Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. God bless you!

      Delete
  9. Good stuff, Cheryl! I can't imagine what our nation would be like should such a man find his way to leadership!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, isn't that the truth! May God send us such a man. Thanks so much for stopping by, Sarah. It was so nice to see you here today. :)

      Delete
  10. Thanks for linking up this post at somuchathome.blogspot.com!
    This is one of my favorite posts of yours!
    God Bless
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you SO much, Chris! You are such a blessing to me. :)

      Delete
  11. More than anything, I love that you were brave enough to "say it straight," like your son practices, and risk offending. I know how I've felt when I've taken that risk in my writing, how it challenges me to keep in mind whose opinion I care most about - and yet have the humility to hear if I legitimately did hurt someone with my words unintentionally. You were faithful to follow what God put on your heart. So, thank you. Joining you from Unforced Rhythms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Amber! THANK YOU! I so appreciated and needed your encouragement tonight. Yes, we truly have to stop and think...who do we most not want to offend? God is the One we will stand before one day and give an account of the things we did and did not do in this life. So, while I never intend to wound or offend any other human being, I most do not want to offend Him. I can't thank you enough for your kind comment. God bless you...so happy to meet you.

      Delete
  12. Great post Cheryl! These are things that are floating around in my head too! I am absolutely done with the words "politically correct", I would love to start hearing the words "biblically correct". Then we would have someone worthy to lead! Hezekiah is a favorite of mine for the same reasons, finally someone who did "right in the eyes of the Lord". May we be Hezekiah's in our own little world called home... Thanks for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! I am glad for these words to get out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you ever so much, JES! I am so grateful for your support and encouragement. Yes, dear Lord, help us to be Hezekiah's in our own little realm...tearing down every high place and everything that exalts itself above the one true God in our hearts, our lives, and our homes. I so appreciate you stopping by today...it meant so much. :)

      Delete
  13. Timely & true. You've inspired me to pray more for our country. Thanks for sharing this. I'm visiting from the blog link up. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so thankful you stopped by, Renee. Yes, may we all carry more of a burden and plead with God for our nation. How I long to see things turn around to a Godly path! It is a heaviness that will not go away. If we all do our individual part, God will hear from Heaven and heal our land. :)

      Delete
  14. I love the story of the kings especially when it gets to ones like Hezekiah. Thanks Cheryl for writing such a good post. Our country is like the times with the bad kings. I wish that weren't so!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, dear sister, how I, too, wish it weren't so! It is a burden that lays heavy upon my heart, and I pray much about. Our ONLY hope is in GOD, and until we acknowledge that, there will be no change. May God shake us out of our apathy and give the courage needed to persevere in prayer. God bless you for stopping by!

      Delete