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Monday, September 11, 2017

…battles continue

Hezekiah son of Ahaz began to rule over Judah in the third year of King Hoshea's reign in Israel. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. (2 Kings 18:1-2 NLT)

Israel is now no more.  They have been defeated in battle, taken into captivity, and deported to other parts of the empire by the Assyrians.  All that remains is Judah: the south.  King Ahaz, in the south, did not walk with God in his lifetime.  But now his son, Hezekiah, has taken over as king.  Hezekiah does not follow in his father’s footsteps.

He removed the pagan shrines, smashed the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke up the bronze serpent that Moses had made, because the people of Israel had been offering sacrifices to it. The bronze serpent was called Nehushtan. Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after his time. (2 Kings 18:4-5 NLT)

What a great testimony to his life and leadership,  No king in Judah was like him either before or after his lifetime.

He remained faithful to the LORD in everything, and he carefully obeyed all the commands the LORD had given Moses. So the LORD was with him, and Hezekiah was successful in everything he did. He revolted against the king of Assyria and refused to pay him tribute. He also conquered the Philistines as far distant as Gaza and its territory, from their smallest outpost to their largest walled city. (2 Kings 18:6-8 NLT)

Hezekiah was walking together with God.  This is what we all dream about.  We come home to the Father through the Son and receive the Holy Spirit.  Then, we can experience peace!  Hezekiah should be able to experience peace, right?

In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah's reign, King Sennacherib of Assyria came to attack the fortified towns of Judah and conquered them. King Hezekiah sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish: "I have done wrong. I will pay whatever tribute money you demand if you will only withdraw." The king of Assyria then demanded a settlement of more than eleven tons of silver and one ton of gold. (2 Kg 18:13-14 NLT)

How about you?  Have you ever faced struggles in life AFTER coming home to the Father through the Son, receiving the Holy Spirit?  Even after walking together with God, does the battle continue?