6 October 2023
Our aim: absolute integrity
Hezekiah … did what was right in the eyes of the Lord … He … trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no-one like him amongst all the kings of Judah … 2 Kings 18: 1–5
King Hezekiah is a biblical example of a man of integrity, defined by the dictionary as ‘uprightness, honesty, purity’. Hezekiah saw all the ungodliness of his country and was determined not to compromise, this being ‘to settle differences by concession on each side’.
As a man of God, he held fast to the Lord and kept his commands. He particularly wanted to cleanse the land of idolatry, so that even the sacred brazen serpent, used by God to heal snake-bitten Israelites in the wilderness, had to go. It had become an object of worship in the place of the God who
gave it. An idol is not necessarily tangible, but is anything that comes between ourselves and God. In professional life, it could be driving ambition, material prosperity, a comfortable lifestyle, or another mini-god. One of Cowper’s hymns says,
The dearest idol I have known,
whate’er that idol be,
Help me to tear it from Thy throne
and worship only Thee.
Any man or woman of God who sets out to live according to this pattern will be tempted by the devil to lower the standard, and his tactics are clever. If he fails on one front, he will try another. Hezekiah, ruthless about idolatry, found himself tested in another way when all that he stood for came under threat. He was very much afraid and, in his panic, lost his integrity and compromised with the enemy. Read more about this tomorrow!
Prayer: Lord God, our heart’s desire is to put you first. Please help us to keep faithful to you, not only when things go well but also when we run into big trouble. Amen.
Read: 2 Kings 18: 1–16; Ephesians 6: 10–13.