Day 110

by Rev Joel Yong

2 Kings 20:1-7
In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, Thus says the Lord, Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover. Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying, Now, O Lord, please remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight. And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: Turn back, and say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord, and I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city for my own sake and for my servant David’s sake. And Isaiah said, Bring a cake of figs. And let them take and lay it on the boil, that he may recover.

Isaiah had prophesied his impending death but Hezekiah turned immediately to God and sought grace.

He sought for God to reconsider and turn a supposedly foregone conclusion around.

And guess what- God did!
He added 15 years to Hezekiah’s life!

What an audacious prayer request!
What made Hezekiah dare to seek God in such a manner?

Note Hezekiah’s prayer:
“Now, O Lord, please remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.”

He prays “remember me.” As if there is some familiarity between God and him.
The 2 are not strangers.
Hezekiah was not one who seldom prayed to God or was unfamiliar with God.
Nope.
He walked in faithfulness with God and had due reason to believe that God would find him familiar!

And as he came before God- not as a stranger but a keen follower- God hears his prayer and shows him the grace of lengthening his life.

What a reminder to me this day …
Dare I say to God “Remember me …” as if He would find me a familiar companion who journeyed throughout my life with Him?

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Day 109

by Rev Joel Yong

2 Kings 19:9-13
Now the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Cush, Behold, he has set out to fight against you. So he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying, Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, devoting them to destruction. And shall you be delivered? Have the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my fathers destroyed, Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, or the king of Ivvah?

Hezekiah was threatened with destruction.
What did he do upon receiving this threat?

2 Kings 19:14-19
Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said: O Lord the God of Israel, who is enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. So now, O Lord our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Lord, are God alone.

He went up to God and took the threatening letter itself and laid it out before God and asked for his help.

People think they can threaten us because somehow they ‘own us’. That they have some power or authority over our lives.

But Hezekiah knew who ultimately had the final say and even though he was facing the mighty Assyrian army – he went to the LORD of the heavenly armies.

Don’t let people threaten you in this life.
Neither should what they predict about your life be the final diagnosis.

You are children of the Most High God.
He is the ultimate voice over your life.

Day 108

by Rev Joel Yong

2 Kings 17:7-14
And this occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods and walked in the customs of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel, and in the customs that the kings of Israel had practiced. And the people of Israel did secretly against the Lord their God things that were not right. They built for themselves high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city. They set up for themselves pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, and there they made offerings on all the high places, as the nations did whom the Lord carried away before them. And they did wicked things, provoking the Lord to anger, and they served idols, of which the Lord had said to them, You shall not do this. Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets. But they would not listen, but were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the Lord their God.

They had many chances to turn from the error of their ways.
But they did not.

And the Scripture is explicit.
All this befell them- because they turned away from God.

Make no mistake – without God, we are nothing.
He is our all in all.
Nothing else and no one else can save us or bless us like He can.

When we are in the high places of life, let us not forget who got us there. It is the LORD.
When we are in life’s low points, let us remember who can save us from this sorrow. It is the LORD.

Day 107

by Rev Joel Yong

2 Kings 15:34-35
And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that his father Uzziah had done. Nevertheless, the high places were not removed. The people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places. He built the upper gate of the house of the Lord.

These words repeat themselves throughout the reign of many kings – “still, the high places were not removed …”

And we wonder why.

Wouldn’t it be obvious after a few kings had come and gone that idolatry was a problem?
Wouldn’t the new king want to do better and lead his people better?

Perhaps it would ruffle feathers if he removed the high places where idolatry was practiced.

And so to retain political stability, he would sacrifice spiritual health.

May these words strike the heart of all church leaders.
What may seem to be the wisest thing to do politically, is not necessarily the most spiritual thing to do.

Day 106

by Rev Joel Yong

2 Kings 11:17-21
And Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and people, that they should be the Lord’s people, and also between the king and the people. Then all the people of the land went to the house of Baal and tore it down; his altars and his images they broke in pieces, and they killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest posted watchmen over the house of the Lord. And he took the captains, the Carites, the guards, and all the people of the land, and they brought the king down from the house of the Lord, marching through the gate of the guards to the king’s house. And he took his seat on the throne of the kings. So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet after Athaliah had been put to death with the sword at the king’s house. Jehoash was seven years old when he began to reign.

To be God’s people, they destroyed all idols.
It meant that they were making certain they would not be tempted to turn back to idolatry and worship God faithfully.

It’s the same when a man marries a woman in a public ceremony.
In the words of the martial vow ‘forsaking all others as long as we both shall live..’- it shows the determination to faithfully be with their spouse.

How are we following God?
Have we forsaken others and been faithful to follow Him?
Or has our work come in first and His work become second.
Or our family first and God second?

Time to do a quick reflection today.

Day 105

by Rev Joel Yong

2 Kings 10:17-28
When they arrived in Samaria, Jehu killed the rest of Ahab’s family, every member who was left in Samaria. He wiped them out, as the LORD had told Elijah. Then Jehu brought all the people together. He said, “Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him a lot. Summon all the prophets, servants, and priests of Baal. Make sure no one is missing because I have a great sacrifice to offer Baal. Whoever is missing will not live.” (Jehu was deceiving them. He actually wanted to destroy those who worshiped Baal.) Jehu said, “Call a holy assembly to honor Baal.” So they did. Jehu sent messengers to all the Israelites. All the worshipers of Baal came, and there wasn’t one who didn’t come. They went into the temple of Baal and filled it from one end to the other. Then Jehu told the man in charge of the priests’ robes, “Bring out the robes for all the worshipers of Baal.” So he brought out robes for them. Jehu and Jehonadab, son of Rechab, went into the temple of Baal and said to the worshipers of Baal, “Make sure that there are no worshipers of the LORD here with you. Only the worshipers of Baal should be here.” So they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. But Jehu had stationed 80 of his men outside. He said to them, “If any of the people I’m putting in your hands escape, you will pay for their lives with yours.” When the burnt offerings had been made, Jehu said to the guards and attendants, “Kill them. Don’t let anyone get away.” So they used swords to kill the Baal worshipers and threw out the bodies until the guards and attendants came to the stronghold in the temple of Baal. Then they brought out the large sacred stone of the temple of Baal and burned it. They destroyed the sacred stone of Baal and the temple of Baal and made it into a latrine. It is still a latrine today. So Jehu got rid of Baal worship throughout Israel.

Jehu was shrewd. He eliminated all of Ahab’s descendants and then pretended to worship Baal to trick all the Baal followers to gather and then he killed them all.

Jehu was in many ways better than Ahab but unfortunately he didn’t turn completely from the flaws of his predecessors.

2 Kings 10:29-31
But Jehu did not turn away from the sins that Jeroboam (Nebat’s son) led Israel to commit–the worship of the golden calves that were at Bethel and Dan. The LORD said to Jehu, “You did what I consider right, and you did it well. You did everything I wanted done to Ahab’s family. That is why four generations of your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel.” But Jehu didn’t wholeheartedly obey the teachings of the LORD God of Israel. He didn’t turn away from the sins that Jeroboam led Israel to commit.

Jehu may have eliminated Baal worship but the worship of golden calves continued. God rewarded him for his good start as a leader but still Jehu fell into idolatry.

While we shake our heads at the sins of another, we should be wary that we ourselves not fall into the same trap. Sometimes pride blinds us and we end up doing exactly what we said our neighbor shouldn’t do.

Cling on to God and His teachings day and night and turn not from His ways. it only takes a tiny slip to start sliding down the slippery slope of sin.

Day 104

by Rev Joel Yong

2 Kings 7:3-9
Four men with skin diseases were at the entrance of the city gate. One of them asked, “Why are we sitting here waiting to die? If we go into the city, the famine is also there, and we’ll still die. But if we stay here, we’ll die. So let’s go to the Aramean camp. If they give us something to keep us alive, we’ll live. But if they kill us, we’ll die anyway.” So they started out at dusk to go into the Aramean camp. When they came to the edge of the camp, no one was there. (The LORD had made the Aramean army hear what sounded like chariots, horses, and a large army. The Aramean soldiers said to one another, “The king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” So at dusk they fled. They abandoned the camp as it was with its tents, horses, and donkeys and ran for their lives.) When the men with skin diseases came to the edge of the camp, they went into a tent, ate and drank, and carried off the silver, gold, and clothes they found in that tent. They went away and hid them. Then they came back, went into another tent, carried off its contents, went away, and hid them. Then they said to one another, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news, and we’re not telling anyone about it. If we wait until morning when it’s light out, we’ll be punished. Let’s bring the news to the royal palace.”

4 lepers.
Outcast.
Disfigured and maimed.
Not able to withstand a soldier’s single blow.

Yet God used their limping footsteps and turned it into the sound of horses and chariots and of a great army marching.

They had no way out and were seeking to surrender themselves.
Yet they were the ones God used to send the enemy packing.

You might look at yourself and say “Who me?”
But God can use you still for His mighty purpose and send the Enemy packing.
Regardless of your past, your age, your background …

It’s not about how big you are but about how great He is.

Come before Him this day and say “Here I am- send me!”