Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 81:8-16 | 2 Chronicles 32:1 – 33:13 | Romans 15:23 – 16:7 | Proverbs 20:16-18
Today’s Scripture Focus: 2 Chronicles 32:1 – 33:13
“In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered” (2 Chronicles 31:21 NIV).
The crisp, cool air blows through your hair as you as gaze upon the majestic beauty of other mountain peaks. You are above them all. You are on the mountaintop. It’s an exhilarating place to be, a dangerous place. It was quite an adventure to get there and even more difficult to stay there.
Hezekiah found the way to the mountaintop. “In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered” (31:21).
The list of Good kings in Israel and Judah was a pretty short list, but Hezekiah made the list. He did something very few had done before. He actually dealt with the idolatry of Judah; he smashed the Asherah poles and got rid of the high places. He listened and obeyed. When he prayed, God listened. And the people of Judah were praying too. . . and the prayers were getting through. Revival was beginning to take place in the Land (30:20, 27). Because of Hezekiah’s obedience, God answered his prayers, and the nation of Judah was on a mountaintop!
But it’s tough to stay on a mountaintop. When others see your success, they criticize, they attack, they envy. Sennacherib, the mighty King of Assyria fell prey to those temptations. He mocked, he attacked and when God showed up, he ran back to Assyria like a puppy with his tail between his legs, devastated and put in his place. There is always someone trying to knock you from your place of blessing. But it’s not just the attack of other humans; there are also the attacks of the “evil one” and his armies. They too, try to knock us down from our mountaintop—the place of God’s blessing. Stand firm and resist his attacks!
Sometimes the tougher opposition comes from within. Success breeds pride which leads to a fall. Good King Hezekiah began to slip because of his pride. The success began to go to his head (32:25). Remember where the blessings come from. Remember the reason for your success. “Every good and perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17). Hezekiah recognized the problem and he prayed through it (32:26). The blessings of the mountaintop are wonderful, but can become a temptation to pride. That is one foothold that you don’t want to even try—it leads to a quick and devastating slide to the bottom.
Repentance, prayer and obedience brought blessing. They always do. They also help to keep us from slipping. Look to God for the fullness of his blessing (Romans 15:29) and for the humility to enjoy each and every blessing and any success he brings.
Lord, help me to walk in the fullness of the blessing of Christ. Help me to live from a place of humility. Help me to seek you and work wholeheartedly. Amen.