Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com
April 28 Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 18-19
“He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord”
2 Kings 18:3
Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign over Judah. He reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. — “And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord.” I am interested in that. What did this servant of God do which the Holy Spirit declares was right in the sight of the Lord”? He was an idol smasher. He not only insisted that the people under his influence worship the Lord God, this man insisted that they worship the Lord God alone, and that they worship him in the way he prescribed.
High Places Removed
“He removed the high places.” The high places were temples and shrines built on the mountains for the worship of idols. The children of Israel had mingled with and married among the heathen. The result then of such a mixture, as it is now and always must be, was compromise. To keep up their relationships with the ungodly, to maintain their unholy alliances, the children of Israel had to forsake the worship of God, though they convinced themselves that they retained the worship of Jehovah.
They were only being conciliatory, trying to get along with others. But they had forsaken God. What a price to pay! In order to restore the worship of God in the land, Hezekiah knew that idolatry had to be rooted out completely. So “he removed the high places, and brake the images,” the statues of pagan gods and the idolatrous representations of Jehovah. Then, this godly man “cut down the groves,” the wooded areas where men and women had erected altars to their gods, altars that his own father had built.
The Brazen Serpent
He also “brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made.” The Jews had kept that brazen serpent from the days of Moses, burning incense to it, because they imagined that it would aid them in finding favor with God. Perhaps they had only kept it as a relic up to this time. But now they worshipped it! Religious relics always become objects of worship. Therefore, Hezekiah smashed to pieces that venerated brazen serpent, calling it “Nehushtan,” a worthless piece of brass!
Why was this man so bent upon the destruction of idolatry in Israel? God tells us. — “He trusted in the Lord God of Israel,” clave unto the Lord, followed the Lord and obeyed his word (vv.5-6). What was the result of his faithful service? — “The Lord was with him; and he prospered.” Men despised him; but God honored Hezekiah, the idol smasher. My heavenly Father, raise up some Hezekiah’s today, men who will dare to preach your gospel boldly, to the destruction of every idol, the glory of your dear Son, and the salvation of your elect. Give me the grace you gave your servant Hezekiah, and teach me as you taught him to follow you and serve you in my generation, for Christ’s sake.