Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 18; Isaiah 9-12; 2 Chronicles 29-31; Psalm 100 & 134
Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. – Psalm 100:4-5
Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, was 25 years old when he became the next king of Judah. He behaved in ways that were pleasing to the Lord, removing pagan shrines and breaking the bronze serpent to which God’s people were offering sacrifices. (2 Kings 18:1-4). He repaired the Temple and reopened its doors, calling his country to return to the Lord in submission, coming to his Temple and worshiping the Lord God.
“For if you return to the Lord, your relatives and your children will be treated mercifully by their captors, and they will be able to return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful. If you return to him, he will not continue to turn his face from you.” – 2 Chronicles 30:9
Hezekiah trusted in the Lord and remained faithful in everything he did, carefully obeying all the commands the Lord had given Moses. Hezekiah brought back the celebration of Passover and required his people to tithe so they would devote themselves fully to the Law of the Lord (2 Chron. 31:4). And here’s the good part – So the Lord was with him and Hezekiah was successful in everything he did (2 Kings 18:7).
In this way, King Hezekiah handled the distribution throughout all Judah, doing what was pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord his God. In all that he did in the service of the Temple of God and in his efforts to follow God’s laws and commands, Hezekiah sought his God WHOLEHEARTEDLY. As a result, he was very successful. – 2 Chron. 31:20-21
Oh the blessings God bestows on those who faithfully obey Him! He longs to generously pour out His love on His people when they follow Him in obedience. Do you recognize the many ways in which God is blessing your obedience? The evidence that He cares for you is all around – do you see it?
“Even an ox knows its owner, and a donkey recognizes its master’s care – but Israel doesn’t know its master. My people don’t recognize my care for them.” – Isaiah 1:3
I wonder how often I fail to recognize God’s blessings in my life – HIS CARE FOR ME. As I eagerly anticipate this Easter Celebration, I long to wrap my mind around how incredible God is toward me DAILY! My prayer is that this week of remembering the death of Christ and His resurrection gets our attention; that we are able to recognize God’s favor and His care and that our hearts will respond in sincere thanksgiving toward our Creator, Provider and Friend.
“I will praise you, O Lord!
You were angry with me, but not anymore. Now you comfort me.
See, God has come to save me.
I will trust in him and not be afraid.
The Lord God is my strength and my song, he has given me victory.”
With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation!
In that wonderful day you will sing:
“Thank the Lord! Praise his name!
Tell the nations what he has done.
Let them know how mighty he is!
Sing to the Lord, for he has done wonderful things.
Make known his praise around the world.
Let the people of Jerusalem shout his praise with joy!
For great is the Holy One of Israel who lives among you.” – Isaiah 12:1-6
O Lord, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God.
You do such wonderful things!
You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them…
“This is our God!
We trusted in him, and he saved us!
This is the Lord, in whom we trusted.
Let us rejoice in the salvation he brings!” – Isaiah 25:1,9
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal rock…
For those who are righteous, the way is not steep and rough.
You are a God who does what is right, and you smooth out the path ahead of them.
Lord, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws;
Our heart’s desire is to glorify your name.
All night long I search for you;
In the morning I earnestly seek for God. – Isaiah 26:3-4,7-9a
I love that last verse. It describes how I wake up in the morning – with a longing to hear from God. He is so faithful to meet us when we turn to Him!
Oh Lord, this morning, I recognize that every good and wonderful thing in my life is a gift from you! Thank you so much for your tender care of me. When I am scared or lonely, you comfort me. When I am happy, it is because you have filled me with your joy. As I start a new day, I trust in you for what is ahead. You are my eternal rock and I long to fix my thoughts on you and stay there. The road ahead is unknown but I believe the way will not be steep or rough, for you will smooth out the path ahead for me. Glory to God in the Highest! Praise His Name!!!
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. – Psalm 100:1-3