… Ahaz the father of Hezekiah
Prepare to Listen. Light all 4 colored candles. Let this prayer prepare you to listen: Save us, O God of our salvation, that we may give thanks to your holy name.
Prayerfully Read 2 Kings 18:1-8
In the third year of King Hoshea son of Elah of Israel, Hezekiah son of King Ahaz of Judah began to reign. 2He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi daughter of Zechariah. 3He did what was right in the sight of the LORD just as his ancestor David had done. 4He removed the high places, broke down the pillars, and cut down the sacred pole. He broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it; it was called Nehushtan. 5He trusted in the LORD the God of Israel; so that there was no one like him among all the kings of Judah after him, or among those who were before him. 6For he held fast to the LORD; he did not depart from following him but kept the commandments that the LORD commanded Moses. 7The LORD was with him; wherever he went, he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him. 8He attacked the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, from watch-tower to fortified city.
Hezekiah is one of only 8 kings of whom it is said, “He did what was right in the sight of the LORD.” He took to heart God’s command, “you shall have no other gods before me” (Ex 20:2) and thus he removed all evidence of idol worship in the land, including destroying Moses’ bronze serpent, because it had become an idol the people worshipped. However, eliminating idolatry, despite its very visible and tangible results, wasn’t enough. A focus only on external and visible never is. And that’s not what earned Hezekiah the epitaph, ‘he did what was right.’ It was his personal relationship with God, his heart for God that mattered most. And Hezekiah had his heart in the right place.
He “trusted in the LORD the God of Israel.” He trusted that God would keep faith with him and always deliver him. Trusting God, as he probably knew, is always a risky business. We never know where we’ll end up, or who will still be our friends. But we know we have no other choice and so we take the plunge of trust, as Hezekiah did. He was committed to holding ‘fast to the LORD,’ to a closeness that meant walking where God walks, doing what God does, becoming more God-like.
God desires this closeness with us today. It’s up to us to make the same commitment Hezekiah made to hold fast to the Lord.
What does it mean for you to ‘hold fast to the Lord’? Practice that today.
Respond in Prayer
Lord, like Hezekiah, I too commit to holding fast to you, trusting you alone to save and keep me, no matter what happens so that I become more like you. Amen.
Live Obediently. Hold fast to the Lord.
 The story of the bronze serpent is in Numbers 21:4-9.
Reading my Bible has been central in my life since I received my first Bible at 8 years of age. My decades of reading, studying and teaching the Bible gives my devotions a unique and enriching perspective. Reflecting on Jesus' family tree enriched my understanding of Jesus and the salvation he offers.