With all the crazy things going on around us, imagine a leader who would turn back to what is right. Imagine a leader who will align to the truth. Imagine a leader who will not only know what is right, but do it. Imagine a leader who undoes the wrongs and replaces them with right. Imagine a leader who turns back to God and walks in alignment to His will. Imagine a leader who clings unto God for all his direction and instruction. Imagine a leader who turns things around to the point where prosperity starts to show up.
What will it take for that to not be imaginary? What will that take to become a reality?
How long will it take before people turn back to God? How long will it take before people decide it’s time to change?
Who will take a stand? Who will turn to God? Who will ask Him into their heart and mind? Who will decide that enough is enough? Who will ask God for help and wisdom?
Where will it begin? Where will it start? Where will they come from?
When will it happen? When will it begin? When will the people say that enough is enough? When will people choose to follow after God’s way?
Do you realize the impact one person
who chooses to do right can have?
This morning’s reading begins in 2 Kings…
Righteous King Hezekiah
1Now it was in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel that Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 2He was 25 years old when he became king and he reigned for 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi daughter of Zechariah. 3He did what was right in Adonai’s eyes, according to all his ancestor David had done. 4He removed the high places, smashed the pillars and cut down the Asherah poles. He also broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made—for up to those days Bnei-Yisrael were still burning incense to it—it was called Nehushtan . 5He trusted in Adonai, the God of Israel. Indeed, none of all the kings of Judah after him was like him—and none before him. 6For he clung to Adonai. He did not turn away from following Him, but kept His mitzvot, which Adonai had commanded Moses. 7So Adonai was with him. Wherever he went he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. 8He defeated the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territories, from watchtower to fortified city. 9Now it came to pass in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of King Elah of Israel, that King Shalmaneser of Assyria marched against Samaria and besieged it, 10and at the end of three years they captured it. So Samaria was captured in the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of King Hoshea of Israel. 11The king of Assyria deported Israel to Assyria and placed them in Halah and Habor on the Gozan River, and in the towns of the Medes. 12For they had not listened to the voice of Adonai their God, but transgressed His covenant—all that Moses the servant of Adonai had commanded—they neither listened nor did it.
Proud Sennacherib Challenges Hezekiah
13Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, King Sennacherib of Assyria marched against all the fortified towns of Judah and seized them. 14So King Hezekiah of Judah sent word to the king of Assyria at Lachish saying, “I have done wrong. Withdraw from me, whatever you impose on me, I will bear.” So the king of Assyria imposed on King Hezekiah of Judah 300 talents of silver and 30 talents of gold. 15Then Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the House of Adonai as well as in the treasuries of the royal palace. 16At that time Hezekiah stripped off the gold from the doors of the Temple of Adonai and from the doorposts that King Hezekiah of Judah had overlaid, and gave them to the king of Assyria. 17Then the king of Assyria sent the Tartan, the Rab-saris and the Rab-shakeh from Lachish with a great army to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem. So they went up and arrived at Jerusalem. Now when they arrived, they stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway of the fuller’s field. 18When they had called to the king, Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the royal palace, Shebnah the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder, came out to them. 19So the Rab-shakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: ‘What is this confidence you’ve relied on? 20You say you have a plan and military force for the battle—they are only words of a lip. Who do you rely on now, so that you have rebelled against me? 21Behold, you rely on this splintered reed as a staff—Egypt! If a man leans on it, it will go into the palm of his hand and pierce it—thus Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who trust in him. 22“But if you say to me: ‘We trust in Adonai our God’—is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has removed, and then said to Judah and Jerusalem: ‘You must worship before this altar in Jerusalem’? 23“So now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria. I’ll give you 2,000 horses—if you could put riders of your own on them! 24So, how can you repulse a single lieutenant—the least of my master’s servants? Yes, you’re relying on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen. 25“Moreover, have I now come up against this land to destroy it without Adonai’s approval? Adonai said to me: ‘Go up against this land, and destroy it.’” 26Then Eliakim and Shebna and Joah said to the Rab-shakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Don’t speak to us in the language of the Jews when the people on the wall are listening.” 27But the Rab-shakeh said to them, “Has my master sent me only to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall—who will eat their own wastes and drink their own urine with you?” 28Then the Rab-shakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the language of the Jews and said: “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. 29‘Thus says the king: Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you out of my hand! 30Nor let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in Adonai by saying: “Adonai will surely deliver us—this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.””’ 31“Don’t listen to Hezekiah! For thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make peace with me and come out to me. Then everyone will eat from his own vine and fig tree, and everyone will drink water from his own cistern, 32until I come, and take you away to a land like your own land—a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive oil and honey, that you may live and not die.’ “So don’t listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you by saying: ‘Adonai will deliver us.’ 33Have any of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria from my hand? 35Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their country out of my hand? So will Adonai deliver Jerusalem from my hand?” 36But the people were silent and did not answer him a word, for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.” 37Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rab-shakeh.
–from 2 Kings 18
Who will restore? How will they go about the restoration? What will they do? Where will they start? Why? When will it begin?
Hezekiah Restores the Temple
1Hezekiah became king when he was 25 years old, and he reigned 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. 2He did right in the eyes of Adonai, just as his father David had done. 3In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the House of Adonai and repaired them. 4He brought in the kohanim and the Levites and assembled them into the eastern square. 5Then he said to them: “Listen to me, Levites! Sanctify yourselves, and sanctify the House of Adonai, the God of your fathers, and remove the defilement out of the holy place. 6Our fathers acted unfaithfully and did evil in the sight of Adonai Eloheinu and have forsaken Him. They turned their faces away from Adonai’s dwelling place and turned their backs on Him. 7They also shut the doors of the porch and put out the lamps. They did not burn incense or offering any burnt offerings in the Holy Place to the God of Israel. 8Therefore, the wrath of Adonai was upon Judah and Jerusalem. He has made them an object of horror, dread and scorn, as you are seeing with your own eyes. 9Behold, for this our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons, daughters and wives are in captivity. 10“Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with Adonai, the God of Israel, so that His fierce anger may turn away from us. 11My sons, now do not be negligent, for Adonai has chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him, and to be His ministers and to burn incense to Him.” 12Then these Levites arose: from the sons of Kohath, Mahath son of Amasai and Joel the son of Azariah; from the sons of Merari, Kish son of Abdi and Azariah son of Jehallelel; from the sons of Gershon, Joah son of Zimmah and Eden son of Joah; 13from the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeiel; from the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14from the sons of Heman, Jehiel and Shimei; and from the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15When they had gathered their brothers and sanctified themselves, they went in, as the king ordered according to the words of Adonai, to cleanse the House of Adonai. 16So the kohanim went into the inner part of the House of Adonai to purify it. They brought out to the courtyard of the House of Adonai every impure thing that they found in the temple of Adonai. Then the Levites received it and carried it out to Kidron Valley. 17They began the consecration on the first day of the first month, and by the eighth day of the month they reached the porch of Adonai. For eight days they consecrated the House of Adonai and finished on the sixteenth day of the first month. 18Then they went in to King Hezekiah and said, “We have purified the entire House of Adonai—the altar of burnt offering with all its vessels, the table of the rows of bread with all the vessels. 19We have also prepared and concecrated all the articles that King Ahaz discarded in his unfaithfulness, while he was king. Behold, they are now before the altar of Adonai.” 20Then King Hezekiah arose early gathered the leaders of the city and went up to the House of Adonai. 21They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs and seven he-goats as a sin offering for the kingdom, the sanctuary and Judah, and he commanded the kohanim—the sons of Aaron—to offer them on the altar of Adonai. 22So they slaughtered the bulls and the kohanim took the blood and sprinkled it against the altar; next they slaughtered the rams and sprinkled the blood against the altar; then they slaughtered the lambs and sprinkled the blood against the altar. 23The he-goats for the sin offering were brought before the king and the congregation, and they laid their hands on them. 24The kohanim then slaughtered them and purified the altar with their blood to make atonement for all Israel, for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel. 25He stationed the Levites in the House of Adonai with cymbals, harps and lyres, according to the command of David, of Gad the king’s seer and of Nathan the prophet. For the command was by the authority of Adonai through His prophets. 26So the Levites stood with David’s instruments and the kohanim with the trumpets. 27Then Hezekiah gave the order to sacrifice the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the song of Adonai also began with the trumpets, together with the instruments of King David of Israel. 28The entire congregation prostrated themselves, while the singers sang and the trumpeters played. All this continued until the burnt offering was finished. 29Now at the completion of the burnt offering, the king and all who were present with him knelt down and worshiped. 30Moreover, King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to sing praises to Adonai with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness and bowed down and worshiped. 31Then Hezekiah responded and said, “You have now consecrated yourselves to Adonai. Come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the House of Adonai.” The congregation brought in sacrifices and thankofferings, and all whose hearts were willing brought burnt offerings. 32The number of the burnt offerings that the congregation brought was 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs—all of these as a burnt offering to Adonai. 33The animals consecrated as sacrifices were 600 bulls and 3,000 sheep. 34The kohanim, however, were too few to flay all the burnt offerings, so their kinsmen, the Levites, helped them until the work was completed, and until other kohanim had consecrated themselves. For the Levites had been more conscientious to consecrate themselves than the kohanim. 35There were also a great many burnt offerings, along with the fat of the peace offerings and the drink offering at every burnt offering. Thus the avodah of the House of Adonai was reestablished. 36Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because of what God had enabled the people to accomplish, because it happened so suddenly.
–from 2 Chronicles 29
Consider how Jesus came to free us! Consider how Jesus came to give us salvation! Consider how Jesus came to teach us so that we wouldn’t stumble! Consider how Jesus told us it wasn’t going to be easy, but that it would be worth it! Consider how if we all aligned to Jesus’ teaching how things would be different! Consider how if we followed Jesus’ teaching how things would be different! So why not start now and see the impact your choice can make on a generation? We each have a calling and a purpose! God created us on purpose with purpose for a purpose! So don’t give up! Give it up to God! Invite the Holy Spirit to walk with you and help you with every step of every day! Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your every word and action! Let’s grab hold of the truth, for the truth will set us free!
Let’s ask for what we have need us! Let’s walk out our lives with Jesus as our Lord and Savior! Let’s ask in the name of Jesus, the name above all names!
1“I have spoken these things to you so that you may be kept from stumbling. 2They will throw you out of the synagogues. Yes, an hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3They will do these things because they have never known the Father or Me. 4But I have spoken these things to you so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. I did not tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you.”
The Ruach Reveals Truth
5“But now I am going to the One who sent Me, and not one of you is asking Me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6Because I have spoken these things to you, grief has filled your heart. 7But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away! For if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8“When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; 11and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. 12“I still have much more to tell you, but you cannot handle it just now. 13But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; but whatever He hears, He will tell you. And He will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you. 15Everything that the Father has is Mine. For this reason I said the Ruach will take from what is Mine and declare it to you.”
Death and Resurrection Foretold
16“A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again in a little while, you will see Me.” 17Then some of His disciples said to one another, “What does He mean by telling us, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again in a little while, you will see Me’? And, ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18They kept on saying, “What’s this He’s saying, ‘A little while’? We don’t know what He’s talking about!” 19Yeshua knew that they wanted to question Him, so He said to them, “Are you asking each other about this, that I said, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again in a little while, you will see Me’? 20Amen, amen I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will celebrate. You will be filled with sorrow, but your sorrow will turn to joy! 21“When a woman is in labor, she has pain because her hour has come. But when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, because of the joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22So also you have sorrow now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you! 23“In that day, you will ask Me nothing. Amen, amen I tell you, whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. 24Up to now, you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be full. 25“These things I have spoken to you in metaphors. An hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in metaphors, but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26In that day, you will ask in My name—and I’m not telling you that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from God. 28I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” 29His disciples say, “See, now You’re speaking plainly and not in metaphors. 30Now we know that You know everything and have no need to be asked anything. By this we believe that You came forth from God.” 31Yeshua answered them, “Do you now believe? 32Look, the hour is coming—indeed has come—when you will be scattered, each to his own, and you will abandon Me. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have shalom. In the world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world!”
–from John 16