Two Kings Were The Total Package

King David always seems to come to mind when we think of the great kings of Israel. After all, he was the great warrior and giant (Goliath) killer and “a man after God’s own heart.” If any later king in Israel was a good king, the scriptures tell us that he was a king after the manner of David. All of the kings of Judah were even considered the House of David, since he was their predecessor in lineage. But guess what? There were TWO kings in Israel who had no peer——–NO, not even King David could match them where they were uniquely gifted. Let us take a look: The first was King Josiah. When Josiah’s term of service came to be, Israel was backslidden off of the map. We are talking “judgment on a holding pattern.” Then Josiah found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord through Hilkiah the high priest. Josiah followed standard operating procedure (SOP) for the contrite, and tore his garments and restored true worship. His claim to fame and uniqueness? Here it is: II Kings 23:25 “Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him.” How ’bout them apples? Another interesting aspect about Josiah was that when he died so did the revival. What a shame that the populace of Israel could not carry the torch when Josiah died. Incidentally, Josiah died early in life when he got immersed in a superpower struggle that he had no business getting involved in. He was killed in battle but the Lord had His reasons for Josiah’s shortened life. God was about to judge Israel for her sins and take her into captivity into Babylon, and He spared Josiah from having to live through this. Here is a scripture that tells us what God does to good people when He wants to hide them from awful circumstances: Isaiah 57:1 “The righteous perishes, and no man takes it to heart; merciful men are taken away, while no one considers that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.” Does that verse have Josiah’s name on it or what? Josiah’s legacy and trademark? As II Kings 23:25 tells us———OBEDIENCE to the Lord like no other king. Now, let us move on to king number two. This king had the kind of FAITH that could move mountains. Sennacherib, the Assyrian King, sent psychological warfare down Israel’s throat, and warned Hezekiah to surrender or be destroyed! The wicked Assyrian King sent envoys to terrorize the Israelites, telling them that they were locked up like a bird in a cage and totally surrounded. Hezekiah, however, did what so many Judean kings failed to do. He prostrated himself on the ground and prayed, and sought the Lord with all of his heart through the prophet Isaiah. Here is the scripture that tells us that Hezekiah had no peer among the kings of Israel: II Kings 18:5-8 “He trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any who were before him. For he held fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses. The Lord was with him; he prospered wherever he went. And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. He subdued the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city.” What were the results of the faith of Hezekiah? The angel of the Lord smote 185,000 Assyrians who surrrounded Jerusalem in one night. Sennacherib went home in disgrace and was eventually murdered in a power struggle within his own family. So there you have it—- There was no king who obeyed like Josiah and no king had faith like Hezekiah. One beautiful hymn sums up this entire story and brings it in perspective for us: Trust and Obey. The ole T & O trail. Traveled by few but the only way to happiness and bliss in the Christian life! “Trust and obey, For there’s no other way To be happy in Jesus, But to trust and obey.” Shalom, Pastor Steve

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