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Week 2 April 2024, Devotion Part 2

Say to Hezekiah, “Thus says the great king, the great king of Assyria: On what do you rest this confidence of yours?”  Isaiah 36:4


The Christian swashbuckler learns to relish the robust flavor of meaty tales. They flesh out spiritual principles by portraying them in action-packed situations. In their historical setting he recognizes his ageless, utterly dependable God. Amidst the plotting and slaughtering of adversaries he traces divine peacemaking. It is consistently potent with the Shalom of the Covenant, a peace that denotes much more than mere absence of conflict. His faith is nerved and steeled as he gets a feel for living in Hezekiah’s skin. He tastes the taxing emotions of intense fear and extreme abandonment to God’s sovereign will. He makes it his business to gird on “the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.” He spreads out everything before the Lord, but not before hotheads who see him as a reincarnation of the swaggering Errol Flynn of movie lore.


When Sennacherib’s army is tragically decimated by sudden disease and his own sons assassinate him, Christian Swashbuckler is not embarrassed for his God. He recalls the Assyrian taunts that slandered Him and demoralized His people. “Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war?” they had jeered. And Hezekiah’s sorely tested confidence, “The LORD will surely deliver us,” becomes his own. Make no mistake though. Christian “swashbuckling” derives its star quality not from Hollywood, but from humbleness. It is a profoundly centered inner strength. The Carpenter from Nazareth had it. His “daredevil” attitude met its final glorious test on the cross. {Part 2 of 2)


Comment:  “Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel.  There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after him.  He held fast to the LORD and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the LORD had given Moses.  And the LORD was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook.  He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him” (2 Kings 18:5-7).  In stark contrast, his evil and hated father Ahaz had presented himself a vassal to Tiglath-pileser and while meeting with him in Damascus, admired his Assyrian temple so much that he had an exact replica built in Jerusalem.  In fact, he shuttered the House of the LORD and cut up the sacred vessels.  He made for himself altars in Jerusalem and encouraged the building of “high paces” in all of Judah.  Most likely Ahaz instituted worship of the bronze serpent, which his son named Nehushtan, a word in Hebrew sounding like bronze and snake.  When despised Ahaz died, he wasn’t buried in the tombs of the kings. What would it take for us to emulate Hezekiah’s walk with God?  He “acknowledged” Him in all his ways (Proverbs 3:5), a word rooted in the Hebrew term “yaw-dah’.  When Adam  knew Eve and she conceived, yaw-dah’ intimacy had taken place.  If Christ’s glorious Kingship is to impact our realm of influence and ruling disposition, our identity with Him must be rooted in intimacy with Him. Matthew 7:21-23 warns those who say “Lord, Lord,” but perform religious feats apart from God’s will.  “I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.  Away from me, you evildoers!’”  Isaiah 36, 37 

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I am in no way a swashbuckling in anyway, shape, or form. But I know to stand fast in the truth, and reject the lies being told today. I am not sure about the word intimacy in this respect, but I do know that I will, in all humbleness, praise the Lord and desire to walk further with him.

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