Let This Be A Lesson For All Of Us: Conduct, Motivation, And Attitude

Hezekiah is a great model for all of us here in this passage from Second Chronicles. It is a matter of God’s wisdom, and of our faith, that we all have duties toward one another and toward God. How do we conduct ourselves in those duties? What is our motivation, our attitude in doing them?

King Hezekiah is involved here with the reunion of the Northern kingdom of Israel and the Southern kingdom of Judah where the holy city of Jerusalem is located. He is bringing them back together again in unified worship of Yahweh in the holy Temple at Jerusalem. There was much to be done. He had to organize the worship, assign the apportionment of goods and sacrificial offerings for the sabbaths and the religious festivals throughout the year. The tithe needed to be set up and collected to maintain the work of the priests and the Levites, and much more. He performed this with meticulous care. In the end, his efforts and duties brought about prosperity for the whole nation.

Is it just organizational skills that made this success possible? Was it the result of his kingly authority alone? According to our verse for today, the answer is clearly, no. What brings success to Hezekiah’s work is that he did it all in accord with the law of God, not his own. As king, he shows his humble submission to the Lord in honoring his law and his commandments in everything he did. He was successful because he sought to do the will of God in all things. And he did this with his whole heart, with his whole soul, and with his whole strength. He lived the “Shema,” the faith decree of Judaism, “Sh’ma Yisrael, Adonai eloheinu, Adonai echad.” “Hear O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is One…And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) This was the attitude in which he, the king, undertook these duties.

And so it must be for each one of us. It is this attitude of humble submission to God in all things that will bring success to our efforts in all things. This attitude is developed by coming to know the wisdom of God’s commandments, and willingly serving him in all that we do, in accord with that wisdom. If we seek the will of God in all things, if we seek God first, with our whole heart, our whole soul, and our whole strength, God will prosper all that we do. It is worship of God first that puts all else in its proper perspective. There is nothing that is more important than our worship of God who made us, and sustains us and strengthens us in all things. The great and holy paradox of our faith is that when we understand, accept, and live in accord with his commandments, we are made free. When we do all things in God’s name, all of our efforts to do his will, will prosper. It is this that made Hezekiah successful and it is what will make us successful in our strivings toward the kingdom of God.

Lord, deepen our understanding of your law and strengthen our self control. It is you we seek with all of our hearts. Help us to keep your will and your laws uppermost in our minds, so that everything we do will be in honor of your name. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.
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