Our Response to Troubling Times (2 Kings 18:1-8; 2 Chronicles 29)

2 Kings 18:1-8; 2 Chronicles 29
What do you do when the condition of your island home is troubling? Bringing it home personally: what do you do when the condition of your own life, your familia is troubling? What do you do when you see such a great spiritual decline and moral sickness all around? What do you do when things are not what they should be as God had intended? As believers, we should have a sense of disappointment and frustration by all the evil things happening in our island and even in our homes. We should be, but it should also bring us to a decision for action in our own hearts that can bring change. During Hezekiah’s time as king of Judah there was great spiritual, moral and national decline. Everything was going down hill. There was nothing but despair, trouble, problems. Hardly anything good was happening. There was nothing much that was good for Hezekiah to rule over. He was this young king facing all of these problems of the people, of his home land. So what does he do? What do we as believer’s do when we are faced with similar condition in our lives? What should our response be?
1. Make a decision to do what is right in the sight of God (v.3)
When you feel that nothing seems to be happening, no sign of revival, no sign of life and it seems as if God is not breaking through. No matter what anyone else does, we need to do what is right in the sight of the Lord. We are to live godly appropriate lives (1 Peter 1-5). If you and I live in such a way all the day long, it will change our lives. Live as God would have you to live. Living a life of victory and blessings begin by living right before the Lord.
  • Judges 17:6 “…everyone did as they saw fit.” Everyone did what was right and pleasing in their own eyes.
  • Deuteronomy 12:28 “Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the Lord your God.”
2. Remove all idolatry that God points out (v. 4).
Hezekiah decided to sanctify the temple, the house of God and committed to sanctifying themselves as well (2 Chronicles 29). When circumstances are troubling or we find ourselves in trouble we sometimes would say, “let’s just start over” or “ let’s forget the whole thing.” But, we cannot start over, we cannot move forward until we first of all deal with sin. Unless sin is dealt with, unless idolatry is dealt with, people cannot move forward or even start over. Idolatry must be dealt with. We can’t say it is not important. It is. Remove anything the Lord would have you remove.
  • Recognizing Idols:
◦ Idols always reflect our culture. We tend to turn to our culture to worship what is known. The Israelites wanting to go back to Egypt.
◦ Idols always have a repetitive nature attached to them. It has an addictive power to them. Once you start to worship these addictive idols, it will own you. It won’t let go easily and you won’t let go of them easily.
◦ Idols will always compete for the place of God in your life. It will get your focus, your time and your energy away from the true God. These idols will get the best part of your day, time, energy and commitment.
◦ Idols are fiercely defended. You will rationalize and defend idols.
  • Some modern day idols: the god of materialism. To god of winning or success. The god of “me.” The god of relationships. To god of religion. The god of intellectualism. The god of pleasure. The god of power, control. The god of “social media.”
3. Never settle for anything less than God’s best (v. 4).
Hezekiah identified that something needed to change and he recognized that the condition of the land, the condition of the people shouldn’t be the way it was. Today, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us recognize when things are not good and not right. We need the Holy Spirit to help us identify what needs to change in our lives, in our island home. And yes, God does help us and shows us the things that needs to change but far too often we don’t see it nor understand it or we just don’t want to accept it. The reason is we get too acclimated and very accustomed to our surroundings or situations that we live in and therefore, assume everything is fine, but in reality it is not. So we end up settling for less than God had intended and accept anything this world offers. We don’t change.
  • How do you know when things really need to change? The answer is get closer to Jesus. The closer you are to Him the more you see how things should be. A person who wants to be clean needs to get closer to the Holy and Pure God.
4. Trust God completely (v. 5).
Putting all of your hope and confidence in Jesus. Trust God completely for the blessings. Trust God completely for change.
5. Hold fast to the Lord (v. 6).
It is persevering with Him. We contend for a lot of things in this life, but we need to contend on holding on to the Lord and abiding to His ways.