Toward the end of the year, we begin to focus on the “new.” We enjoy giving and receiving “new” presents, and we look forward to the hope of a “new” year. A blank calendar page represents fresh opportunity, but what will we do with it?
Hezekiah was known as a man who received renewed opportunity from the Lord. A godly king, Hezekiah destroyed the idols in Judah (2 Kings 18:4) and trusted God (2 Kings 18:5-6).
When Assyria came knocking on the door threatening to destroy Jerusalem, Hezekiah prayed (2 Kings 19:15-19), and God spared Judah. When Hezekiah fell ill, and God told him that he would not survive, Hezekiah again went to the Lord in earnest prayer, and God extended his life by 15 years (2 Kings 20:1-6). Two challenges in Hezekiah’s day were overcome by going to God in prayer. The nation now had renewed hope, and Hezekiah especially should have been filled with new enthusiasm for the future after God spared his life.
However, when a third challenge presents itself, Hezekiah seems to display resignation and selfishness. Isaiah reveals to him that Babylon would soon come and take away the wealth of Judah, as well as Hezekiah’s own descendants (2 Kings 20:16-18). Instead of meeting this challenge with more prayer, Hezekiah says, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good!” and “Will there not be peace and truth at least in my days?” (2 Kings 20:19). Hezekiah was given new opportunities, but he was content to live with his personal blessings, and gave no prayer for the future generations.
As Christians, we have been cleansed by the blood of Christ, and walk in newness of life. We’ve had our lives extended eternally! But what about the lost around us? What about future generations? Will we be content with our own salvation, and give no thought, prayer, or action for the salvation of others?
What will we do with the new?
Matt Clifton Judsonia church of Christ, Judsonia, AR
Scripture of the Week
Romans 12:9-10 “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
Think About It
Pathfinder of the Sea
In Richmond, Virginia, there is a statue of a man sitting on a chair with a Bible on the floor beside his left foot. This monument has an inscription: Matthew Fontaine Maury, Pathfinder of the Seas, the genius who first snatched from the oceans and atmosphere the secret of their laws. His inspiration: Holy Writ, Psalm 8:8; Ecclesiastes 1:6”.
This statue was placed there, along with the inscription in 1929, by the US Naval Institute.
Born in 1806, Commodore Maury became a renown American astronomer, historian, oceanographer, meteorologist, cartographer, geologist, and educator. But more than that, he was a Bible-believer who trusted the inerrancy of the Word of God. If the Bible said there are paths in the seas, he should be able to find them — and find them he did! A fact which has become of tremendous benefit to all seamen.
The passage Maury read says, “You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of Your hands; You put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas” (Psa. 8:5-8).
Although written many centuries ago, the Bible is a modern book. Primarily, it is not a scientific text. It was given to man as a perfect spiritual guide. It is a source book for spiritual development and soul culture. Yet, the Bible is scientifically accurate.
How appropriate it is that this psalm should close with the following words: “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” ~~ John Gibson, Little Rock, AR
Something to Smile About