I love autumn – not only because I was born during this season but because of the colours that come with it. It’s the blend of red, green, yellow, orange, purple and tan that gives me a feeling of excitement. And yes, while bright is truly lovely, it’s the contrast of the wine colours – burgundy, maroon and purple – these are the ones which creates the drama in this season of fall.
But life is a combination of upsides and downsides. That is just how it is. Autumn has its own downside – coughs and colds. This article is the product of this downside which I am reversing to become an upside. I am a person who always sees the brighter side of things and situations. Today is Saturday and I was supposed to be at church but because I am not feeling so well because of this autumn downside – I stayed home and caught up with my reading. And I’ll be sharing this reading with you today. This is the brighter side…
The book is titled Prophets and Kings by Ellen G. White. It was on Chapter 28 that I resumed my reading and it was about the reign of King Hezekiah. “Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.” (2 Kings 18:1-3)
It is written that Hezekiah was the most obedient to God amongst all the kings of Judah. He was a prayerful man that he found favour in God’s eyes and he was granted another 15 years to live. “In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’ Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of my servant David.” (2 Kings 20:1-6)
And so King Hezekiah was given another 15 years to live. After he was healed by God, the king of Babylon sent envoys to Hezekiah to congratulate him on his recovery and to know, if possible more of the God who was able to made miracles for him. But pride and vanity took hold of Hezekiah’s heart and he totally forgot to glorify God and showed instead all of his treasures and richness to these ambassadors from the heathen land. “And Hezekiah was pleased with them, and showed them the house of his treasures- the silver and the gold, the spices and precious ointment, and all his armoury- all that was found among his treasures. There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.” (Isaiah 39:2)
Hezekiah was not aware that the visit of these people was a test of his gratitude and devotion to God. If only Hezekiah saw this opportunity given him to enlighten these men of the power, compassion and goodness of the Lord God, their report would have been for the betterment of events in the future. But he magnified himself above God and so the outcome was disastrous! “To Isaiah it was revealed that the returning ambassadors were carrying with them a report of the riches they had seen, and that the king of Babylon and his counsellors would plan to enrich their own country with the treasures of Jerusalem. Hezekiah had grievously sinned.” (Prophets and Kings page 346)
The most important lesson that I found in this story was- we always have to remember to glorify God in everything we do. “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31). “In the same way let your light shine upon before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) We need to speak (declare) of the important events in our lives, of our experiences in the light of how God has helped and blessed us. We have to tell our stories of how we overcame our struggles and became victorious because of God’s loving kindness, mercy and grace.
We do not know how much impact we are having with the people that we are associating each day. They may need help, guidance, support and through our sharing with them our experiences on how God helped us through these struggles they will be enlightened and will have more hope that life could be better when they seek the help of the Lord. A word spoken at the right time is a balm for the soul. We only pass through this kind of opportunity once. This opportunity of sharing how God works in our lives.
“Every day of life is freighted with responsibilities which we must bear. Every day, our words and acts are making impressions upon those with whom we associate. How great the need that we set a watch upon our lips and guard carefully our steps! One reckless movement, one imprudent step, and the surging waves of some strong temptation may sweep a soul into the downward path. We cannot gather up the thoughts we have planted in human minds. If they have been evil, we may have set in motion a train of circumstances, a tide of evil, which we are powerless to stay.
On the other hand, if by our example we aid others in the development of good principles, we give them power to do good. In their turn they exert the same beneficial influence over others. Thus hundreds and thousands are helped by our unconscious influence. The true follower of Christ strengthens the good purposes of all with whom he comes in contact. Before an unbelieving, sin-loving world he reveals the power of God’s grace and the perfection of His character.” ( Prophets and Kings by Ellen G. White page 348 )
Now the ending of King Hezekiah’s life story. “And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered.” ( 2 Chronicles 31:21 )
“Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah – all his might, and how he made a pool and a tunnel and brought water into the city – are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? So Hezekiah rested with his fathers. Then Manasseh his son reigned in his place.” ( 2 Kings 20:20, 21 )
King Hezekiah like King David also sinned. But in the end they asked for forgiveness and were forgiven. The story of their lives are powerful illustrations of how God works in our lives. That we have a powerful, forgiving, merciful, faithful and loving God.
It is starting to rain again- Autumn rain. I think these dark days of autumn rain are beautiful as days can be. I thank God for always making me see the brighter side. Enjoy 🍂 autumn!