July 11

2 Kings 18:3-5 3He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done. 4He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.) 5Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him.

Hezekiah was an exceptional king. As you read through the kings of Judah, you find a few of whom it was written, "He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD..." That is almost always followed by the word, "however." There was always some compromise. The standard was King David. He had a heart after God. In our passage today, we find a rare exception in Hezekiah. He destroyed everything that had an influence that suggested the worship of any other God than Jehovah. The bronze snake that Moses had made in the wilderness was even destroyed.

We can take objects that were meant for our good and turn them into idols. Most of the blessings of God in our life can become a snare to us. There are times when their influence must be put out of our lives. It is not that the object itself is bad; it is the way in which we are tempted to worship the object. It is the way in which it distracts us from the LORD. Hezekiah was so uncompromising that none of these distracting things could remain.

What an epitaph! There was no one like him among the kings of Judah. God is looking for those who are willing to go all out, to be unique, to blaze a trail of total dedication. Jesus is our ultimate example in that.

Meditation: May we daily allow Jesus' life in us to show total dedication.