In “honor” of world toilet day (yes, apparently there is such a thing) it seems as if new archaeological information has been released which confirms the biblical information relayed in such places as, “Then they broke down the sacred pillar of Baal, and tore down the temple of Baal and made it a refuse dump to this day.” (2 Kings 10:27 NKJV)
I might add for clarification that the translators of the NKJV may have used some tact in their description of the final condition of Baal’s temple. At least this story would seem to say this much is true.
This isn’t the only time such tact is used by the NKJV translators. For example, Philippians 3:7-11 says,
“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.“
The literal idea of the word translated as “rubbish” would be much closer to what the archaeologists recently confirmed about Baal’s temple. You can read the NET and the KJV translation of Philippians 3:8 if you don’t follow.
Hezekiah had no tolerance for idolatry in Judah and apparently Paul felt the same way about his heart and mind.
Trust is a precious and rare commodity in the world. It is easily damaged and destroyed by thoughtlessness and selfishness. To place ourselves or a part of our hearts in the hands of another is a delicate step.
We have learned therefore that trust is not to be extended lightly. We’ve become skeptical, even hardened against hurt. Love is a jittery bird, easily frightened.
Coupled with our desire to see before we step, such reluctance to trust prevents us from having a full and free relationship with God. He deserves our unreserved confidence. He never fails his people. He always comes through. He never forgets a promise. Continue reading
Hezekiah was a good king and a good man.
He believed and obeyed God. Early in his reign, Hezekiah destroyed the idolatry in Judah. The Bible tells us, “He removed the high places and broke the pillars and cut down the Asherah. And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it (it was called Nehushtan). He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him,” (2 Kings 18:4-5 ESV).
This doesn’t mean Hezekiah was perfect. From a study of Isaiah chapters 30 and 31, it is clear that the King’s government made a serious mistake when threatened by the invasion of the Assyrians. Hezekiah evidently listened to his advisors and decided to make a treaty with Egypt to defend Judah against the onslaught that took Israel into captivity. This good king evidently caved into pressure and from that error, lost several fortified cities of his country to the Assyrians (2 Kings 18:13ff; 2 Chronicles 32).
God wanted Hezekiah and Judah to trust in him, and was disappointed when Judah went looking for help from a country that was in its sunset years. God said, “Ah, stubborn children,” declares the LORD, “who carry out a plan, but not mine, and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin; who set out to go down to Egypt, without asking for my direction, to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame, and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation,” (Isaiah 30:1-3 ESV).
Hezekiah learned his lesson, because when the Assyrians laid siege to Jerusalem, the king of Judah laid the problem out before the Lord and begged God’s help (2 Kings 19:15ff).