5(G)He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel; (H)so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who were before him.
6For he (I)clung to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses.7(J)And the LORD was with him; wherever he went he prospered And (K)he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. - 2 Kings 18
The sermon was pretty good for the most part. He started off saying that we shouldn't add or subtract anything from the Bible and that he wouldn't preach anything that wasn't from the Bible. I heartily agree! Unfortunately, in the past I've heard extra Biblical teachings from his pulpit. Namely "sex, drugs and rock n' roll", but I'll save that rant for another time.
OK, now re-read that passage again. What jumps out at you? What questions would you have that you might expect to be answered in any form of teaching on this passage? Here are some of the things that caught my eye. "so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who were before him." He sounds like an awesome dude. Nobody like him before or after his reign. He's a one of a kind. A man that stands out in scripture. So what's so great about this guy?!? Why is he so special? Well if we read on we might find something that helps us understand. "For he clung to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses." Wow. Hezekiah had his act together, but what does that mean? " kept His commandments" Was Hezekiah perfect? It also says, "did not depart from following Him". Does that mean he never sinned? Did he always follow God all the time? Obviously not. "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". But if Hezekiah wasn't perfect than what makes him so special? And if there has never been any one like him since how does his story apply to my life? Obviously I could never be like him. I haven't read all of the surrounding passages yet (I'll update you the more I find out). I've come up with these questions with just about 5 minutes of study. How much more did this pastor study this passage and never come up with any of these questions. It astounds me how none of these things were mentioned.
A side note to Roxie: verse 4 says "He also broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the sons of Israel burned incense to it" So I was right when I thought I heard him say that he tore down the idols that Moses erected. However, the bronze serpent is not the golden calf by any means. Moses was so angry about the golden calf that he broke the first set of the ten commandments. I don't think that most of the people attending the servers know what he was talking about. He has a terrible habit of incorporating nearby scripture and assuming that we have read it already.
So if you have any answers to these questions or comments I'd be glad to hear your take on them.