It’s been a while since we’ve hit the history books. Time to get back in it. And here we run into one of the great kings of Judah, Hezekiah. The writer of Kings says of him,
There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after him. (II Kings 18:5)
Quite frankly, Hezekiah had a terrible role model in his father Ahaz. But perhaps because of what happened to the northern kingdom of Israel, and the warnings of prophets such as Micah and Isaiah, Hezekiah wasted little time in turning the country back towards God. And in his life, I think we can see how we ourselves can turn back to God when we have fallen.
The first thing that Hezekiah did was to rid the country of all the idols people were worshiping. He even got rid of the bronze snake that God had used to cure the Israelites of their snake bites when they were traveling in the desert (Numbers 21:4-9). In the same way, if we are to return to God in our lives, we need to turn our backs on the idols in our lives. Whether it’s the god of money, or the god of possessions, or whatever it may be. Anything you place before God in your life, that is your idol. Now I’m not saying you have to throw away all your possessions and your money. What I am saying is that you need to make God more important in your life than these things.
Your idol may even once have been a good thing, such as the bronze snake. Perhaps it’s a hobby you have. But right now, it’s dominating your time and it’s causing you to ignore your relationship with God and the things he wants you to do. If that’s the case, you need to turn your back on that too.
The next thing that Hezekiah did was to clean out the temple and purify it. As Christians, we are the temple of Christ. Christ dwells in us, and we need to make sure our temples are pure as well. Part of that is taking out the idols that are dominating our lives. But it’s also bringing our sins before God, confessing them, and asking for his forgiveness.
Back in the days of Hezekiah, that required a sin offering, a sacrifice of goats (II Chronicles 29:23-24). For us, Jesus was the final sacrifice. By dying on the cross, he took the punishment for our sins. And now the Bible says that his blood purifies us from all sin. (I John 1:7). But in order to keep our hearts clean before him, we need to constantly confess our sins before him and repent of our sins. In I John 1:9, it says,
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Finally, Hezekiah and the people dedicated themselves to God once again. Having put aside their idols, and turned from their sins, they said, “God we are yours. We give our lives to you once again.” And that’s what we need to do as well. It’s not enough just to turn from our sins, we need to turn to God as well. It’s not enough to stop following idols in our lives. We need to start following God with all our hearts.
Maybe you’re a fallen Christian. You started walking with the Lord, but have since walked away. To come back is as simple as a prayer.
Lord Jesus, I’ve turned my back on you and gone my own way. Please forgive me. You said that if I confess my sins, you are faithful and just and will forgive me. Lord, I turn back to you now. Help me to turn my back on the idols in my life. Please take the throne of my heart once again. I thank you so much for your grace and mercy. I thank you that you never give up on me. I love you. In Jesus name, amen.