Bringing God at the center of our actions and activities, an example of King Hezekiah
By Dr. Zebedi Muga
The Old Testament text, (2 Ki. 19 – 2), shows how a new king reacts to the taunts of the invaders and their intended colonization of the land. The new king demonstrates reliance and dependence on and the intervention of God. The king receives a message from the Assyrians and puts it to the Lord. Perhaps this is an example our political leaders can learn from this text, on how to respond to the issues of our time. The empire and its killing machines and systems have come to our doorstep. How do we respond to it? King Hezekiah gives a good example on how he goes about meeting the challenges encouraged by the prophet of God. He does not ignore the prophets, as his predecessors had done before, but engages and interrogates the situation together with the prophet.
The reading of the Psalms demonstrated that keeping the law of God brings joy and exultation in the land, to its inhabitants and hearers to the good news of the law. The text illustrates the benefits of keeping and adhering to the demands of the law of the Lord. It singles out particularly the benefits that accrue to those who practice social justice (cf. Ps. 112:6). The rest of the text serves as an encouragement in the face of difficulty.
The reading from the book of Acts focuses on Paul’s journey to Athens under guard. He is put in chains to go and defend the emperor in defense of himself against the charges that have been brought against him. It is interesting to note that his advice is ignored by the centurion who prefers to listen to the ships captain (the Professional). Paul’s reaction is also not ‘I told you so’, when things go bad but he is tactful and continues to encourage in the face of an adverse situation. Today’s prophets also have the task of learning from Paul’s example. When the empire comes to the doorstep, how do man and woman of God practice their ministry and faith? Can the man and woman of God challenge intelligently the issues that come with the coming of the empire to our doorstep?
1. How do we react as men and women of God in the face of adversity? What can we learn from King Hezekiah?
2. What lessons does Ps. 112 teach about our commitment to read and live by the word of God?
3. How do we exercise our prophetic ministry in this times when the empire comes to the doorstep?
Dr. Zebedi Muga is Head of the Department of Biblical Theology and Philosophy at St. Paul’s University in Limuru, Kenya