Hezekiah and Paul. At first glance two completely different and opposite people separated by hundreds of years. One, a king over an established nation of people and the other a servant and preacher at the infancy of Christianity. Their differences make their similarities stand out to me.
Though he was raised by his King father who did not follow God’s commandments, Hezekiah led his people in the way of the Lord and in turn received blessings and protection. His purpose in the serving the Lord:
“And every work that he undertook in the service of the house of God and in accordance with the law and the commandments, seeking his God, he did with all his heart and prospered.” 2 Chronicles: 31:21
And even in the face of trial and potential death for his entire kingdom, Hezekiah remained faithful and encouraged his people to do the same. He pointed them back to the one who had remained faithful to them and he encouraged his people:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria ad all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with them. With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” 2 chronicles 32:7-8
Paul’s story was similar in nature. Raised as a devout Jew and after years of living as a self- described highest of all Pharisees and judging others, Paul, through the Holy Spirit came to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord of all. His incredible conversion experience led him to have a heart of complete and utter service to the Lord. Paul’s purpose was to spread the good news of the gospel no matter the cost. He wanted to make sure his life was never a hindrance to others faith.
“For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all that I might win more of them”. 1 Corinthians 9:19
Paul’s encouragement to his fellow believers was to never give up hope, pushing forward for the eternal prize of glory.
“I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with the min its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only can receive the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So, I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others, I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:22-27
May our hearts’ cry and prayer be, “In all things may God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, so that His way may be known on earth, and His saving power among all nations. Let the people praise you, O God!” Psalm 67.