I am reading out of a KJV One Year Bible, which has put together passages so that one will be able to read the whole Bible in a year. Today I read out of II Chronicles, Romans, Psalms, and Proverbs. I am really enjoying reading about King Hezekiah, for his heart truly was seeking the Lord. Specifically, I like how his desire to obey the Lord, out of his love for Him, caused him to take action for a nation that was backslidden. While reading some of it, (though I know it is dealing with Israel), I could not help but think of the United States of America. I love my country, my people; yet, we as a nation are so far gone from the Lord, just as Israel in King Hezekiah's reign.
"And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the LORD God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see. Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you. For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him."
II Chronicles 30:7-9
The first President of the United States of America, George Washington, gave this prayer to the Almighty God, "...Which appears on a plaque in St. Paul's Chapel in New York City and at Pohick Church, Fairfax County, Virginia"--America's God and Country, Encyclopedia of Quotations, pg. 647:
'Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection; and Thou wilt incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.'"
"So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them. Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem. Also in Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the LORD. And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation."
II Chronicles 30:10-13
"For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore the Levites had the charge of the killing of the passovers for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the LORD. For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they did eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, the good LORD pardon every one That prepareth his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people."
II Chronicles 30:17-20
"And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered." II Chronicles 31:20, 21
I see myself as I am, a sinner; and I aspire to be always like Christ. Yet, I set myself up to fall every time I choose wickedness over righteousness. Every moment I choose to do things my way, I know I am going to mess up things. Yet, when I seek God with all my heart, I will prosper like Hezekiah did! That indeed is my confidence in the Lord:
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths...The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is sweet reward."
Proverbs 3:5, 6; Psalm 19:7-11
I am encouraged by Jesus Christ, the Word of God: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men." John 1:1-4. He is my life and my light. He is my reward. He is the reason I am not going to hell and the lake of fire. I know I deserve hell and the lake of fire, for I am a horrible sinner.
Yet, because He loves me enough to have accepted me at the age of twelve, when I humbly pleaded for His forgiveness, turning away from living the way I always had (my way: trusting in myself to get to Heaven), desiring things His way (righteousness), and trusting Him as my Saviour and Gate to Heaven--He will not let me die and go to Hell. He is not like people, for I can trust Him. I cannot trust man's word, for even when they mean well, keeping their word can be difficult. It is not difficult for God to keep His Word.
So, if God can do that for me, He can do it for a nation who is repentant as well. Pray for our nation....Pray for our nation! Pray that they will get saved, and turn from their wickedness. Pray that they will see they are sinners, but that they can be sinners saved by God's grace!
"Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD. Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great."