In times of outward peril, things seem completely contradictory to the Word of God, which unlike the world’s perceptions and situations, does not change and mutate in order to gain attention and control. The Word of God is eternal and sure. And the wisdom of God is beyond comprehension. He knows how to preserve His own, while reserving the wicked for judgment. To the leaders and rulers of flesh I would say, the pits you dig for others will eventually encompass you.
In the days of the divided Hebrew nation, there were two lines of kings. One in the kingdom of Judah and one in the kingdom of Israel, the Samaritans, as they came to be known. This division is magnified in the New Testament in a way that few are aware or are taught, But “Jew” primarily refers to Judah, Judea, Jerusalem, the temple, the priesthood, etc. It was the remainder of the Hebrew nations that did not depart from Solomon’s son Rehoboam, Whose heavy handed tyranny occasioned the split of the rest of the ten tribes from Judah and Benjamin. They became known as “Israel”, while Judah, Benjamin, Jerusalem and the temple and priesthood became “Judah”. In places in the Gospels, it is important to understand the distinction. Jew means Judah. And Samaritan means the rest of the tribes, sometimes called gentiles by the Jews. As an example, consider that the United States has been split from England for less than three hundred years. In Jesus’ day, the kingdom of Judah had been separated from the kingdom of Israel for over a thousand. They were completely different nations.
In the case of kings, I have made a point of asking many, who was the greatest king the Hebrews ever had? Almost without exception, the answers are either David or Solomon. When I respond, “not according to scripture”, then some say, Jehoshaphat? or they name some other. But what does the scripture say?
[2Ki 18:1-5 KJV] 1 Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, [that] Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 2 Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also [was] Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. 3 And he did [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. 4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan. 5 He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor [any] that were before him.
When Hezekiah began to reign, Judah and Israel had been separate kingdoms for approximately as long as England and the United States, to give a mental reference. Hezekiah reigned in Jerusalem, a walled city. The picture it spiritually paints, is of the individual in whom Christ dwells, seated together within distinct borders. This is not discernible to the world or the nations. And as different as were Israel and Judah in Hezekiah’s day, so is the difference between the individual who dwells with Christ in faith, and the many who frequent institutions that have sprung up, all liking to identify with the name of Christ, or as different as the two Enochs of different lineage that coexisted in the days before Noah. One Enoch became a city, one and individual who walked with God. One destroyed, one caught up with God. Jesus, once asked how He would be revealed to the individual, yet be unseen by the world, gave answer:
[Jhn 14:23 KJV] 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
When Hezekiah reigned, one by one, the fenced cities of Samaria fell to the King of Assyria. Eventually the fenced cities of Judah began to fall, one by one, until the walled city of Jerusalem, with it’s king in the midst remained. It seems contrary that the Word of God would name as greatest natural king, one who saw his neighboring nation fall, and his own nation fall until all that remained free, was Jerusalem, and those withing it’s wall, with Hezekiah in the midst. The Assyrians immediately stood without the wall, and simultaneously told the Jews not to listen to Hezekiah and his promises of God’s deliverance, while if they trusted the Asstyians, and agreed with them and willingly came out to them, they would be carried away to a land “like their own,”:
[2Ki 18:31-32 KJV] 31 Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make [an agreement] with me by a present, and come out to me, and [then] eat ye every man of his own vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his cistern: 32 Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil olive and of honey, that ye may live, and not die: and hearken not unto Hezekiah, when he persuadeth you, saying, The LORD will deliver us.
The reference to Fig and Vine are a promise to give you, what Jesus spoke in John 14. It is the fellowship of the Father and the Son. The overcome and fallen cities of Samaria (Israel) and Judah were duped into a system and condition LIKE this, but administered through occupying mediators. But Christ in you is the hope of glory. Not Christ in a system, in “anointed” leaders, not in “church”. Christ in YOU.
This condition was portrayed in the days of Hezekiah, and he followed the Lord like none before him, or after, naturally speaking.
The simple message is this. Set to your seal that God is true. Believe your King who dwells in you. Keep the walls of your mind strong. Pay no attention to the detractors. Your faith, being tried, is more precious than fine silver and gold. It is the most precious thing you have.
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, [He is] my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, [and] from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth [shall be thy] shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; [nor] for the arrow [that] flieth by day;
[Nor] for the pestilence [that] walketh in darkness; [nor] for the destruction [that] wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; [but] it shall not come nigh thee.
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast made the LORD, [which is] my refuge, [even] the most High, thy habitation;
There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in [their] hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I [will be] with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
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