One thing that heroes of faith always have practiced is the relationship with the God who has pursued them. This relationship leads to things that most people would miss when just pursuing religious ritual or status quo. Having a relationship with the God of heaven means learning what he sounds like and how His character affects the world. These kind of relationships are something that are experienced by staying closely in contact with the one whom you’re connecting with. Hezekiah got to see this kind of relationship with God from prayer.
One of the things that some people expect to have happen is an automatic connection to God just because they read a prayer, but most of the time we need the communication with God. When we we connect with God in prayer or reflection we begin to know God’s voice and begin to recognize what his voice will direct us towards. But it takes connection. It’s not that God is not talking and reaching out to us, what is really happening is that when we do not communicate is that we do not hear what God is saying and do not see what He is doing. It is pretty much a practice of the phrase, “ignorance is bliss.” The problem with the ignorance is that it is an ignorance that is chosen and is applied towards God. This is the story of the people of Israel over and over again. They know of God, but when it comes to it they did not practice the awareness of His presence. It was taken for granted, which meant that this project of faith was doomed to failure if the people did not switch their focus back to God.
Before one begins to say “Lets bring our country back to God,” I want to take us a different direction which Scriptures are more inclined to. When we look at this story, Hezekiah and Isaiah are promoted as faithful examples for us to look up to. The reason why they are examples is because of their connection to God. Note that it is not their commitment to Israel as a nation that makes them good. Many other Kings were invested in the survival and prosperity of this small country. It does not take a holy man to have national pride. What does define them is that they wanted direct connection to the God who saved them and were responding to Him by communicating with Him and reflecting on what he revealed to them. It’s very easy to make a building, institution, or even a nation the defining mark of what it looks like to be in relationship with God, but the Bible is very clear that relationship is directly between God and humanity and that God actually has His own nation and does not need a human one.
What we can say is that lets bring each other back to God. God desires us to be close to Him and to hear what He is telling us. All of the human race is able to experience this closeness and can see what he has no matter where they are from or how they originally define themselves. When God overtakes us, we are adopted into His family and become apart of His country. When Hezekiah has things revealed to Him, it almost seems like He is expecting God to reveal something to Him. His relationship and his spiritual awareness of God’s voice is so practiced that it seems like the one thing he is absolutely certain of is that God will speak, whether it be comforting or challenging. He experiences both in this passage.
One thing that always comes with things this connection is responsibility of response. When we receive good news from a friend or a friend tells us something important, we usually respond because of the relationship. God is the same way. Hezekiah receives great news that God is extending his life which definitely led to celebration and the foretelling of Babylonian invasion led to deep reflection and sorrow for his people. When we come close to God we learn to hear Him when he gives us good news along with possible bad news. The nature of a good relationship will lead us to respond to God and to the humanity that God loves. But this responsibility comes with being part of a large movement to save the world. We have been given an opportunity to change the world together. All it takes is responding to a God who reaches out in love to heal the word. Communicating with God opens the doors of possibility and opportunity to experiencing what God has for us.
Will we allow God to speak to us and give us a chance to join the movement to heal the world? Will we open our ears to hear God’s plans? We will join into the plans he has?