When Faith Seems Frail
Updated: Mar 31, 2021
2 Kings 18:4 records one of the most meaningful actions King Hezekiah took during his righteous reign:
“He removed the high places and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah. He also broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the sons of Israel burned incense to it; and it was called Nehushtan."
The children of Israel had brought the bronze serpent from the wilderness into the land of Canaan (cf. Num. 21:6ff). They had treated it as an idol, a worthless thing to be revered. The Israelites had been idolatrous for generations (cf. Amos 5:25ff). It had become part of their culture, but Hezekiah used his authority as king to remove their high places and the idols they had served there. Hezekiah behaved faithfully toward God.
Sometimes faithfulness is perceived as frailty. In 2 Kings 18:17, Rabshakeh, an officer in the Assyrian army, was sent to Jerusalem to threaten them. Among the belittling comments he made was this, recorded in verse 22: “If you say, ‘We trust in the Lord our God,’ is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away…?” He was arguing that Hezekiah had weakened their relationship with God by removing the idolatrous high places.
Hezekiah’s faithful actions provoked blasphemous insults from his enemies. They were wrong in their assessment of his relationship with God and their assessment of God’s strength (cf. 2 Kings 18:35). Others may perceive your faithfulness to God and His Word as weakness, but it is strength. Continue in faith and, at the right time, God will deliver you as surely as He delivered Hezekiah (cf. 2 Kings 19:6ff).