Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 20:1-10
How will you feel if today, prophesy comes that you should put your house in order for the end has come? Some years ago, I watched on television the execution of a notorious armed robber. As he was being tried to the stake, his countenance fell and he foamed from the mouth. The reality of death came stark naked before him and his soul was in anguish. The same situation confronted Hezekiah, when the Prophet Isaiah said to him, “Thus saith the Lord, set thine house in order; for thou shall die, and not live.” (V1). This statement from the Lord sounds harsh especially for a man who served God with all that he had. Viewing it
from another angle, God whom he served so well, loved him so much, and so would not want him to die in sin; hence, he was advised to put his house in order. Whichever way one sees God’s statements to Hezekiah, some very important implications for our relationship with the Lord can be found. On hearing the message, the scripture records that Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed unto the Lord, saying, “I beseech thee, O Lord remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight.” This is a statement from a heart that has a sordid relationship with the Father. Though he cried sore at the end of this prayer to his Father, but he was sure that he had kept his own part of the covenant with his God. Precisely a month after Kenule Saro Wiwa turned 54, his executioners came for him. Four times attempts were made to hang him, but success was achieved until the fifth attempt. At that point and like Hezekiah, he submitted to God when he said, “Lord take my soul . . . .” Ability to have the composure to pray at this point is quite commendable and it shows someone who had been keeping vigil with the Lord in prayers. Secondly, the scripture says that, Isaiah was still in the Kings court when he was asked to return to Hezekiah with a more pleasing message. God immediately heard and answered Hezekiah’s prayers and revoked his earlier declaration. One important lesson here is that it is not all the things declared by the Lord in the future that cannot be revoked. Recall that the Lord changed his mind concerning Nineveh when they repented of their sins. (Jonah 3:1 —10). So when believers are confronted with tragedy, we can be rest assured that God cares about what happens to us. He is compassionate and listens to our cry for help. Thirdly, the Holy Spirit teaches us today that our fervent prayers do have effect on God, His purposes and the fulfilment of His sovereign plans. So what happens in our lives and the church is a combination of God’s plans and our prayers. Let us therefore always and at all times maintain the conviction that prayer has the capacity of changing things.
Finally, beloved, the kind of aroma you emit in God’s presence determines how He responds to your cry for help. Even in his compassion, God may overlook the prayer of a man whose odour is stench and foul in His nostrils. Like Hezekiah, let us be able to say, “I have done that which is good in your sight.”
1 Jn 1: 5 —2: 2; Ps 124: 2-3. 4-5. 7cd-8 (R. 7ab); Mt 2: 13-18
HOLY INNOCENTS, F
1. Take the worship song, “To praise Him for compassion and love”.
2. Meditate on your life and pray thus: Holy Father, I admit that I have not been emitting sweet fragrance to You because of my sinful acts. Holy Lord, the reason is because I am weak and frail. I, therefore beseech You to have mercy upon me, strengthen me and help me to remain strong in You. Amen.
3. Pray for all who are sick and dying at this moment; pray for God’s mercy.
4. Pray that the year 2017 shall present to all users of DSD, prosperity and plenty of gratitude to God.
5. Pray for the success of the 21 days fasting and prayer program starting Friday 6th January 2017.
Exercise: Visit the Blessed Sacrament today or have some quiet time for prayers.
Memory Verse: 2 Kings 20:5b