But what made him stand out in my mind apart from the other “good” kings like Asa, Jehosophat, Amaziah, Uzziah, Jehoash, Jothan, and Jehu is that he went further than them in instituting reform.
He broke down the pagan shrines which many failed to touch.
And he broke up the bronze serpent Moses made because the people worshiped it.
Think about that last one for a second: he broke the serpent Moses made!
The man that led them out of Egypt, instituted worship, delivered the Law, and brought them to the edge of Canaan. You just don’t touch, much less alter ANYTHING anyone that great did–and yet Hezekiah did it. Why? Because the people worshiped it and not God.
The Essence of Spiritual Leadership
Many people complicate spiritual leadership. If you haven’t been to seminary, don’t have a degree, aren’t charismatic, don’t have connections, or don’t have the right “credentials” you may not be the “one.” And not to discount those advantages…but the real purpose of a spiritual leader is to bring people to God or into a closer relationship with God.
Whether it be a judge raised up to destroy Israel’s enemies and re-institute worship
- A Samuel telling people to get rid of their idols and worship God only
- A David who brings the Ark of Covenant from Kiriath–jearim to Jerusalem
- A Solomon who constructs a magnificent Temple for worship
- An Elijah who stands up to 850 prophets (450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah) on Mount Carmel and urges the people to serve God and Him only
- Or a John the Baptist who prepares the way for the coming Messiah
We may use different methods: technology, social media, multimedia, user-friendly houses of worship but the purpose has always been the same–lead people to, back to, or closer to God.
Back to Hezekiah
Hezekiah is a model for all those called to fix or repair something. He cut down the serpent Moses made because though it originally had a noble intent it became a hindrance. It got in the way of people and God.
You as a leader have to be willing to “cut down” all hindrances.
What stops most people from becoming great leaders is their unwillingness to cut down these bronze serpents. All the other kings before Hezekiah saw it and probably saw the effects of it…but only Hezekiah cut it down.
Whether it be a tradition, dogma, way of life, or system…if it’s a hindrance it’s got to go! It won’t go overnight and you will get flack for “thinking such a thing”…but you know what God has called you to do.