2 Kings 18 … Consider Him Who Commends Those Who Cling

He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel; so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who were before him. For he clung to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses, (18:5-6).

Finally, a breath of fresh air as we read of one who is chronicled and Commended; one whose complete trust and faith is forever documented as unique and unparalleled; “for he clung to the LORD.”

Consider Him Who Commends Those Who Cling

Hezekiah clung to the LORD. Several other versions translate this phrase as “he remained faithful.” But I love the word used in the NASB, especially in light of the Hebrew Word.

From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:1692. דָּבַק dāḇaq: A verb meaning to cling to, join with, stay with. It is used of something sticking to or clinging to something else (Ezek. 29:4); … It is used figuratively or symbolically of a man cleaving or clinging to his wife (Gen. 2:24)… It depicts relationships created as an act of joining together, to follow (Josh. 23:12; 2 Sam. 20:2). In a spiritual sense, it describes Ruth joining and staying with Boaz’s maids (Ruth 2:8, 21, 23)…

There is something in this image of clinging that I can wholeheartedly relate to. When I read about those who “remain faithful,” thoughts tend to emerge in my mind of brave warriors, fierce against all attacks. And I readily confess I don’t quite see myself portrayed in those imaginings.

But when I read, “he clung to the LORD,” images of my three-year-old twin grandchildren materialize in my mind’s eye. And as I envision them clinging to mommy and daddy in their fear or distress, I easily see myself, the scared child desperately hanging on to my only hope for help. And I am reminded of the Words of my Savior.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven,” (Matthew 18:1-4).

But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all,” (Luke 18:16-17).

And another most astounding fact conveyed in his story, is the result of Hezekiah’s childlike clinging. As he clung and held fast to the LORD, God led him to actions that were both right and brave; in a sense, becoming the all-illusive brave warrior.

He did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done. 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… (18:3-4).

And while what Hezekiah did was undeniably commendable, we must not lose sight of this fact: it was Hezekiah’s clinging that brought forth God’s Commendation.

He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel; so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who were before him. For he clung to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses, (18:5-6 emphasis added).

How do we respond to Him Who Commends Those Who Cling?

The rewards for Clinging are at first clearly evident.

And the Lord was with him; wherever he went he prospered. And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him, (18:7).

But we are immediately reminded that faith will always be tested and tried.

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (1 Peter 1:6-7).

And the remainder of 2 Kings 18 details the depth of testing Hezekiah endured throughout his Clinging. The outcome appears bleak as we read of the mighty king and army of Assyria so intent on besieging and capturing Judah. And while the northern kingdom of Israel now bears out the consequence of their transgressions, “Then the king of Assyria carried Israel away into exile to Assyria… 12 because they did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, but transgressed His covenant, even all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded; they would neither listen nor do it,” (18:11-12); we see Hezekiah continuing to Cling in his refusal to answer the taunts of the enemy (and tomorrow we will read of him seeking the godly counsel of the prophet, Isaiah).

We must never forget that His Commendations for Clinging do not negate the reality of trials and testings; for it is in the trials we learn if we are in fact holding fast to Him.

So, how should we respond to Him Who Commends Those Who Cling?

Cling!

  • We Cling as we remind ourselves of Who He Is and all He Has Done on our behalf.
    • “For who is God, besides the Lord?
      And who is a rock, besides our God?
      33 “God is my strong fortress;
      And He sets the blameless in His way.
      34 “He makes my feet like hinds’ feet,
      And sets me on my high places.
      35 “He trains my hands for battle,
      So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
      36 “You have also given me the shield of Your salvation,
      And Your help makes me great.
      37 “You enlarge my steps under me,
      And my feet have not slipped,”
      ( 2 Samuel 22:32-34)
    • Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity
      And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession?
      He does not retain His anger forever,
      Because He delights in unchanging love.
      19 He will again have compassion on us;
      He will tread our iniquities under foot.
      Yes, You will cast all their sins
      Into the depths of the sea,
      (Micah 7:18-19).
  • We Cling as we remind ourselves of His Faithfulness.
    • “God is not a man, that He should lie,
      Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
      Has He said, and will He not do it?
      Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
      (Numbers 23:19).
    • If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself, (2 Timothy 2:13).
  • We Cling as we remind ourselves of His Promises.
    • “Do not fear, for I am with you;
      Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
      I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
      Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand,”
      (Isaiah 41:10).
    • And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away,” (Revelation 21:3-4).

Another great way to encourage and strengthen our own Clinging is to read, study and mediate through Hebrews 11, often referred to as the Hall of Faith. As we are reminded that God values and rewards faith, and as we are reminded that He Commends Those Who Cling, we will be spurred on to greater faith, undaunted trust and uncompromised Clinging.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him, (Hebrews 11:6).

Oh that we would live each and every day, Clinging to Him in faith and obedience; and that one day, we too would hear the Words of Him Who Commends Those Who Cling.

“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master,’” (Matthew 25:21, 23).

Let’s Grow Together!

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