I am fascinated with the Old Testament. I love the New Testament for obvious reason- He came willing to save me from my sins and died a sinners death of a cross at calvary- this is a big deal, the deal. The reason I rejoice and celebrate and live with hope that I am not alone, that He holds me and draws me near with every breath He allows me to breathe.
But the Old Testament– there is just something about it, that makes me ask questions that lead me to answers that keep me wanting more. Such as… Who were the Kings selected after Saul? Why did the Kingdom divide after Solomon, why were there such evil Kings allowed to sit on the throne in a Holy land? What caused their destruction and ruin? How did so few find a way to stay Holy and God honoring? At what point is one considered evil, or good? This led me to Hezekiah- He of course followed his father Ahaz… one the worst Kings- by deed and actions alone. How did he escape the leading and grooming of his father to become the Best King to reign of those before and after him? What made him different? I don’t have all the answers yet, but I am hoping to shed some light on this for myself.
I have a secondary interesting thing about me… figs. Yeah- I don’t eat them, have no desire to in fact, but I remember learning about Jesus cursing the fig tree a few years ago, and although I had heard the story before, something about it struck me and stuck with me.
1- He was Jesus- There was nothing He couldn’t do
2- Why didn’t He bless it to produce fruit out of season?
3- Why did he use the fig as the example?
I have listed many verses at the bottom if you would like to see the way the Lord has used the fig as an example.
The fig produced leaves that hid the shame of Adam and Eve after they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. When Jesus cursed it, he banished our ability to hide shame in the withered leaves of the fig. He brings things to the light, deals with them and then sets you free clean of all of the mess you made.
Back to Hezekiah-
Hezekiah tried to be a Holy and Just King. He chose to bring back the Honor that King David had initially walked in, He put things back where they belonged, he destroyed idols and halted the worship of other Gods.
I found it very interesting in 2 Kings 20 that Hezekiah prayed and asked for an extension on his life, and he got it!
20 About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill, and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to visit him. He gave the king this message: “This is what the Lord says: Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.” ***(WHAT! !)
2 When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 “Remember, O Lord, how I have always been faithful to you and have served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you.” Then he broke down and wept bitterly.
4 But before Isaiah had left the middle courtyard,[a] this message came to him from the Lord: 5 “Go back to Hezekiah, the leader of my people. Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you, and three days from now you will get out of bed and go to the Temple of the Lord. 6 I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my own honor and for the sake of my servant David.’”
7 Then Isaiah said, “Make an ointment from figs.” So Hezekiah’s servants spread the ointment over the boil, and Hezekiah recovered!
It isn’t over- Even when the Lord Himself has told you it is over… He says, ask me, knock and the door will be opened. Keep pressing on, I love you! I want to extend your life! I sent my son to do just that! Give you life ever lasting.
Read through this part of the Old Testament- it’s fascinating. Hezekiah is proof that no matter who your momma or daddy was, no matter what they did, He is able to make you into a man or woman after His heart. Hezekiah’s dad, along with the elders of the temple, sacrificed there children into the fiery mouth of a False God, where they died a bitter and horrendous death. Hezekiah rose to power and restored the true God to the people of his nation- you can too; in your every day life, give hope, and love and show Jesus here.
Genesis 3:7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
Deuteronomy 8:8 It is a land of wheat and barley; of grapevines, fig trees, and pomegranates; of olive oil and honey.
Judges 9:9 But the olive tree refused, saying, ‘Should I quit producing the olive oil that blesses both God and people, just to wave back and forth over the trees?’ 10 “Then they said to the fig tree, ‘You be our king!’11 But the fig tree also refused, saying, ‘Should I quit producing my sweet fruit just to wave back and forth over the trees?’
1 Kings 10:27 The king made silver as plentiful in Jerusalem as stone. And valuable cedar timber was as common as the sycamore-fig trees that grow in the foothills of Judah.
1 Kings 4: 25 During the lifetime of Solomon, all of Judah and Israel lived in peace and safety. And from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, each family had its own home and garden.[a]
2 Kings 18: 31 “Don’t listen to Hezekiah! These are the terms the king of Assyria is offering: Make peace with me—open the gates and come out. Then each of you can continue eating from your own grapevine and fig tree and drinking from your own well.
2 Kings 20:7 Then Isaiah said, “Make an ointment from figs.” So Hezekiah’s servants spread the ointment over the boil, and Hezekiah recovered!
Isaiah 34:4 The heavens above will melt away and disappear like a rolled-up scroll. The stars will fall from the sky like withered leaves from a grapevine, or shriveled figs from a fig tree.
Isaiah 36:16 “Don’t listen to Hezekiah! These are the terms the king of Assyria is offering: Make peace with me—open the gates and come out. Then each of you can continue eating from your own grapevine and fig tree and drinking from your own well.
Isaiah 3821 Isaiah had said to Hezekiah’s servants, “Make an ointment from figs and spread it over the boil, and Hezekiah will recover.”
Jeremiah 8: 13 I will surely consume them. There will be no more harvests of figs and grapes.Their fruit trees will all die. Whatever I gave them will soon be gone. I, the Lord, have spoken!’
Jeremiah 24 After King Nebuchadnezzar[a] of Babylon exiled Jehoiachin[b] son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, to Babylon along with the officials of Judah and all the craftsmen and artisans, the Lord gave me this vision. I saw two baskets of figs placed in front of the Lord’s Temple in Jerusalem. 2 One basket was filled with fresh, ripe figs, while the other was filled with bad figs that were too rotten to eat.
3 Then the Lord said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
I replied, “Figs, some very good and some very bad, too rotten to eat.”
4 Then the Lord gave me this message: 5 “This is what theLord, the God of Israel, says: The good figs represent the exiles I sent from Judah to the land of the Babylonians.[c] 6 I will watch over and care for them, and I will bring them back here again. I will build them up and not tear them down. I will plant them and not uproot them. 7 I will give them hearts that recognize me as the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me wholeheartedly.
8 “But the bad figs,” the Lord said, “represent King Zedekiah of Judah, his officials, all the people left in Jerusalem, and those who live in Egypt. I will treat them like bad figs, too rotten to eat. 9 I will make them an object of horror and a symbol of evil to every nation on earth. They will be disgraced and mocked, taunted and cursed, wherever I scatter them. 10 And I will send war, famine, and disease until they have vanished from the land of Israel, which I gave to them and their ancestors.”
Matthew 21:18 In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry, 19 and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!”And immediately the fig tree withered up.
20 The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?”
21 Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. 22 You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”
Sooo Many Verses- I didn’t list them all. Just a few if Your Curiosity gets to you too!!!