Do you ever wonder if God sees you? You feel small and insignificant. I have those days, too, dear friend. It’s on those days that I am so grateful for God’s Word.
Reading through the Bible, especially the Old Testament, has often felt like a test of my patience and stamina. Lengthy genealogies (even for this amateur genealogist) made me wonder why in the world God would include such boring passages in His Word.
As I have studied more, however, it becomes clear that God has reasons for every word in the Bible. Yes, even those “boring” passages.
One of the Old Testament sections that can be a bit difficult to work your way through is the historical books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. Recently, however, I found myself fascinated by the nuggets that the Holy Spirit brought to my attention. (You may see these pop up here now and again, just be forewarned!)
Kings in Judah’s History
The books of Kings in particular contain multiple accounts of wicked kings and idolatry. It can be quite depressing. Not to mention confusing going back and forth between the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah.
This time, as I worked my way through, a concept popped out in the open that fascinated me. Hang with me here; let’s do a little history lesson first.
One of the most wicked kings in Judah’s history was Ahaz of whom the scripture says:
Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD his God, like David his father. But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel…. (2 Kings 16:2-3a, KJV)
“The ways of the kings of Israel” included idol worship, child sacrifice, and probably more wicked things than we want to know. Ahaz continued the lessons he had learned from his fathers and grandfathers before him.
A New King
In the middle of this evil generation of Ahaz, a son was born named Hezekiah. When Ahaz died, the natural line of reign fell to his son. Read what the scripture says of King Hezekiah:
Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. (2 Kings 18:2-3)
The scripture goes on to say how Hezekiah removed the places of idol worship. He got rid of all the evil influences in Judah. My favorite verses are the following:
He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. For he clave [clung] to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses. And the LORD was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth…. (2 Kings 18: 5-7a)
Wow! What a king! What a testimony! To have that said of your life and recorded in God’s Word for many generations to read of you!
What Made the Difference
But wait. How did this happen? Was his father not one of the most wicked kings in Judah? Nothing good was said about him. How did Hezekiah turn out so godly and faithful?
Go back to verse 2. You know, after it says how long he reigned and before it says how good he was?
His mother’s name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah.
Ah! His mother! Of course! Light bulbs started flashing in my mind (not the migraine kind), leading me to do a little searching and digging.
I could not remember from the past lengthy chapters of history if other mothers were noted. Do you want to know what I found?
- For all the kings prior to and including Hezekiah, it is noted for each whether or not they did right in the sight of the Lord.
- The few who did do right had a mother’s name listed, but they also had somewhat godly fathers. None of them completely surrendered to God’s will, however (more on that another time!).
- Hezekiah is the only one to this point who had an ungodly father, but he did right in all things.
The only difference is his mother.
How many times have I read over a list of names or even a seemingly insignificant name in the Bible, not considering that God put it there for some reason?
Now, there may have been someone else in Hezekiah’s life who introduced him to the things of God. Maybe a prophet or some other godly person he trusted. Of course I am assuming here, but I honestly believe God put this lady’s name in this very spot. Her most notable accomplishment was being Hezekiah’s mother.
The Task of a Mother
One of the highest callings in all of scripture is that of a mother. Whether that is biological, adoptive, aunt, sister, or maybe even in a spiritual sense, women are called to teach the younger ones to be who God called them to be.
Titus 2 (one of my favorite passages in all of the Bible) instructs older women to “teach the young women” in all good things. Proverbs 31 notes the qualities of a woman who sees to the best for her household.
Several special stories in the Bible involve mothers (1 Kings 17:17-24; 2 Kings 4:18-37; Mark 7:24-30; Luke 2; 2 Timothy 1:5) and many other women who acted in the capacity of a mother by offering hospitality and showing kindness to others around them (look up Mary, Martha, and Lydia, for instance).
We who are followers of Christ have been given a charge to pass on our spiritual heritage. There are days that are hard, and I personally forget that my actions and attitudes affect these young ones in my home.
There are other days that I wonder how God could ever use me to change the lives of others. I’m sure you have those, too. You wonder if God sees you. When those days come, let me encourage you to remember Abi.
No one would have ever known about her or remembered her in years to come. But God saw her. He saw her hard days, her faithfulness…and can you imagine her marriage to a man like Ahaz? Let’s not even go down that rabbit hole!
I am sure there were many days she wondered if she was doing anything worthwhile. But she went down in the scriptures as the mother of one of the godliest king’s in Judah’s history. Despite all the evil his father did.
Never underestimate the power and example of a mother’s care and teaching. We were not all called to be biological or even adoptive mothers. But we all have “young” ones in our sphere that need to see our faithfulness and learn about our God.
Keep going, Mama. Be faithful. God sees.
“…be in a behaviour as becometh holiness…teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women…that the word of God be not blasphemed.” (Titus 2:3-5, KJV)