7/21/15: Sudden Change
From 1966 – 1970, the warning on a package of cigarettes said, “Caution: Cigarette Smoking May be Hazardous to Your Health.” When findings made it clear that tar and nicotine actually did destroy the lungs, the warning was changed to read, “Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined that Cigarette Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health.” In 1985, other warnings were added including these which say, “Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, And May Complicate Pregnancy,” and “Quitting Smoking Now Greatly Reduces Serious Risks to Your Health.”
Back in 1970, one of my friends who was a smoker remembers when the “may be hazardous” was changed to “is dangerous.” He was watching television, smoking a cigarette at his kitchen table, as the surgeon general made the announcement. After picking up the package and reading the warning for himself, he looked at the cigarette in his hand and proclaimed, “Then I’m a fool.” He hasn’t smoked a cigarette since.
The story of the beginning of King Hezekiah’s reign in 2 Chronicles 29 reminds me of my friend’s immediate change. From the time he was 9-years-old, Hezekiah had watched as his dad, King Ahaz, insisted upon serving foreign gods, thus causing the wrath of God to be poured out upon the people of Judah in the form of attacks by several different nations. When Hezekiah took to the throne, he said, “Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the LORD God of Israel, that His fierce wrath may turn away from us” 2 Chronicles 29:10 (NKJ). He then went about repairing the temple, putting the priests and Levites back to work, and gathering the people to offer sin and thank offerings and begin to worship.
The final verse of the 2 Chronicles 29 is key. “Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced that God had prepared the people, since the events took place so suddenly” (verse 36). You see, it didn’t take a long time for the people to shift gears and start doing what was right. My former pastor used to say, “When you find more light, walk in it.” The Word of God is clear as to how we should conduct our lives. What’s takes us so long to simply turn around and start to obey? How about making that sudden, positive change today?
©2009 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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