Sami Dagher: Return to Your God

God wants to awaken every one of us

Sami Dagher: Return to Your God

God wants to awaken every one of us

Above: Billy Graham and Sami Dagher. Photo: BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse.

The Holy Spirit has led me to speak heart-to-heart with you. In 2 Chronicles 29:1-2, we see that King Hezekiah became king of Judah when he was 25 years old and remained king for 29 years. He “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord” (verse 2).

Hezekiah was not proud to be the son of King Ahaz. His father was an evil man who turned the people from their God and led them to sin, leading to destruction. We see in Chapter 28 that 120,000 of the people were killed in one day when their enemies attacked them. Hezekiah’s father brought much destruction to the nation of Israel—yet, Hezekiah was a man who did what was right before God.

How can a man whose father had done such evil against God become a good man before the Lord? 

The first lesson we learn from King Hezekiah is this: No matter what our fathers and mothers did, it is not an excuse for us to do evil in the sight of God. 

King Hezekiah did what was right in the sight of God, not like his father, Ahaz, but like his ancestor King David.

Just before the Bible says that Hezekiah did right in the eyes of the Lord, the Holy Spirit saw fit to mention Hezekiah’s mother, Abijah. The Book of Proverbs says that an excellent wife is incredibly valuable—and it seems reasonable to deduce that Abijah was an excellent woman, who taught her son the ways of the Lord in spite of her husband’s bad deeds.

Excellent ladies of America, I plead with you, teach your children. Don’t depend on others to teach them about Jesus—teach them and live godly lives in front of them. No matter who his father was, Hezekiah could grow up to do what was right in the sight of God because of his mother.

Sami, one of the great church planters in the Middle East, stands on the roof of his church in Baghdad. Photo: BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse.

Second, we see in this passage that nothing happens in the world unless God is behind it. 

In Amos 4:6-11, God declares that He had brought about great trials for His people. He took away their bread. He withheld rain from the land. He brought death and pestilence. He made wars and killed the people with the sword. Why did He do these things? To say to His people, “I want you to return to Me.”

In the first year of his reign, Hezekiah reopened the doors to the house of the Lord. The king knew that God’s people needed to return to Him. His father had prayed to foreign gods for help, and those “gods” were his destruction. Hezekiah wanted to bring them back to the reason destruction came to them: They had refused to come back to God.

Often, we think problems come by accident. Brothers and sisters, I pray you in the Name of Jesus, put God in the picture in every problem you face. God wants to awaken every one of us to return to Him.

Third, we see in the passage that God demands holiness of His people.

Hezekiah calls the priests and the Levites to a meeting, in which his first command to them is to sanctify themselves and the house of God.

“Ye shall be holy; for I am holy,” says the Lord (Leviticus 11:44, KJV). If you are satisfied with the standard of holiness that you have reached and think you can sit and do nothing, you have the wrong measure of holiness. Our standard of holiness is the holiness of God Himself. Without holiness, no one can see Him. Without holiness, we have no right to serve Him.

Hezekiah said to take the dirt and the filth and to throw it out of the temple of God. When we think of the house of the Lord, we often think of the temple Solomon built in the Old Testament. But in the New Testament, everything has changed. We are God’s temples, and the Spirit of God dwells in us.

Franklin Graham and Sami Dagher at a refugee camp outside Beirut, Lebanon, 1982. Photo: BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse.

And so, brothers and sisters, let us take the jealousy, the hate, the pride and everything unholy out of the temple of God, and let us love one another with the holy love that God has demanded of us.

The Christian life is a battle, a war between two laws within ourselves: the law of the flesh and the law of the Spirit. I pray you, in the Name of Jesus Christ, don’t settle for thinking you are good. You must strive to be holy as He is holy.

Finally, God has chosen you to serve. He gave us a ministry, and that ministry is to go and preach the Gospel to all nations. 

In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus says that all authority has been given to Him in Heaven and on earth. What was His command with this authority? Go and preach the Gospel to all people. 

In 2 Chronicles 29:10, Hezekiah says it is on his heart to make a covenant with God. The covenant we should make with the Lord today is this: “I want to do the ministry that You have given me to do.” This ministry is to proclaim the Gospel.

I pray that every one of us would make a covenant with God to tell the world of the love of Christ and what He has done on the cross to save us.  ©2024 Sami Dagher

Franklin Graham walks with Sami Dagher through a Syrian refugee camp, northern Iraq. Photo: BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse.
In his homeland, Sami customarily preaches from an Arabic translation of the Bible. Photo: BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse.

Unless otherwise specified, Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. The quotation marked KJV is taken from The Holy Bible, King James Version. 

Sami Dagher is a pastor, church planter and evangelist who has worked closely with Franklin Graham for many years. 

Subscribe to Decision Email Devotional

Subscribe to Decision Email Devotional

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

About Us     Contact Us     Privacy
©2024 Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. BGEA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.