KING HEZEKIAH, PART 1

Through a quirk of our blog reading schedule, I get to do two days in a row! I’ll be looking at a couple episodes in the life of Hezekiah, one of the “good” kings of the southern kingdom of Judah. Hezekiah’s reign is documented in our OT reading of 2 Kings 18-20, as well as in 2 Chronicles 29-32 and Isaiah 36-39.

Today’s OT reading starts out with the destruction and deportation of the northern kingdom, a direct result of their rebellion against God. 2 Kings 17:7-23 and 18:9-12 give a laundry list of reasons why Israel was destroyed, ending with the indictment: “They neither listened to the commands [of the LORD] nor carried them out.” Ouch.

It’s in this context that we see Hezekiah come to the throne in Judah—and it’s immediately apparent that this is a different kind of man. Just look at how the author describes Hezekiah’s attitudes and actions:
- He “did what was right in the eyes of the LORD” (18:3)
- He removed false worship, both blatant and subtle, moving people towards true worship of the LORD (18:4)
- He trusted in the LORD (18:5)
- He held fast to the LORD, he did not stop following Him, he kept God’s commands (18:6)

I love the summary of God’s response to Hezekiah’s faithfulness: “And the LORD was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook.” Hezekiah was not lighting candles to the bronze serpent of past victories; he was actively participating in present-tense victories because he sought after the LORD. 2 Chronicles adds that his efforts to rededicate the temple and reinstate the Passover were so well received that the people celebrated for another week—and then removed the high places on their way home (2 Chron. 30:23-31:1)!

Lord, let me hold fast to You this week like Hezekiah did. Let me keep Your commands and never stop following you. Let me trust in you, and lead others to do the same. Amen!


by Erik Brommers, Elder

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