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Lessons from a king

Recently I have been pondering the life of King Hezekiah.  Hezekiah was the 13th successor of David, reigning in Judah’s southern kingdom. He reigned for 29 years—approximately 715-686 BC—beginning at age 25 (2 Kings 18:2)

His life is marked with many lessons which I have been contemplating. He was known for undoing the wicked ways of his father King Ahaz, Hezekiah set out to do good. He reopened the temple and cleansed it. He destroyed Judah’s idols, pagan temples, and altars (2 Chronicles 29:3-19; 31:1-2); and he re-established worship, reinstated the Levitical priesthood, and set up contributions for temple worship (2 Chronicles 29:5; 20-35; 31:2-21). These actions caused the people of Judah to return to God and ushered in revival.

Hezekiah was also known as a man of prayer. He regularly sought wisdom in prayer and through the Word of the Lord walked in great favor and wisdom. These are the good lessons we can learn but there are also warnings in the life of Hezekiah that we should heed. It is the later that has been stirring my heart recently.

Hezekiah became very ill, so ill in fact that Isaiah came and told him to get his affairs in order. Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and began praying to the Lord for more time and bringing all of his efforts before the Lord. It is here that I find my heart aching for to my mind it is in this moment of distress that Hezekiah fell. He came before the Lord with his deeds as justification for his life to be extended. While I can understand this approach as I am facing stage four cancer I also so the pitfall in it. Hezekiah doesn’t seek God he seeks favor because of what he considers his own worth. He allows pride to take root. God answers his prayers and grants him 15 more years but sadly the root of pride had already sprung up and those 15 years undid so much of the “good” that Hezekiah had tried to do.  Hezekiah’s heart became proud and he failed to “respond to the kindness” God has shown him (2 Chronicles 32:25).

Over the course of 15 years Hezekiah failed to recognize God’s kindness to him and lived in a way that boasted of all he possessed and what a great position he held. He fathered his heir, Manasseh, in the 15 years after his illness but failed to teach his son to honor God.

Though Hezekiah had led the nation in reform and revival, his indifference for the future had terrible consequences. Manasseh would be incredibly evil and undo most of his father’s reforms (2 Kings 18-20; 2 Chronicles 29-32; Isaiah 36-39). He brought immorality back to Judah and promoted the worship of pagan gods.

In short Hezekiah’s life became all about him with no consideration for future generations or others. This walk of pride ushered in the capture of Judah by Babylon.

The things I gathered most from these reflections

  1. I want my life to be about Him, not me. I pray that God is glorified in and through me.

  2. I want to always set my eyes on Him as my source

  3. I want to always always be humbled before such an amazing God. I want to make sure my heart is laid before Him and Him alone

  4. And finally I want to always be focused on passing the good news of His salvation to others. I want to always know His love and point others to it.

In conclusion I want to finish well whenever the finish comes.

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