Bible passages: 2 Kings 18-20, 2 Chronicles 29-32, Isaiah 36-39
*All Bible passages used are in NKJV
King Hezekiah, son of King Ahaz and Abijah, daughter of Zechariah, was the 13th king of Judah and the king who “did what was right, good and true in the sight of the LORD, according to all that His father David done” (2 Kings 18:3, 2 Chronicles 31:20) like some kings of Israel and Judah. I, as a kid, have known him for having an additional 15 years of life given to him by God when He prayed to God for his sickness (2 Kings 20:6) but never did I know that he was regarded as the king like no other.
2 Kings 18:5 says:
He trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him..
He must have been quite a king to be regarded as such! The king who trusted God that no king before and after him was like him. Let’s look at some characteristics of King Hezekiah:
- He was zealous for the restoration of both Judah’s and Israel’s relationship to the LORD God. 2 Chronicles 18:3-5 says:
3 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the LORD and repaired them. 4 Then he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them in the East Square, 5 and said to them: “Hear me, Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from the holy place.
His first order of business as king was seeking God by cleansing God’s temple and urging the Levites to purify themselves before God. He unashamedly admitted before his people about the trespasses their fathers made before God by turning their backs from Him and forsaking Him that brought upon the wrath of God. He urged his people to come back to God as they were chosen by Him, as 2 Chronicles 18:11 says:
My sons, do not be negligent now, for the LORD has chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him, and that you should minister to Him and burn incense.
This king wasn’t afraid to admit their transgressions before God but instead he humbled himself and repented and then urged his people to do the same. He made them remember that they, the Levites, were chosen by God with a specific purpose for Him. After repenting and cleansing themselves, they worked on cleansing the temple, as 2 Chronicles 18:16 says,
Then the priests went into the inner part of the house of the LORD to cleanse it, and brought out all the debris that they found in the temple of the LORD to the court of the house of the LORD.
2 Kings 18:4 mentioned specifically that he abolished the pagan idols that the Israelites used to worship:
He removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan.
King Hezekiah led and commanded his people to worship only one God, “the LORD of hosts, the God of all the kingdoms of the earth who made heaven and earth” (Isaiah 37:16).
2 Chronicles 29:29-30 says:
29 And when they had finished offering, the king and all who were present with him bowed and worshiped.30 Moreover King Hezekiah and the leaders commanded the Levites to sing praise to the LORD with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshiped
He even urged all Israel to seek God as 2 Chronicles 30:1 says:
And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the Passover to the LORD God of Israel.
King Hezekiah recognized that knew seeking God and restoring their relationship with Him as one nation was of utmost importance and should be his foremost priority.
2. He diligently and whole-heartedly obeyed God which resulted to prosperity and favor.
2 Kings 18:6 says:
6 For he held fast to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses. 7 The LORD was with him; he prospered wherever he went.
Moreover, 2 Chronicles 31:21 adds:
21 And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered.
Throughout his life, King Hezekiah was faithful in every work that he did for God and served God with all his heart. He and his people honored the LORD through worship, burnt offerings, devotions to the law of the LORD and the giving of “firstfruits of grain and wine, oil and honey, and of all the produce of the field” (2 Chronicles 31:5). This was rewarded by God by blessing his kingdom. King Hezekiah saw this great abundance as it says in 2 Chronicles 31:9:
9 Then Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps.10 And Azariah the chief priest, from the house of Zadok, answered him and said, “Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the Lord, we have had enough to eat and have plenty left, for the Lord has blessed His people; and what is left is this great abundance.”
The people gathered the grain for four months. Before this, grains were already taken by the priests as tithes and offerings dedicated to the LORD and by the people of Judah as provisions for their families. Still after all were full, the left overs were still great in amount!
King Hezekiah had the favor of God and with it came the favor of men. As it says in 2 Chronicles 30:11-12:
11 Nevertheless some from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12 Also the hand of God was on Judah to give them singleness of heart to obey the command of the king and the leaders, at the word of the LORD.
When the king sent letters to urge people all throughout Israel to come to Jerusalem to worship and keep the passover, some laughed and mocked at the runners carrying these letters (2 Chronicles 30:10). But God’s hand was upon the tribes of Asher, Manasseh, Zebulun and of course, Judah. He touched the nation of Judah that all obeyed, as one and with the singleness of heart, the command of the king and observed the passover. God blessed the feast with great joy and with a great number of people as 2 Chronicles 30:25-16 says:
25 The whole assembly of Judah rejoiced, also the priests and Levites, all the assembly that came from Israel, the sojourners who came from the land of Israel, and those who dwelt in Judah. 26 So there was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the time of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem.
Abundance in grain, people, favor and joy! An overflowing abundance indeed!
Stay tuned for Part 2!
If you want to have this zeal, prosperity and favor from God like King Hezekiah had, click here.