What do you want said at your funeral or written as an epitaph in your memory? How about; “there was none like him among all…!”
Hezekiah stands out in stark contrast to the many who went before and those who came after him the rest of verse 5 tells us. And what was the secret to this glowing description of Hezekiah’s life and reign as king of Judah?
5 He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel…. he held fast to the Lord. He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses. 7 And the Lord was with him; wherever he went out, he prospered. (2 Kings 18:5a,6-7)
Hezekiah believed God, and held on to his belief in God unswervingly. He did not get into compromise and sin but kept God’s commandments and in response to his faith and obedience God was with him always and caused him to prosper.
Don’t for a moment think that Hezekiah had an easy time following God. Hezekiah didn’t follow God or lead Judah in a time of ease or peace and security but rather did so in the presence of terrifying threats from the Assyrians! The Assyrians had recently overthrown the northern tribes of Israel and had also overtaken all the towns around Jerusalem which was surrounded.
And yet Hezekiah trusted God, held fast to his God in the midst of great trials. Hezekiah’s trust in God is expressed wonderfully in his prayer recorded in 2 Kings 19:15-19;
15 And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said: “O Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 16 Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 17 Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands 18 and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. 19 So now, O Lord our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Lord, are God alone.”
What a prayer of faith! A prayer that’s real about the circumstances and yet more impressed with His God. And what a response from God through the prophet Isaiah;
“Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. 33 By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the Lord. 34 For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.” (2 Kings 20:32-34)
What an inspiration Hezekiah is! Don’t you want to be like him? How can you be?
5 He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel…. he held fast to the Lord. He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses. (2 Kings 18:5a,6)
Let’s be like Hezekiah, let’s trust God, let’s hold fast to God when life is messy and confusing, let’s not depart from following God and keeping his commandments. And then let’s see all that God will do in and through us.