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. 2 Chr 31:21
This verse is speaking about King Hezekiah. The verse ends with 3 words “So he prospered.” What is the reason that King Hezekiah prospered? It was because he sought his God with all his heart.
Let us be reminded that this is the way to true happiness. Hezekiah’s material prosperity was the by-product of his diligent seeking of God. The joy he had was not so much in the material experience of his prosperity but the delight he had in the presence of God as he sought Him. Let us emulate the example of King Hezekiah.
Now because of this King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, prayed and cried out to heaven. Then the Lord sent an angel who cut down every mighty man of valor, leader, and captain in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned shamefaced to his own land. And when he had gone into the temple of his god, some of his own offspring struck him down with the sword there. 2 Chr 32:20-21
Judah was faced with an impending military threat. They were about to be attacked by Assyria whose armies are far superior in every way. In response to this threat, the verse says that Hezekiah and Isaiah prayed and cried out to heaven. And the Lord responded with deliverance.
How often have we missed deliverance and help because we failed to pray? Because we failed to be aware the God is present at every situation we encounter, we attempt to handle the situation with our own wisdom and strength. This verse is a reminder that we ought to pray at all times. God is near us and will respond to our call for help.
However, regarding the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, whom they sent to him to inquire about the wonder that was done in the land, God withdrew from him, in order to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart. 2 Chr 32:31
There is a reason for everything that happens. We may not know how events are inter-connected one to another because God may not reveal that to us.
But this verse tells us the reason for God withdrawing from Hezekiah. The reason was to test him – to see what was in his heart.
Sometimes we may ask the reason as to why we fell into sin. Perhaps it was because God withdrew Himself – so that we may be tested – so that He may know what is in our heart, just like the case for Hezekiah. And when we fall, we know what is in our heart – that there is nothing good. We are utterly sinful and fully dependent on the grace of God to sustain us, or we will fail miserably. That reduces us to dust and helps us to appreciate the sustaining grace of God.
If we have fallen into sin, may we find grace through our Lord Jesus Christ who gave Himself to redeem us because we are totally unable to help ourselves.
For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; he raised up altars for the Baals, and made wooden images; and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. 2 Chr 33:3
Hezekiah’s father (King Ahaz) did evil in God’s eyes. But Hezekiah did what was right in God’s eyes. However, Hezekiah’s son Mannesah initially did evil in God’s eyes. He raised the altars for the Baals and made wooden images, till he experienced affliction which turned him to God.
We observe 2 things here:
- There is no guarantee that our sons will follow after our footsteps no matter how good an example is set for them. Their hearts are in the hands of God. He needs to bestow grace to them so that they can be restrained from evil and do what pleases Him. So let us regularly commit our child to God in prayer – that He may be patient, kind and merciful to them and bestow to them the same mercies He bestowed to us.
- God preserved the Godly line of Kings through whom Christ came. A evil king in the form of King Ahaz will not affect God’s plan of redemption because it is of Him to show mercy. And Hezekiah was raised even in the family of ungodly King Ahaz.