I was recently invited to preach about Hezekiah, a great King in the Old Testament. The story of his life appears across 10 chapters in 3 OT books! (2 Kings 18-20, 2 Chronicles 29-32 and Isaiah 36-39).
Hezekiah became King of Judah when was 25 years old and reigned for 29 years.
SO…What can we learn from his life?
1. Pray for your family
Hezekiah’s father was King Ahaz, a bad example to Judah. However, Hezekiah’s Great grandfather was King Uzziah and his Grandfather was King Jotham – both great Godly kings.
Also his mother was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah (spiritual advisor to King Uzziah. Abijah means ‘my father is Yaweh’. Ahaz was such a bad king, but yet, Hezekiah during his reign did what was right in the sight of the Lord. God had his hand on Hezekiah and was greatly influenced for good by his family.
WHO INFLUENCED YOU ? WHO DO YOU INFLUENCE?
2. Stand up for what is right
Hezekiah destroyed the pagan idols, Opened the temple for worship again
Instigated both civil and religious reforms, Reinstated tithing
Reinstated the Passover celebration
Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful.
DO YOU STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT, EVEN THOUGH YOU MAY BE UNPOPULAR?
3. Use your God given gifts and talents
Hezekiah was an architect, organiser and strategist. He designed and oversaw the construction of the Siloam Tunnel in Jerusalem which diverted the flow of water through the city. This kept the water flowing despite being under siege from enemies.
WHAT GIFTS HAS GOD GIVEN YOU? ARE YOU USING THEM?
4. Pray Powerful Prayers and see them answered
Hezekiah had a powerful prayer life and a personal relationship with God
a) Letter threatening invasion by Assyria
Hezekiah took the letter to the Temple, spread it out before the Lord and prayed:
“O LORD, the God of Israel, seated on your throne above the winged creatures, you alone are God, ruling all the kingdoms of the world. You created the earth and the sky. Now, LORD, look at what is happening to us. Listen to all the things that Sennacherib is saying to insult you, the living God. Now, LORD our God, rescue us from the Assyrians, so that all the nations of the world will know that only you, O LORD, are God.” TEV
God answered his prayer and Jerusalem was saved.
b) Prayer at death’s door
King Hezekiah became sick and almost died. The prophet Isaiah confirmed death was at hand. THEN Hezekiah prayed: “Remember, LORD, that I have served you faithfully and loyally and that I have always tried to do what you wanted me to.” And he began to cry bitterly.
Isaiah heard the Lord speak and told the king He would grant Hezekiah 15 more years of life, during which time he married and had a son Manesseh, an heir to the throne.
DO YOU EVERY SITUATION TO GOD IN PRAYER, AND EXPECT HIM TO ANSWER?
5. Beware of temptation and compromise.
Things were going well in Judah and Hezekiah didn’t rely on God so much. He began to be proud and make mistakes. When visitors came from Babylon, Hezekiah showed off the armouries and treasuries of the city, which just put them on the Babylonians list of ‘countries to invade’! He trusted in might, not so much in God. The invasion came during Manessah’s reign, who was captured and taken to Babylon in chains.
BEWARE OF TEMPTATION & COMPROMISE
KEEP YOUR EYES ON JESUS