The Reading: 2 Kings 18:1-8
“He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord” (v.3) RSV
The Kings of Judah (the southern kingdom) were on the whole a fairly rum lot, though not as bad as the Kings of Israel (the northern kingdom). But there were a few notable exceptions, Hezekiah being one of them. This man came to the throne aged 25, and for the following fourteen years did an excellent job as king. He was totally dedicated to cleansing Judah of its idolatry. This was the more amazing since his father, Ahaz, had been wicked, even burning one of his sons as an offering (2 Kings 16:3).
We do not need to repeat the sins of our father(s). By the Lord’s strength we can break the mould and be free to follow God’s ways. We read, “He trusted in the Lord the God of Israel … he held fast to the Lord … and the Lord was with him” (vv.5-6).
Hezekiah was zealous for his God. Much more about his reforms can be read in 2 Chronicles, chapters 29 to 31. There we see he repaired the Temple doors, and then rededicated the Levites. In turn they cleansed and sanctified the inside of the Temple. Sacrifices were made for the sins of all the people. The Levites then conducted renewed worship with songs and prayer. Thus he cleansed their religion.
Hezekiah then arranged a back-to-church initiative; this was to take place at the Passover Festival. Everyone from far and wide was invited by letter. Very many people responded and there was a great assembly, and they worshipped and feasted for seven days! Finally everyone was encouraged to give generously – always a sign of revival. True revival affects our pockets!
How we need to pray for a leadership that has the commitment and influence to turn our country back to God- centred living. We need to be turned from the ways of Ahaz to the ways of Hezekiah.
Thank you Lord for the Luthers and Wesleys who have turned people back to you. Raise up, I pray, brave leaders today who will turn us back to true religion. Amen.
1 Are we ruled by our parents’ sins?
2 What did Hezekiah’s grandson, King Josiah find in the Temple?