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Who Gives Kudos:


   [20 Aug 2013 | Tuesday]


~ Do You Know the Meaning of Hezekiah 7:36? ~


Introduction  ~  There are three or four Hezekiahs in Scripture. The one of whom we have the most complete record is the Godly king of Judah born about 726 b.c. Sometimes when I am in a mischievous mood during a Bible study, I will mention something as being found in Hezekiah 7:26 and then watch how many individuals look for that imaginary Biblical book. The name Hezekiah means “whom Jehovah has strengthened” (Yahweh has strengthened, Jehovah is strength, strength of Jehovah, strength of the Lord, etc.). Consider Hezekiah, the king of Judah: 


Biblical References  ~  2 Kings 18-20, 2 Chronicles 29-32, and Isaiah 36-39.


Mixed  Genealogy  ~  Like you and me Hezekiah had good and bad ancestors. His great-grandfather was King Uzziah—one of Judah’s good kings (2 Chronicles 26:4). Hezekiah was born in 726 b.c. (2 Kings 18:1-2;  2 Chronicles 29:1).  His father was Ahaz, an ungodly man and bad king. His mother Abijah was the daughter of Zechariah.


practical lessons:  First, we need to recognize the great importance and lasting effect we, as parents, will have on future generations. Second, we need to realize that we can determine our own destiny—rather than being controlled by the past.  Someone has put it this way, God has children—but no grandchildren! Each of us must make our own decision regarding entering into God’s family. While Hezekiah did not have a Godly role model for a dad, he made Godliness a priority in his own life. Third, Hezekiah’s ability to overcome his background provides a lesson in the grace of God.


Good Friends  ~  Hezekiah chose to make good associations. The prophet Isaiah was one of his confidants, but it was not without ridicule from others (Isaiah 28:14). Isaiah, one of the more eloquent prophets, gave Hezekiah needed support and assistance in his work for Jehovah.


practical lesson:  This is often overlooked, but the choice of friends and associates can have a crucial impact regarding our ongoing spiritual success. God never intended us to be Lone Ranger Christians.    


Godly King  ~  He became Judah’s twelfth king at the age of 25 (2 Kings 18:2) as the successor to his ungodly father Ahaz. Hezekiah went on to reign in Jerusalem for 29 years (2 Kings 18:2, 2 Chronicles 29:1). Immediately after beginning his reign he reestablished the worship of God and repaired the places of worship. He made sure the Lord’s leaders were provided for. Hezekiah followed the example of his great-grandfather, King Uzziah, and because he was faithful to God he was one of the greatest kings of Judah. “And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord” (2 Kings 18:3a).


The Scripture summarizes King Hezekiah’s life and rule as a great and good king. “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. For he held fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses. The Lord was with him; he prospered wherever he went. And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him” (2 Kings 18:5-7).


practical lesson:  The Temple had to be cleansed before people could bring acceptable worship to God. Today we are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) and we need to seek to purify our lives with God’s help through the work of the Spirit. A clear conscience is necessary for meaningful worship. 


Successful Warrior  ~  A key example was his war with the Philistines which occurred early in his rule. He recovered cities which his father had lost (2 Chronicles 28:18-19) and took some of the Philistines’ own cities. “He subdued the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city” (2 Kings 18:8).


practical lesson:  We need to be effective soldiers for Jesus Christ and no soldier would intentionally enter into battle without proper equipment. The Christian needs to “put on the whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11, see vs. 10-18). 


Spiritual Reformer  ~  Hezekiah 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. He trusted in the Lord God of Israel… For he held fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments… The Lord was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook” (2 Kings 18:7a, also see 2 Chronicles 29:2-36). 


practical lesson:  God wants to be first in our lives! The first priority of the Godly King Hezekiah was to open up the Temple doors and re-establish worship. His days ended in peace and prosperity. We also must put first things first.


Innovative Builder  ~  Consider three of his great civil engineering projects.


[1] Hezekiah’s work at the citadel (Millo) of repairing, strengthening, and lengthening the walls (2 Chronicles 32:5).


[2] The most memorable project was what has been nicknamed Hezekiah’s Tunnel, a water flume about 1,700’ long through solid rock (2 Kings 20:20). This tunnel takes water from the Spring of Gihon outside the protective city walls through the hillside to within the city to the Pool of Siloam. The water in Hezekiah’s tunnel flows under Jerusalem and was built to secure a water supply during the impending attack by the Assyrians.  Hezekiah’s workmen worked from both ends and met in the middle. Yours truly has been privileged to walk through this impressive tunnel in waist-deep water.


[3] The Pool of Siloam Reservoir was another of his projects which increased the reserve water supply. Many will recognize the name as the place where Jesus healed a blind man (John 9:6-11). 


practical lesson:  Knowledge, including knowledge about theology and doctrine, is good but its purpose is for application—effect on our daily living. As children of God we need to be “thoroughly equipped for good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  


Man of Prayer  ~  There are at least three very significant positive answers to the prayers of Hezekiah. 


[1]  Hezekiah prayed that God would deliver Hezekiah and his people (Isaiah 37:15-20), and “Then the angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh” (Isaiah 37:36-37). 


[2]  Toward the end of his reign when Hezekiah was very sick the prophet Isaiah informed him that he would die. It was at a time that his kingdom was continuing in a dangerous position because of the Assyrians. Hezekiah had no heir and prayed that his life might be spared (2 Kings 20:1-6, 2 Chronicles 32:24, Isaiah 38:1-2). He was granted a 15-year extension of life (Isaiah 38:5) and died a natural death peacefully.


[3]  As part of the previous listed item God also provided a sign for Hezekiah as evidence that the promise would be fulfilled. The sign consisted of the sun's shadow moving backward ten degrees in the sundial of Ahaz (2 Kings 20:8-11, Isaiah 38:7-8). This is one of the most remarkable miracles in all of Scripture.


practical lesson:  God answers prayer.


Summary  ~  We can learn a lot from the Godly, but human, King Hezekiah. What are the most meaningful aspects of his life to you? Are there some specific things you can apply to your life?


~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW


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