Twelve more favourite Bible characters – Hezekiah


As for reasons for making Hezekiah a favourite, we need go no further than how he is introduced in the Book of Kings: “Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father did. He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan. He trusted in the Lord God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. For he clave to the Lord, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses. And the Lord was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not” 2Kings 18:2-7. As for context and what makes Hezekiah remarkable is that his father Ahaz was a bad king, the people had largely turned away from God and he had his work cut out to turn things around. While good and bad can be seen as relative terms, following the divided kingdom, all 19 kings of Israel can be deemed as bad and 12 of the 20 kings and Judah. Hezekiah went that step further as far as good is concerned by removing the High Places, but even though he stopped serving the king of Assyria, he paid a hefty price to be left alone by having to pay him tribute, as well as later in life his flaws could be seen as he faced an early death at the hands of God for not putting his house in order, although granted a reprieve due to his repentance. Hezekiah’s finest hour perhaps, showing his admirable character, was when the Assyrians threatened to completely subjugate Judah, just as they had done not so many years previously with Israel and humanly speaking there was little that could be done to stop them. What follows is one of many amazing prayers of the Bible, as he lays the threatening letter from the Assyrians before the Lord: “Incline thine ear, O Lord, and hear; open thine eyes, O Lord, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living God. Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their countries, And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord, even thou only” Isaiah 37:16-20. As for answer to prayer: “Then the angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses” Isaiah 37:36.   


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