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King Hezekiah Judah’s Greatest King Because he depended on God!
King Hezekiah It is amazing the difference only one generation can make. Normally we might think of this as going from Good to Bad or from Bad to Worse. But in the situation with King Hezekiah and his father Ahaz, we have the reverse. We go from Ahaz, one of the worst Kings of Judah to Hezekiah, the absolute best King of Judah.
King Hezekiah Listen to how Ahaz is described: 2 Ch 28: 1 ¶ Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do what was right in the sight of the LORD, as his father David had done. 2 For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made molded images for the Baals.
King Hezekiah 3 He burned incense in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and burned his children in the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. 4 And he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.
King Hezekiah Listen to how Hezekiah is described in 2 Kings 2 Ki 18: 2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. 3 And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father David had done.
King Hezekiah 2 Ki 18: 4 He 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.
King Hezekiah 5 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. 6 For he held fast to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses.
King Hezekiah It was during the reign of Hezekiah that the Assyrians came and captured Samaria and carried away the Ten Northern Tribes never to return. Judah itself was under the control of Assyria because of the sins of Ahaz, Hezekiah’s father
King Hezekiah During the reign of Hezekiah he rebelled against the King of Assyria and Sennacherib did not take it very well! 2 Ki 18: 13 And in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them.
King Hezekiah finds himself tested like his father Ahaz was. Will he depend on God or Man? Thankfully Hezekiah was a much better man than his father and chose to depend upon God!
King Hezekiah 2 Ch 32: 1 ¶ After these deeds of faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and entered Judah; he encamped against the fortified cities, thinking to win them over to himself. 2 And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come, and that his purpose was to make war against Jerusalem,
King Hezekiah 2 Ch 32: 3 he consulted with his leaders and commanders to stop the water from the springs which were outside the city; and they helped him. 4 Thus many people gathered together who stopped all the springs and the brook that ran through the land, saying, "Why should the kings of Assyria come and find much water? "
King Hezekiah 5 And he strengthened himself, built up all the wall that was broken, raised it up to the towers, and built another wall outside; also he repaired the Millo in the City of David, and made weapons and shields in abundance. 6 Then he set military captains over the people, gathered them together to him in the open square of the city gate, and gave them encouragement, saying,
King Hezekiah 7 "Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. 8 "With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles. " And the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
King Hezekiah What he says in vs 7 makes me wonder if he new the story of Elisha when the Syrian army had the city he was in surrounded? 2 Ki 6: 15 And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do? "
King Hezekiah 16 So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. " 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, "LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see. " Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
King Hezekiah Whether he was familiar with the story or not he understood a principle that we need to understand today. Ro 8: 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
King Hezekiah God demonstrated time and time again in the Old Testament that He could be depended on by His people and He is about to demonstrate it again. 2 Ch 32: 9 ¶ After this Sennacherib king of Assyria sent his servants to Jerusalem (but he and all the forces with him laid siege against Lachish), to Hezekiah king of Judah, and to all Judah who were in Jerusalem, saying,
Siege of Lachish was a fortified city southwest of Jerusalem. Sennacherib’s siege of this city is probably the most well documented event of the Old Testament by archeology. When Sennacherib’s palace was found in 1847 they found one room completely devoted to telling the story of this siege.
Siege of Lachish The four walls of this room were covered in reliefs depicting the siege of Lachish They covered and area 8’ tall by 80’ long There were pictures of battering rams, archers, prisoners being impaled and King Sennacherib sitting on his throne outside of Lachish.
Siege of Lachish
Siege of Lachish
Siege of Lachish
King Hezekiah 2 Ch 32: 10 "Thus says Sennacherib king of Assyria: 'In what do you trust, that you remain under siege in Jerusalem? 11 'Does not Hezekiah persuade you to give yourselves over to die by famine and by thirst, saying, "The LORD our God will deliver us from the hand of the king of Assyria"?
King Hezekiah 12 'Has not the same Hezekiah taken away His high places and His altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, "You shall worship before one altar and burn incense on it"? 13 'Do you not know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of other lands? Were the gods of the nations of those lands in any way able to deliver their lands out of my hand?
King Hezekiah 14 'Who was there among all the gods of those nations that my fathers utterly destroyed that could deliver his people from my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you from my hand?
King Hezekiah 15 'Now therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or persuade you like this, and do not believe him; for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people from my hand or the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you from my hand? '"
King Hezekiah 16 Furthermore, his servants spoke against the LORD God and against His servant Hezekiah. 17 He also wrote letters to revile the LORD God of Israel, and to speak against Him, saying, "As the gods of the nations of other lands have not delivered their people from my hand, so the God of Hezekiah will not deliver His people from my hand. "
King Hezekiah 18 Then they called out with a loud voice in Hebrew to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten them and trouble them, that they might take the city. 19 And they spoke against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the earth-the work of men's hands.
King Hezekiah 20 Now because of this King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, prayed and cried out to heaven. 2 Kings tells us he took these letters and spread them before God in the temple
King Hezekiah 21 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.
King Hezekiah 22 Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all others, and guided them on every side. Listen to how Isaiah describes these same events
King Hezekiah Isa 37: 35 'For I will defend this city, to save it For My own sake and for My servant David's sake. '" 36 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.
King Hezekiah What a great story of faith! Once again we see the people of God faced with overwhelming odds in an almost impossible situation. Hezekiah trusted in God and God handled it! We don’t face these physical battles like Hezekiah did but we sure do face some spiritual ones. The Devil is after us!
King Hezekiah 1 Pe 5: 8 ¶ Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. That should be a very frightening thought for us! God has not left us defenseless against our enemy 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
King Hezekiah Jas 4: 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. God will not allow Satan to force us into sin. If we will submit to God and make our mind up that we are going to obey Him then there is no temptation that we cannot overcome.
Conclusion I have mentioned this before but I think it will be good to mention it again. I would guess that less than 2% of the people in this community are Christians The Devil already has the 98%. Who do you think he is focusing on? The Christian!! As the scripture says we need to be vigilant, sober and watching our every step.
Conclusion As we look at these Old Testament examples lets keep in mind what the writer of Hebrews tells us after giving the roll call of the faithful. Heb 12: 1 ¶ Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,