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Doctrine of Hezekiah

July 18, 2010

Doctrine of Hezekiah
King of Judah (728-686 BC)

1.     Hezekiah, 29-32 King Hezekiah (728-686 BC, 2 Kings 18-20; 2 Chronicles 29-32) was Ahaz’s (Jehoahaz, 732-715 BC) son.
2.     He was one of the godly kings of Judah.
a.      He was like David in that he sought and trusted the Lord, and also listened and obeyed the prophet Isaiah (2 Kings 18.3-7; 19.1-5, 14-20; 20.1-5; 2 Chronicles 29.2; 32.20, 32).
b.     Hezekiah cleaned and repaired the temple (2 Chronicles 29.16-19).
c.      He challenged the Levites to holy service (2 Chronicles 29.3-7).
d.     He reinstituted offerings and sacrifices (29.20-36).
e.      He challenged his people to return to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel so that the Lord may reestablish fellowship with them. He challenged them to not be like their rebellious fathers and brothers (2 Chronicles 30.6-9).
f.       Hezekiah celebrated a national Passover (2 Chronicles 30.1-19).
g.     He destroyed the idolatrous worship centers and idols, and restored contributions for the temple (2 Kings 18.3-6; 2 Chronicles 31).
h.     Hezekiah challenged Israel in the face of Assyria’s overwhelming army: “the one with us is greater than the one with him.” (2 Chronicles 32.7).
i.        After a time of pride and insensitivity to the Lord, he humbled himself and challenged his people to do the same. As a result the Lord put off judgment on Judah (2 Chronicles 32.25-26).
j.       God tested Hezekiah to know what was in his heart (2 Chronicles 32.31).
k.      Near the end of his life he enjoyed the present peace of security while ignoring the future (2 Kings 20.16-19.
3.     Hezekiah threw off Assyria’s yoke which he had inherited from his father (2 Kings 18.13-19.37; 2 Chronicles 32.1-23) and successfully fought the Philistines (2 Kings 18.8).
a.      Sennacherib twice invaded Judah. The second time (701 BC), the Lord fought for Judah and destroyed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers (2 Kings 19.35; 2 Chronicles 32.21).
b.     Hezekiah challenged Israel in the face of Assyria’s overwhelming army: “the one with us is greater than the one with him.” (2 Chronicles 32.7).
c.      After Sennacherib returned to Assyria, Adrammelech and Sharezer assassinated him in his idol temple at Nineveh (2 Kings 19.37).
4.     Following this victory, Isaiah told Hezekiah that he would soon die. Hezekiah prayed to the Lord and the Lord gave him 15 more years (2 Kings 20.1-7; 2 Chronicles 32.24).
a.      The Lord gave him a miraculous sign that this would be true—the shadow on the staircase went back ten steps 2 Kings 20.8-11).
5.     Hezekiah then went through a period of pride and insensitivity toward the Lord which included foolishly showing off the temple wealth to Merodach-baladan, the king of Assyria (2 Kings 20.12-15) for which Isaiah scolded him.
a.      Isaiah told Hezekiah that in the near future Babylon would come and take the temple treasures to Babylon (2 Kings 20.12-18).
b.     Hezekiah placidly accepted this because it would not happen until after his time.and so the Lord brought wrath on him and the people (2 Chronicles 32.25).
c.      Hezekiah got the point and humbled himself before the Lord and led his people to humble themselves before the Lord. As a result, the Lord held on the national discipline that was to fall on Israel (2 Chronicles 32.26).
6.     Hezekiah is also famous for the construction of the 1777 foot long underground water tunnel that carried water from the Gihon springs outside the city (which he stopped up and covered over) into Jerusalem. Along with the water tunnel he built the Siloam reservoir to hold the water (2 Kings 20.20; 2 Chronicles 32.1-4, 32). The Siloam Inscription in Hezekiah’s Water Tunnel reads “[…when] (the tunnel) was driven through.  And this was the way in which it was cut through:  While […] (were) still […] axe(s), each man toward his fellow, and while there were still three cubits to be cut through, [there was heard] the voice of a man calling to his fellows, for there was an overlap in the rock on the right [and on the left].  And when the tunnel was driven through, the quarrymen hewed (the rock), each man toward his fellow, axe against axe; and the water flowed from the spring toward the reservoir for 1200 cubits, and the height of the rock above the head(s) of the quarrymen was 100 cubits.”
7.     Hezekiah showed his spiritual life and leadership
a.      by his attitude of seeking the Lord,
b.     by his intermittent spiritual lapses,
c.      by his humility and submission to the Lord after sin,
d.     by fulfilling his role of leadership by challenging his people to walk with the Lord,
e.      by spiritual leadership in the face of an overwhelming enemy army,
f.       by righting wrongs,
g.     by instituting proper temple worship, was instrumental in Israel’s national resurgence, and
h.     by passing tests from God.
8.     His leadership did not bring any lasting reforms to Israel. Probably for two reasons: he may have failed to prepare the next generation; and the people of Judah did not want to walk with the Lord—they did not want to seek the Lord with their heart. Manasseh, his son, began as a most wicked king. But, Hezekiah must have had some effect on him, for he repented after God made him a captive of the king of Assyria (2 Kings 21; 2 Chronicles 33).