3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father did.
4 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.
5 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.
6 For he clave to the Lord, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses.
7 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.
— 2 Kings 18: 3-7 (KJV)
14 And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord.
15 And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said, O Lord God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth.
16 Lord, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, Lord, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God.
17 Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands,
18 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.
19 Now therefore, O Lord our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord God, even thou only.
— 2 Kings 19: 14-19 (KJV)
20 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.
2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, saying,
3 I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
4 And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying,
5 Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord.
6 And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.
— 2 Kings 20: 1-6 (KJV)
Today I would like us to look at how Hezekiah’s life is described in the beginning as a reformer who came and did not put up with idol worship. In the 18th chapter of 2 Kings chapter he removed high places, he broke stuff that caused idol worship. I told you he broke the bronze serpent that Moses made.
What I would like you to see is how what Hezekiah did as king informs us about how God wants us to act today in our focus on him. What Hezekiah did then in removing objects of idol worship is like someone coming along now and saying….. Guess what I’m taking your children away because you are putting them before God. My point is we can take things or objects that are supposed to be good and we are loving them more than we love God. These were the kinds of moves Hezekiah was making as he was honoring the commandments given to Moses to not put any gods before Him.
Oh what if someone told you yeah you are not tithing and I know you can so I am taking the money you are making because you are not giving your tenth to the church. Again, those are the bold moves Hezekiah was making during his time to focus Judah on God. My point is that when you read the text you see that God prospered him because he helped to focus people back on God. Today we might call him a transformational leader.
One of the things I want to connect the dots with on Hezekiah is that because of the bold moves he was making to not only focus people on God, he rebelled against evil and because of that…
His Bold Moves Gave Him Favor With God.
In other words, Hezekiah shook some things up. He had to tear some things down and as he tore things down he was granted favor and when he was threatened by the enemy in a letter he took it to the temple and spread it before the Lord. When you got it like that, you take your wants, needs, and even the enemy and lay them before the Lord and just like God destroyed 185,000 of the Assyrians, he can destroy the enemies in your life. Hezekiah focused on God’s glory in his prayer which helped to call out God’s wrath on his enemy.
Remind God of Your Faithfulness.
After God got Hezekiah through the one situation with the enemy, then here comes illness-sickness. The Bible says Hezekiah turned in prayer to the wall. When you have made bold moves for the Lord and you have remained faithful to God’s cause, remind God of your faithfulness as Hezekiah did.
The Unchangeable can become Changeable.
You can see in the chapter 20 passage that when Hezekiah got sick and Isaiah was sent to tell him he was going to die. When a prophet tells you are going to die, it usually means you need to get your house in order, but God shows us that through the power of our boldness for him and when we commit ourselves to effectual fervent prayer like Hezekiah did that God will hear our prayers.
Not only will he hear our prayers, but when we have that type of relationship with him, our prayers have influence with God and he can change your situation. Although he had been told to get his house in order, God gave him 15 more years. This lets us know that there is power in prayer and there is wealth and prosperity in our living through the power of prayer.
Are you making bold moves in your life to keep God first and foremost in your life? Are showing this to others and setting this type of example? God honors those who honor Him!
The Rev. Elijah Wray is pastor of Wyatt’s Chapel Baptist Church. This was the sermon he delivered there this past Sunday.