Here’s a guy that brings great courage to the pages of the Bible. We first meet this ancient king at the death of his corrupt father Ahaz (2 Kings 16:20). We see the details of his reign beginning in 2 Kings 18:1 and find that he was a young 25 years old when he took the throne.
“He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done” (2 Kings 18:3) is the summation of his reign. This stands in sharp contrast to the summary of his father Ahaz’ reign when the Bible says of that king, “And he did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD his God, as his father David had done, but he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. He even burned his son as an offering, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel. And he sacrificed and made offerings on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.”
What makes a young man leave the ways of his father and cling to the ways of an ancestor? Wisdom. Courage.
Hezekiah knew that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalms 110:10; Proverbs 9:10). The Lord had made plain his expectations for Israel and had even sent their brothers in the northern kingdom into exile. While Ahaz foolishly ignored the Lord’s warnings, Hezekiah took them seriously. Idolatry was at the heart of the nation’s sins. Hezekiah quickly began to dismantle the pagan worship sites. He even destroyed the bronze serpent which God had crafted to save a previous generation from a horrible plague (Numbers 21:8-9) because it became an object of improper worship never intended by God. His move away from idols and toward the living God came because he was wise enough to see the blessings of serving God and the consequences of disobeying.
Notice the blessings:
- “the Lord was with him,”
- “he prospered,”
- he successfully rebelled against pagan kings,
- his kingdom was delivered from the hostile assaults of Assyria,
- his prayers were answered,
- his life was extended.
Hezekiah was also a man of courage. In 2 Kings 19:1 we find Hezekiah in fear over the assault by the Assyrian Sennacherib. But in his fear his wisdom comes and he calls for Isaiah who tells of the destruction of the Assyrian king. In this fitful time, Hezekiah trusted God and was delivered.
Are there troubles in your life? Be wise and trust in the Lord. He will deliver his people!