In the four-hundred years between David’s reign and the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., there were at least twenty kings in Judah. Only four are said to have followed David’s pattern of faithful obedience to God.
“Asa did what was right in the Lord’s sight, as his ancestor David had done” (1 Kings 15:11–12, CSB).
“The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he walked in the former ways of his father David” (2 Chronicles 17:3, CSB).
Josiah “did what was right in the Lord’s sight and walked in all the ways of his ancestor David; he did not turn to the right or the left” (2 Kings 22:2, CSB).
Asa, Jehoshaphat, Josiah and ... Hezekiah “did what was right in the Lord’s sight just as his ancestor David had done... Hezekiah relied on the Lord God of Israel; not one of the kings of Judah was like him, either before him or after him. He remained faithful to the Lord and did not turn from following him but kept the commands the Lord had commanded Moses. The Lord was with him, and wherever he went he prospered” (2 Kings 18:3–7, CSB).
“In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the Lord’s temple and repaired them. Then he brought in the priests and Levites and gathered them in the eastern public square. He said to them, “Hear me, Levites. Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the Lord, the God of your ancestors. Remove everything impure from the holy place. For our ancestors were unfaithful and did what is evil in the sight of the Lord our God. They abandoned him, turned their faces away from the Lord’s dwelling place, and turned their backs on him” (2 Chronicles 29:3–6, CSB). Hezekiah, like Jesus after him, cleansed the temple!
Hezekiah ruled Judah in particularly difficult days. The Assyrian empire, an evil regime, pillaged and plundered their enemies. With a front-row seat, Hezekiah watched from Jerusalem as their Jewish cousins to the north were defeated and enslaved. Seven years after Hezekiah became co-regent with his father, the Northern Kingdom was defeated and destroyed by the Assyrians (2 Kings 18:1).
Years later, “Hezekiah became terminally ill. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came and said to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: ‘Set your house in order, for you are about to die; you will not recover.’ Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord. He said, ‘Please, Lord, remember how I have walked before you faithfully and wholeheartedly, and have done what pleases you.’ And Hezekiah wept bitterly” (Isaiah 38:1-3, CSB).
We all know that God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we want. Sometimes God says, “No!” or “My grace is sufficient!” (2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV). In answer to Hezekiah’s plea, God said, “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I am going to add fifteen years to your life” (Isaiah 38:5, CSB).
Hezekiah was a good king who followed in the footsteps of his great, great, great... grandfather, David. Our God is an even better King, who graciously made Hezekiah the great, great, great... grandfather of Jesus.