The Last Days of Hezekiah

Read: 2 Kings 18:1-8; 20:16-21
Text: 2 Ki 18:6 (KJV) For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses.
Theme: Hezekiah teaches us to trust and worship the Lord, rely on prayer, and never let our guard down.

Hezekiah was the 12th king of Judah.
He was a very good king, as good as his father Ahaz had been bad.
We learn some great truths from him about how we should be, as Christians.
Like everybody else, though, Hezekiah also teaches us a thing or two to avoid.

I. Hezekiah was a man with a past. (vss. 1-3)

(i.e. he had an interesting background)
QUESTION - Why is his background significant?
QUESTION - What was his father like? Why was his mother mentioned in vs. 2? What can we learn from his background?

A. A person can live for God despite his/her background.
B. A person (e.g. parent) can influence somebody for God despite powerful opposition.

II. Hezekiah was a man of worship

A. He loved the house of God. (2 Chron. 29:3-5; 10-11)
QUESTION - What was the condition of the house of God at this time? (2 Chron. 29:17)
B. He was faithful to the house of God.
1. In times of blessing.
Deu 6:10-12 (KJV) And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
(We often forget God when things are going well!)
ILLUS. Pastor to little boy, "Do you pray everyday?" "Not every day. Sometimes I don't need anything!" - Some of us are only faithful to church when we need something!
2. In times of distress. (2 Kings 19:1;14)
- You need God's people MORE when things are bad.
- You need God's word MORE...
- You need God's house MORE...

III. Hezekiah was a man of prayer.

A. Prayer brought him public deliverance. (2 Chron. 32:19-21; 2 Kings 19:14-19; 35-36)
(From Sennacherib)
B. Prayer brought him personal healing. (2 Kings 20:1-6)
1. Prayer brings physical healing.
James 5:13-15 (KJV) Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
2. Prayer brings emotional healing.
ILLUS. Elijah under Juniper tree.
ILLUS. Spurgeon's comment about how he underwent such terrible bouts of depression and melancholy that nobody would believe it. How did he handle this? Perhaps his quote, "You should pray when you're in a praying mood..." gives some insight. He was a man of prayer.
3. Prayer brings spiritual healing.
"If we confess our sins..." 1 John 1:9

IV. Hezekiah was characterized by trust for God.

2 Ki 18:6 (KJV) For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses.

V. AND YET... some of the best lessons come from his last days.

Discussion questions about several key events in Hezekiah's old age:

A. Hezekiah was promised deliverance from the disease which was to kill him. Yet, in 2 Kings 20:8, he asked for a sign.
QUESTION - Why would this individual, whose live was characterized by trusting God, request a sign?
QUESTION - Do we ever stop questioning God?
QUESTION - Should a Christians faith and trust grow stronger with age? Is there anything we can do to ensure that it does?
B. Hezekiah was healed miraculously, and given 15 more years to live. Yet notice 2 Chron. 32:25!
QUESTION - Did his healing increase his faith in God? His pride in himself? WHY????
QUESTION - What can we learn from this that will protect us from the same mindset?
C. Hezekiah entertained the Babylonians, and showed them around his house. It seemed like a harmless enough situation. READ 2 Kings 20:12-18; NOTICE 2 Chron. 32:31!!
QUESTION - Is there ever a time in our lives when we can let out guard down... when God stops testing us?
QUESTION - As life progresses, does the testing of God get easier? harder?
D. God pronounced judgement on Hezekiah, because he failed the test concerning the Babylonians. Notice Hezekiah's response in 2 Kings 20:19.
QUESTION - Is this a proper attitude?
QUESTON - Should we be concerned about how our actions affect future generations? What do we learn from Hezekiah here?
E. Hezekiah had a son. READ 2 Chron. 33:1-9. He was terrible.
QUESTION - What do we learn about Hezekiah, and his son, by comparing 2 Chron. 33:1; 2 Kings 20:6? (Mannaseh was born during the 15 year grace period of Hezekiah's life!)
QUESTION - Is the poor job Hezekiah seems to have done with Manasseh in any way related to 2 Chron. 32:25? NOTE - No matter how faithful Hezekiah was in his early days, Manasseh only saw his latter days, and that is all that influenced him.

VI. Some Thoughts to Sum Up Hezekiah's Life

A. Nobody is perfect.
1. When we apply this thought to ourselves, it should translate into diligence.
2. When we apply this thought to others, it should translate into understanding, kindness, forgiveness.
Gal 6:1 (KJV) Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
QUOTE "Be lenient with the fallen. You see a brother fall and say, 'I never could have done that!' Perhaps not, because your temptation does not happen to be in that direction. But you have done things in the course of your life that these fallen men would never have done because their temptation was not in that direction." T. Dewitt Talmage
B. You can never pray too much or go to church too much.
(For all his attendance and prayer, Hezekiah still had some things to get straight with God.)
1 Cor 10:12 (KJV) Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
Phil 3:13-14 (KJV) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
D. You must never let your guard down.
ILLUS. During WWII, when Pearl Harbor was attacked, several statements instantly became a part of the American culture. One of these statements is "Remember Pearl Harbor." Another is "Vigilance is ever the price of freedom." We learned from Pearl Harbor to NEVER LET DOWN OUR GUARD!

May God help us to learn from Hezekiah, who "did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done. For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses. (2 Chron. 29:2, 2 Kings 18:6)

Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright 1996 William E. Johnson.