2 Kings 18

2 Kings 18 has a major shift in things in Judah as Hezekiah becomes king.  Unlike those before him, “he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done”.  We’ve heard those words before in prior kings of Judah, but Hezekiah was different as he went all the way in obeying God’s commandments.  No partial obedience here.  “He removed the high places and broke the pillars and cut down the Asherah”.  He cleaned up the nation and got rid of all the remains of the people that had been captured generations earlier.  All the previous kings had been mostly obedient but didn’t remove these things.  Hezekiah was full obedient to God.

So scripture describes him differently.  “He trusted in the Lord the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him”.  He is in a class by himself.  And scripture goes on to describe exactly what he did:

  • “he held fast to the Lord
  • He did not depart from following him
  • kept the commandments

Bottom line is that Hezekiah was fully obedient.  And that returned huge dividends as “the Lord was with him; wherever he went out, he prospered”.

Is there a connection between obedience and prosperity? Certainly obedience brings the blessing of God.  It doesn’t mean life will always be prosperous or easy.  In fact, for Hezekiah, he was being harassed by the Assyrians.  This comes after “the king of Assyria carried the Israelites away….because they did not obey the voice of the Lord their God but transgressed his covenant….they neither listened nor obeyed”.  The Israelites did not have a Godly king, and the people didn’t walk obedience and the consequences were severe.

So now Hezekiah is faced with threats from the Assyrians that they will do the same to his kingdom.  They come and ask “On what do you rest this trust of yours? 20 Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me”?  Hezekiah wasn’t really willing to give in more than to pay a fee to the king to leave them alone.  So they try the intimidation approach and tell the people of Judah “do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you out of my hand….Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord by saying, The Lord will surely deliver us….Do not listen to Hezekiah”.  Talk about undermining the attitudes and hopes of a nation.  But Hezekiah hears the report from his leaders and they go to the Lord.

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