God Restores Hezekiah

Read Time: 9 Minutes

Hezekiah and the people of Judah have been committed to the one true God and God has prospered them much.

II Chronicles 32
:22 Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah
        and the inhabitants of Jerusalem
    from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria,
    and from the hand of all other,
    and guided them on every side.
:23 And many brought gifts unto the LORD to Jerusalem,
    and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah:
    so that he was magnified in the sight of all nations from thenceforth.

The next event recorded in God's Word is Hezekiah's sickness. He would have died had God not saved him and given him 15 more years to live. This is covered in II Kings 20:1-11, II Chronicles 32:24-26 and Isaiah 38. Each record tells part of the event. We will see the whole picture by examining all three records. II Kings gives us the record as it happened, II Chronicles gives us a glimpse of why he got in this predicament and Isaiah tells us what Hezekiah wrote during his sickness.

One more thing we need to know before we exam this is, Hezekiah had not had an heir to the throne yet. One reason why he was so distraught about dieing was that his seed would not be passed on. II Kings 20 tells us that his son Manasseh, his son, reigned after him and he was only 12 years old when he began. Even after Hezekiah was recovered it took at least two years for his wife Hephzibah to become pregnant. Also, he is not very old, He was only 39* when he fell so gravely ill (possibly from the plague).

II Kings 20
:1 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.
:7 And Isaiah said,
        Take a lump of figs.
    And they took and laid it on the boil,
        and he recovered.
:8 And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah,
        What shall be the sign that the LORD will heal me,
        and that I shall go up into the house of the LORD the third day?
:9 And Isaiah said,
        This sign shalt thou have of the LORD,
        that the LORD will do the thing that he hath spoken:
        shall the shadow go forward ten degrees,
        or go back ten degrees?
:10 And Hezekiah answered,
        It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees:
        nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.
:11 And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD:
    and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward,
    by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.

God has heard Hezekiah and spared him but my question is: why was he in this position? II Chronicles gives us a clue.

II Chronicles 32
:24 In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death,
    and prayed unto the LORD:
    and he spake unto him,
    and he gave him a sign.
:25 But Hezekiah rendered not again [did not return unto God i.e. praise or tithe]
        according to the benefit done unto him;
        for his heart was lifted up:
    therefore there was wrath upon him,
        and upon Judah
        and Jerusalem.
:26 Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart,
        both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
    so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah.

After Hezekiah had become so wealthy he had trouble staying thankful to God for all he had. He became prideful in what he had. God stayed the hand of the adversary from his life and Judah because they humbled themselves before God. They realized their error and repented. His transgression is also mentioned in Isaiah in Hezekiah's writings.

Isaiah 38:
:9 The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick,
    and was recovered of his sickness:
:10   I said in the cutting off of my days,
        I shall go to the gates of the grave:
        I am deprived of the residue of my years.
:11   I said, I shall not see the LORD,
            even the LORD,
        in the land of the living:
        I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world.
:12   Mine age is departed, and is removed from me as a shepherd's tent:
        I have cut off like a weaver my life:
        he will cut me off with pining sickness:
            from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me.
:13   I reckoned till morning,
        that, as a lion, so will he break all my bones:
        from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me.
:14   Like a crane or a swallow,
            so did I chatter:
        I did mourn as a dove:
        mine eyes fail with looking upward:
        O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me. [take on a pledge for me, act as surety]
:15   What shall I say?
        he hath both spoken unto me,
        and himself hath done it:
        I shall go softly all my years in the bitterness of my soul.
:16   O Lord, by these things men live,
        and in all these things is the life of my spirit:
        so wilt thou recover me,
        and make me to live.
:17   Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: [mar marar - was bitterly bitter]
        but thou hast
            in love to my soul
        delivered it from the pit of corruption:
            for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.
:18   For the grave cannot praise thee,
        death can not celebrate thee:
        they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.
:19   The living,
        the living,
        he shall praise thee,
            as I do this day:
        the father to the children shall make known thy truth.

Hezekiah laments his pending death at such a young age, his years stolen from him. He recognizes that because he had become bitter in his time of health and prosperity he lay dieing. Yet, in what contrast, God delivers him from death and covers Hezekiah's sins. Then, what a wonderful statement, the grave cannot praise God, death cannot celebrate God. When we are in the grave we cannot praise God, when we are dead how can we celebrate His greatness? Those that have died can no longer learn of the truths of God's Word. It is the living, the living shall praise God and it is the fathers that shall make known the truth to his children.

God teaches us of Hezekiah's pride and bitterness of heart so that we may learn from it. We must always remain thankful and humble before God. When we are prosperous and/or exalted we must recognize the source always. Don't let the treasures we have on earth outweigh the treasures laid up in heaven. Remaining thankful to God and doing His will allows us to walk in alignment and harmony with our heavenly father.

Hezekiah's pride in the riches God had prospered him with was eventually his downfall. The king of Babylon sent letters and presents to Hezekiah after he heard that he was recovered (II Kings 20:12-21 and Isaiah 39:1-8). Hezekiah listened to him and showed him all of the treasures in his storehouses: the silver, the gold, the spices and precious ointments, the armour; he showed the king of Babylon everything. Isaiah confronts him and tells him the word of the Lord; that all his house will be carried away unto Babylon and his sons will be eunuchs in the palace of Babylon. Hezekiah recognizes his error and agrees. He knows his fault. Hezekiah dies at the age of 54.

A Psalm of Degrees written by Hezekiah.

Psalm 128
:1 Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD;
        that walketh in his ways.
:2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands:
    happy shalt thou be,
    and it shall be well with thee.
:3 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house:
    thy children like olive plants round about thy table.**
:4 Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.
:5 The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion:
    and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.
:6 Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children,
    and peace upon Israel.

My exhortation:

Colossians 3:
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
    and admonishing one another in psalms
        and hymns
        and spiritual songs,
    singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
:17 And whatsoever ye do in word
        or deed,
    do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
    giving thanks to God and the Father by him.


* Hezekiah was 25 when he began to reign and he reigned 29 years (II Kings 18:1, 2). God gave him 15 more years to live after his sickness. His total reign, 29 less the 15 years is 14. He was 14 years into his reign. His age when he began was 25 plus the 14 years makes him 39 years of age.
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** Young olive trees sprout up around the old ones and blend into it's trunk strengthening it. The whole tree grows large and bears fruit for a long time.
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