Secrets of Success

John A. Keith

Hezekiah was the son of Ahaz (2 Kings 18:1; 2 Chronicles 29:1), whom he succeeded on the throne of the kingdom of Judah. The history of this king is contained in 2 Kings 18:20, Isaiah 36-39, and 2 Chronicles 29-32. He is spoken of as a great and good king. Let us look briefly at 2 Kings 18:1-8 and notice primarily three important things that still relate to God's people today.

His Confidence In God - . 2 Kings 18:5 tells us he trusted in Jehovah. This echoes other passages throughout the Bible. Proverbs 3:5. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Isaiah 26:4. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength. 2 Timothy 1:12. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Hezekiah also "clave (to cling to) to the Lord" and did not stop clinging to Him (vs. 6). Deuteronomy 10:20 "Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God ; him shalt thou serve , and to him shalt thou cleave , and swear by his name." Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation (genuine) . Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good." Simply, he was obedient to the commands of God.

What He Did For God -. He did that which was right (vs.3). 2 Chronicles tells of the reforms Hezekiah initiated. He opened the temple doors which Ahaz, his father, had closed (28:24; 29:3); He ordered the cleansing of the temple (29:4-19); He offered appropriate sacrifices (29:20-36); He invited Israelites of every tribe to come to Jerusalem (30:5-12). He also celebrated a Passover that had to be delayed a month to allow the worshippers to become clean (30:1-12). He called things by their right names (vs. 4). The people's worship was idolatry, so he removed "high places" which were a high or lofty place, natural or artificial, where worship by sacrifice or offerings was made (1 Kings 13:32). After the Israelites entered the Promised Land, they were commanded to overthrow the high places of the Canaanites (Exodus 34:13; Deuteronomy 7:5; 12:2-3), and they were forbidden to worship the Lord on high places (Deuteronomy 12:11-14). He also," brake the images" i.e. artificial representations of objects, animals, persons, or gods; and he "brake ... the brazen serpent," which serpent had become an object of idolatry and no doubt was supposed to possess extraordinary virtues. Incense, which should have been burnt before the true God, was burnt before it. He encouraged separation from the ungodly, which was signified by this attempt at reformation and the destroying of objects of idol worship.

What God Did For Him -. God allowed Hezekiah to conquer his enemies: the king of Assyria , Sennacherib (vs.7), and the Philistines (vs. 8). Hezekiah smote the Philistines to Gaza, and their territory from the tower of the watchmen to the fortified city, i.e., all the towns from the least to the greatest (see 2 Kings 17:9). He thus reprimanded these enemies for their invasion of Judah in the time of Ahaz, reclaimed from them the cities which they had taken at that time (2 Chron. 28:18), and laid waste all their country to Gaza.

Clearly, God was with him, and Romans 8:31 reminds us, "If God be for us , who can be against us?" In addition, vs. 7 says that Jehovah "prospered" him. The Lord therefore gave him success in all his undertakings, (See 1 Kings 2:3) even in his rebellion against the king of Assyria, whom he no longer served, i.e., to whom he paid no more tribute. Who can forget the fact that God added to his life fifteen years? 2 Kings 20:6.

Hezekiah was a man who trusted God; he did that which was right. He did for God the things that were commanded him. In return for his reverence to God, God was with him. What does that tell us we must do if we want God to be with us? -70 Gale Ave., Newport, OH 45768.


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