Hezekiah, Part 1
II Kings 18:1-3 Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign…His mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father David had done.
Is there anything in your family background you’d rather not repeat in your life, and don’t want to pass on to your descendants? You’re not alone. One of the greatest kings of ancient Judah was faced with that challenge, and he won the victory over it. So can we.
Hezekiah was the 13th king of Judah. He came to power in 729 BC and had one of the longest reigns in Judah’s history. His father was Ahaz, who “did not do what was right in the sight of the LORD his God” (II Kings 16:2). Ahaz practiced child sacrifice, worshipped idols, and didn’t trust God even when the prophets had direct words from God for him. He even set up an idolatrous altar, based on a pagan design, in the Temple Courts, and used it in trying to tell the future (which was strictly forbidden).
Yet when his son Hezekiah comes to power, the Lord makes an encouraging distinction between him and his father. II Kings 18:1-3 says, “In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done.”
Notice the changes. The introduction mentions that he was the “son of Ahaz.” But when it mentions “father,” it mentions David, not Ahaz. Yes, David was an ancestor, but the reference to David is more than one of ancestry. All kings were judged against David’s standard, as the king who had a heart after God (Acts 13:22). What God saw in Hezekiah was someone acting in the spirit of his ancestor David, not after the spirit of his natural father.
If anyone seemed “doomed” by hereditary and a bad example, it was Hezekiah. Yet “he held fast to the Lord” (II Kings 18:6) and is remembered as one of the godliest kings.
What about you? Do you ever feel that you’re “doomed,” even if just in one or two areas? Do you think your natural inheritance was so bad that you can’t overcome it? The big question to ask is, “Who is my father?” Your natural father and mother gave you your genetics, but it was your heavenly Father who gave you a new heart. Your parents might have loved you very much, but it was your heavenly Father who loved you enough to send His son to die for you. It was your heavenly Father who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (I Peter 2:9).
Your identity as a child of God is your strongest one. Let that get into your head and into the deepest recesses of your heart. Once you do that, His influence will grow greater than the strongest member and greatest sins of your natural family.
Prayer: Lord, help me not to be distracted by the sins of my family and my ancestors. Help me to continually put my eyes back on You. No matter what I struggle with, You are my Father, and I want that relationship to be stronger than any in my natural family.