Let’s read 2nd Kings 20:20-21: “Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah—all HIS MIGHT, and how he made a pool and a tunnel and brought water into the city—are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? So Hezekiah rested with his fathers. Then Manasseh his son reigned in his place” (NKJV). Now let’s also read 2nd Chronicles 32:32-33: “Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and HIS GOODNESS, indeed they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet,, the son of Amoz, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. So Hezekiah rested with his fathers, and they buried him in the UPPER TOMBS of the sons of David; and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem HONORED HIM AT HIS DEATH. Then Manasseh his son reigned in his place.”

It is clear from these two accounts of Hezekiah’s death and burial that he was a godly king who was well-respected by his peers and by all the people. When he began his reign we read this of him, “He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem…HE DID WHAT WAS RIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, according to all that his father David had done.” Out of the 40 kings that reigned over Israel and Judah, 32 “did evil in the sight of the LORD.” So, it was a blessing to the people to have one like Hezekiah reigning over them, and even more important it brought glory to God. As we saw earlier he was known for HIS MIGHT and for HIS GOODNESS. We also read that “Hezekiah PROSPERED in all that he did” (2nd Chronicles 32:30…NASB). Was he perfect? Not at all, for like every man that has ever lived he failed at times. But overall he was characterized by a zeal for the Lord and a love for His people. What was the secret of “his success?” The answer is found in 2nd Kings 18:5-6: “He trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him. For he held fast to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses. The LORD was with him; he prospered wherever he went.” His FAITH and OBEDIENCE to God’s word is what won for him the reputation of being THE BEST of the 8 kings who “did what was right in the sight of the LORD.”

We could close our short meditation right here, but perhaps a brief word about Manasseh is in order. We saw that he “reigned in his (Hezekiah’s) place.” In 2nd Kings 21:2 we learn that “he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.” If we were to read on we would see a list of some of the abominations that he committed. Suffice it to say, that he was the OPPOSITE of his father Hezekiah, for he was undoubtedly THE WORST king that ever reigned over Judah. How can we explain this, especially with the godly example that he had before him growing up? How could he see his father’s MIGHT, GOODNESS, FAITH, OBEDIENCE, PROSPERITY, and yet turn out so bad? His wicked life illustrates the truth of Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked,” and it drives home the truth that unless the heart is regenerated by God’s grace it will be unimpressed with godly examples and will manifest itself in a life of wickedness. (250.5) (DO)