What Made Hezekiah Great?

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: II Kings 18:1-6


I.         Our reading tells us that Hezekiah was a great king of Israel.

            A.        There was no king like him before in Judah.

II.        The question, though, is what made Hezekiah great?

            A.        It wasn’t his father, Ahaz

                        1.         Ahaz was a wicked man - II Kings 16:2-4

                        2.         Later we read how he took money from the temple in order to make tribute payments to king of Assyria.

                        3.         While there he became enraptured with the design of an altar he saw in Damascus and he had one built when he returned and ordered the priests to use the new altar instead of the old one.

                        4.         As money became short, he “borrowed” portions of the temple to make payments to Assyria.

                        5.         Despite such a wicked father, Hezekiah was not like him.

                        6.         Sins of the father are not passed on to the children - Ezekiel 18:4, 14-17

            B.        It wasn’t his son, Manasseh

                        1.         II Kings 21:1-9 - Manasseh undid all the reforms of his father and encouraged Israel to more onto even greater sins.

                        2.         Hezekiah was a great man, but perhaps because Manasseh was so young when Hezekiah died, he did not learn to follow God.

                        3.         Just as children are not responsible for their parents’ sins, parents are not responsible for their children’s sins - Ezekiel 18:20

                        4.         Parents are required to raise their children properly, but in the end, each bears the burden of his own choice - Ephesians 6:4; Galatians 6:4-5

            C.        It wasn’t his age

                        1.         He was 25 at the start of his reign and he reigned 29 years. In other words, he was only 54 when he died.

                                    a.         When God first told him to get ready to die, he was only 39! Perhaps now you see why Hezekiah was upset.

                        2.         Many here would think that 54 was quite young, but think of all that he had accomplished in his short life.

                                    a.         Most of his great deeds were done before his illness at 39.

III.       Hezekiah was great because

            A.        He did right in the sight of God

                        1.         He aimed to please God and not man

                                    a.         Galatians 1:10 - Not men pleasers

                                    b.         Acts 5:29 - We must obey God

                        2.         He was a man of action. He actually did something.

                                    a.         In the very first month of his reign - II Chronicles 29:3

                                    b.         Far too many say they know what they ought to do, but they never move! - James 4:17

                                    c.         Be doers of the word - James 1:22-25

            B.        He trusted God

                        1.         You can see the strength of his trust - II Chronicles 32:7-8

                        2.         Such trust brings stability, not just to him, but also to his nation - Jeremiah 17:7-8

                        3.         Trust is just another word for faith. He believed God, as should we all - Hebrews 11:6

                        4.         Without trust in God, a person rebels - Hebrews 3:7-19

            C.        He was loyal and uncompromising

                        1.         Deuteronomy 10:20 - Our respect for God makes us rely on him

                        2.         It is what all Christians are encouraged to do - Acts 11:23

                        3.         It doesn’t happen accidently, there is a resolution in the heart, a purpose and goal to one’s life - II Timothy 3:10-15

                                    a.         It is knowing where he wanted to go and why that gave Paul the drive to overcome hardships

                                    b.         You don’t coast into heaven anymore than a runner can meander to the finish line - I Corinthians 9:24-27

                                    c.         I fear more Christians will miss their chance for heaven because it was not the purpose to their lives - Hebrews 6:11-12

            D.        He kept God’s commandments

                        1.         So many talk about loving Jesus, but they willingly disobey - John 14:15

                        2.         They think that God’s love will overcome their shortfalls, even the ones they purposely do - John 15:10

                        3.         The evidence of God’s love for us is the commandments He requires of us to kept - I John 5:2-3

                        4.         It is the danger of the lie that a child of God cannot lose his salvation - I John 2:3-6

IV.      You know, what made Hezekiah great is something that is within the reach of everyone here.

            A.        God doesn’t require you to climb Mt. Everest or swim the English Channel.

            B.        He requires faith, He requires loyalty, He requires obedience

            C.        Will you obey God this day?

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