September 16, 2010

Hezekiah Walked With God

2 Kings 20

“Remember, LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion …”
2 Kings 20:3


Hezekiah “did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his [ancestor] David had done” (2 Kings 18:3). Hezekiah’s father, Ahaz, had been a king who did evil in God’s sight. Hezekiah tore down the altars and sacred stones his father had used to worship other gods, and the Lord blessed Hezekiah by giving him victories over enemy oppressors who tried to ruin God’s people.

But then Hezekiah became ill, and the Lord said that he would soon die. So Hezekiah pleaded with God for healing, reminding the Lord in prayer that he had walked before him “faithfully and with wholehearted devotion.” And he wept bitterly.

God answered Hezekiah’s prayer by adding fifteen years to his life. Hezekiah was thankful, but he did not always use his extra time wisely. He had a weakness in that he was proud of all the treasures of his kingdom. And when visitors came from Babylon, he proudly showed them all his treasures. Later the prophet Isaiah said that one day those treasures would be carried off to Babylon. God’s cure of Hezekiah’s illness did not cure him of his pride.

A mountain-top spiritual experience doesn’t protect us against a fall into the valley of sin. If you have been to the mountaintop, pray for sustaining grace. And if you have fallen, know that God’s forgiving grace is great.

Lord, you know me better than I know myself. Lift me up with your grace and keep me from falling into sin, I pray. Help me walk faithfully with you. Amen.

About the author — Adrian A. Helleman

Dr. Adrian Helleman served as a pastor in British Columbia before being called to serve as a missionary-teacher in the Philippines. He and his wife, Wendy, later taught philosophy at Moscow State University in Russia, and then philosophy and theology at the University of Jos in Nigeria. They have also lectured in Canada, the United States, South Africa, and Tanzania. They have three children and three grandchildren.

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