Judah never had a king like Hezekiah. His reign represented a high point in the age of the monarchy in the southern kingdom. They had not had it so good before and they would not have it that good again.
When he was struck ill with a sickness that should have lead to his death, his cry to the Lord showed a man desperate to live on and able to relate to God because of his passion and commitment to the Lord. It was another opportunity for God to show Himself to be glorified through His healing power. Hezekiah knew where to go in times of trouble and he was able to go there because of his track record. He was fully devoted to the things of God and that counted for much in His eyes. As seen in the previous chapter, not only would God heal Hezekiah, He would ensure that the city and southern kingdom would be protected from Assyria.
The new lease of life and the protection of the Lord put Hezekiah in a very strong position. From the brink of death and defeat, Hezekiah experienced healing and victory. His reputation had reached far abroad and his condition had even affected the distant region of Babylon for them to show their care. Yet it as the moment of great victory and great strength that we are at our most vulnerable.
It was one thing to be hospitable to the son of the Babylonian, it was something else to go to great lengths to show everything under his roof. It was as if the renewed Hezekiah was revelling in his strength and as a result exposed everything to strangers. It was Hezekiah showing too much to those he did not know and that degree of overexposure was to have severe consequences in generations to come. Hezekiah’s response to the prophetic insight given by Isaiah is strange. It highlights a selfishness that highlights a flaw in even the most upright of kings since David. It was Hezekiah saying at least he wouldn’t suffer even if his children’s children and beyond would.
It’s a summary note to be aware of what we do in the light of the victories God grants us. It’s not for us to boast in what we have, it’s for us to boast in who we have that has given us so many victories. That’s the real fruit of success and in doing so we may well set things in place that will bless those near and far, from this time with an impact that spans generations in giving glory to the Lord who heals and delivers us.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden