Hezekiah: A devoted man of God called to exceptional achievement and advancement of Israel!

Have you ever been attacked head-on by the devil?

Satan works in various ways of devious cunning and craftiness. He whispers words of enticement from behind; he attacks with false promises in front; he showers curses and ridicule from above; he casts doubt and fear from below. He may throw a bomb and blow up everything, or, he may surgically thrust a small dagger, piercing a vital organ. He’s a magician of deceit with a large bag of tricks!

And sure enough, these attacks seem to occur when you are making progress in your life with Christ and ministry momentum is increasing. 

Seven decades ago, college sweethearts, Jim and Elizabeth Elliot, along with four other families, sought to evangelize the Auca people, an indigenous tribe in Amazonian Ecuador. The Auca’s were unreached and uncivilized. After many months of prayer, planning, and preparation, the four husbands carefully ventured into the jungle. Jim and his three missionary friends made contact with the Auca’s and were speared to death by the very people they sought to reach. 


Why do godly people suffer setbacks and opposition when they are just trying to obey God and do good? 


Hezekiah, king of Judah, was making great progress in his efforts to restore Israel after decades of spiritual and economic decline. Life was good; spiritual growth among the people was blossoming and lives were being changed.  


Just when everything appeared to be on the right track, verbal and physical attacks emerged! 


The king of Assyria had conquered many nations surrounding Judea, including the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He set his eyes on conquering Judah and overtaking Hezekiah. But before the king went all-in on a physical assault, he sent his messengers to speak words of ridicule, fear, and looming disaster for Hezekiah and the people of Judah.  

Just like the work of Satan directed toward us, the Assyrian king planted doubts and fostered fear in the people as a prequel to the full-frontal attack to come. There’s much we can learn about our battle with Satan and the human mouthpieces he uses to tempt, scare, and intimidate. We will learn from Hezekiah’s response to the foreign king. 


Let the Good Times Roll! 

Hezekiah was a noble king doing the work of God to lead, inspire, build, and rebuild the nation of God’s chosen people. He inherited a country that had declined under the unfaithful and sinful leadership of previous kings. Hezekiah led the reform by rebuilding the priests of Israel. As the priests go, so goes the nation. 

He spoke to the priestly leaders of his nation when he said: 

‘Listen to me! Consecrate yourselves now, and consecrate the house of the Lord, the God of your fathers … for our fathers have been unfaithful and have done evil in the sight of the Lord our God, and have forsaken Him and turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and have turned their backs!’ 


Hezekiah then opened his heart to the men with fervent passion and appeal: 

‘Now, it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that His burning anger may turn away from us. My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before Him, to minister to Him and to be His ministers …’ 

With dependence upon God, Hezekiah led a crusade of spiritual reform along with the industrious work of building prosperity and wealth in Judah. 2 Chronicles 31 outlines the extensive work of Hezekiah both as the spiritual leader of the priests as well as CEO of the nation’s revitalized infrastructure and booming commerce. Hezekiah was showing himself to be a ‘turnaround’ leader of epic proportions. 

Just when spiritual and economic reform was booming, opposition appeared; and it appeared with a vengeance. More on Hezekiah next time.  


But what about that sad story of the murdered missionaries? 

Reflect upon the words of the daughter of Jim Elliot: 

Even though my father and his fellow missionaries’ lives were taken, their work among the Auca Indians was far from over. My mother (and other missionaries) picked up where they left off, living and working among her husband’s murderers. God used her obedience and faithfulness to ultimately reach and transform the tribe for Jesus Christ. 


Father, we don’t quickly understand why you allow the opposition we face to flourish, especially when we are doing good. In the moment, it hurts and it frustrates. But your grace is always sufficient to help us not only endure but to rise up and gain the victory. Teach us now how to endure and gain victory against opposition so that we might respond faithfully when the time actually comes. Build up our faith and our trust now so that we will endure in that day, the day of testing. Amen!