Bible Topics
in the Christian Library
HEZEKIAH – Portrait Of A Good Man
2 Chronicles 31:20-21

 1. King Hezekiah ruled the Southern Kingdom. He was the son of evil King Ahaz yet the unqualified praise that is given to him is reserved for only two other kings of Judah – Asa (1 Ki 15:11) and Josiah (1 Ki 22:2). Hezekiah is a wonderful study of what a genuine “good” man really is.

 Ask the class – Think about a “good man.” Often one is heard to remark, “You know so-and-so, he is really a good man.” What traits often prompt such a remark? What character traits paints the portrait of a “good” man in our current society? 

 2. The commendation of Scripture reveals what a “good man” is in God’s eyes. There are two passages that reveal what one must do in order to be considered “good” in God’s eyes (cf 2 Ki 18:3-7; 2 Chron 31:20-21). List each of these traits and explain its practical application to modern Christians.

  a. 2 Ki 18:3 – He did “right” in the sight of the Lord (2 Chron 31:20a). 

  The term “right” has significant meaning. It comes from the Hebrew word YASHAR. Its literal meaning it “to make a way straight,” remove all obstacles. Ethically it refers to being “blameless” (Pr 11:5) or giving “discernment” (Ps 119:128). It is the ability to recognize the divine law in one’s heart and mind (Ps 7:11; 11:2). To “do” what is right emphasizes that one is obeying God’s commands (Ex 15:26; Dt 6:17-18) and keeping God’s covenant (Dt 12:28; 13:19). This term means that one is “pleasing” to God.

  Hezekiah’s faith was not a mere profession. It did not consist in intellectual beliefs or empty words. His faith was not void of spirit upheld by a listless doctrine. He did not merely observe outward acts, forms, and ceremonies. His faith was real and touched every aspect of his entire life.

 b. 2 Ki 18:4 – He removed all compromises in religion.
  He vigorously launched efforts to destroy everything that was contrary to God’s revealed will. He, as the King, took a leading role in this! He might well have decided to hesitate because his entire realm was given to idolatry. He could have dreaded a rebellion. In some places his efforts received little support and scorn.

 c. 2 Ki 18:5 – He trusted God.
  He knew what was right. He recognized the Lord God’s sovereign rule. He was going to walk in obedience to God even though all others did not.

  “Take with you into your business, into your social relations, into every plan you make and every work you undertake, the presence of God, the fear of God, the commandments of God; and then there will be no fear of your success. Trust in the Lord. Put your eternal interests into the hands of Jesus. He is worthy of your trust” (Pulpit Commentary, 1 & 2 Kings, 371).

 d. 2 Ki 18:6 – He “clung” to the Lord.
  “Hezekiah set before him one great aim at the commencement of his life, and that was to please God. Whatever it might cost, he made up his mind to keep close to God. It was a grand resolution for the young to make” (Pulpit Commentary, 1 & 2 Kings, 370).

 e. 2 Ki 18:7 – He was always in association with the Lord.

 f. 2 Chron 31:20 – He followed what was true.
  Hezekiah did not set up his own beliefs, re-define God’s commands to better suit his feelings, or stretch the limits of God’s restrictions. Even though he was the King, he did not dispute the wisdom of God.

  Here is a critical fact for modern man to realize – the first thing one must understand is the answer to a basic question, “What is Truth?”  Knowing this will allow one to direct steps and find prosperity. Hezekiah’s answer to this question is the ONLY suitable answer – Truth is found only in God’s Word!

 g. 2 Chron 31:21 – He allowed God’s Word to guide him.
  Knowing what was “Truth” equipped Hezekiah with the confidence to follow God’s Word without question. He knew that as long as he was directed by Truth, he would be following God. What a tremendous trait for modern man to accept!

 h. 2 Chron 31:21 – He sought God with all his heart.
  Hezekiah did not make people wait long until they could see on whose side the King joined. They quickly saw his determination to serve God. In the very first days of his monarchy he opened the doors of the Temple which his father had closed and repaired them (2 Chron 29:3).

  In King Hezekiah there was no hesitation or half-hearted service. When he understood what God’s Word taught he saw that it was immediately obeyed. Vigor and determination marked his efforts.

  It is this same kind of whole-hearted devotion that is expected of Christians (1 Co 15:58). God’s followers must not hesitate. They must not show a half-hearted devotion. God deserves ALL of our heart; ALL of our strength! Indifference and a “hit-and-miss” service attitude will not bring one to prosperity! Cf Hb 12:1-2.

 3. We can observe the following actions in Hezekiah’s life that led him to be identified as a “good man” in God’s estimation.

 a. 2 Ki 18:4-6 – He was committed to God’s Law.
  He may not have seen the reason for obeying a command of God, but he did it. Such compliance and submission is greatly needed in our day. One can NEVER be a “good” person until s/he is willing to commit self to a willing and full obedience of God’s Law.

  b. 2 Ki 18:19 – He had an unshakable confidence in God (18:29ff; 19:14-20; 20:3). No matter what confronted him, King Hezekiah was not about to waver in his belief that the Almighty God was able to protect (cf 2 Chron 32:8). One of the best evidences of real faith is one’s ability to trust in the Lord God.

  c. 2 Ki 18:23 – He refused to associate with those who were ungodly (cf 18:31-32).

 d. 2 Ki 19:2ff – He respected God’s messenger and the message.

  e. 2 Chron 29:3 – He restored true faith to Judah (v. 5; 29:11; 31:2-19). It appears that he immediately began religious reformation in the land.  He would not hesitate to initiate the restoration effort. It was THE priority in his life and nothing would prevent him from its success. From the very first day there was an emphasis upon revival of the biblical practice!

 f. 2 Chron 29:10 – He covenanted with God.
  He affirmed his pledge to follow God’s commands; to practice as God desired. The King’s devotion was a solemn vow.

 g. 2 Chron 29:36 – He found joy in serving and obeying.
  The King followed the simple commands and practiced the simple acts that God had commanded. This simple obedience brought great joy into his heart. He had witnessed the emotionalism of paganism and the complications of idolatry. Such were not able to offer the genuine joy and happiness that simple obedience offered!

  h. 2 Chron 30:1-9 – He called for erring brethren to repent and return! He did not offer fellowship to those who were disobedient and divisive. He did not excuse divine expectations as immaturity. Hezekiah spoke boldly. He spoke bluntly. He spoke simply. There was no misunderstanding what the message was. Notice the tragic spiritual condition of those who needed to repent and return to biblical obedience in 30:10. Such remains true today.

  I. 2 Chron 32:8 – He objected to the Lord God being treated with apathy or indifference! It upset Hezekiah that people would insult the Lord God. This was disturbing to Hezekiah. The good King refused to allow such to go unnoticed or unchallenged. Hezekiah refused for the Lord God to be insulted! What a challenging trait this is for modern Christians to emulate! It is so tempting to remain silent and allow false doctrines or misguided brethren heap insult upon insult upon the Lord God Almighty. Are we as zealous to defend the Lord’s integrity as King Hezekiah?

 4. Hezekiah’s “goodness” resulted in blessings. The biblical record shows the following blessings were enjoyed by the King because he was good.

  a. 2 Ki 18:7-8 – King Hezekiah was granted prosperity and triumph. Here is the presentation of “true” prosperity! The truly prosperous person is not necessarily wealthy in material goods (the “rich” can own the world yet lose their souls, Mt 16:26). True prosperity is being able to discern what is “good” and “right” and “faithful.” Those whose lives are fashioned after these three qualities will be prosperous no matter what their worldly possessions might be.

  b. 2 Ki 19:6, 20 – King Hezekiah was granted assurance that doing right is best. Because he did what was right God was willing to “bow down His ear” (v. 16) to the King’s request. 

  c. 2 Ki 19:29-37 – King Hezekiah was granted protection by God. God always protects those who place unshakable trust/confidence in Him.

  d. 2 Ki 20:5 – King Hezekiah enjoyed the blessing of answered prayers. This lifted the burdens that weighed upon him (2 Chron 30:18-20). What a wonderful blessing it is when you can ask a “good” man/woman to pray for you!

  e. 2 Chron 30:26 – King Hezekiah’s goodness brought about great joy and happiness. There are many sources of happiness in the world. No source is able to offer indescribable joy as the joy shared when one is living good and is in fellowship with the Lord God.

  f. 2 Chron 31:1 – King Hezekiah’s goodness was contagious! All who witnessed this good man’s life were encouraged to practice goodness. They were given courage and boldness.

  g. 2 Chron 32:5-8 – King Hezekiah’s goodness instilled within him a bold courage. He was unafraid because his goodness assured him that he was following God’s will. This led him to encourage others who were fearful and to confront others who were rebellious to God.

 5. What lessons can be learned about our need to practice goodness? What does the good king Hezekiah teach us today?

 We discover the true source of “goodness” – Hezekiah was “good” because he respected, revered, and obeyed the Word of God. His example teaches us that we cannot be genuinely “good” unless we follow God’s Law in our lives! When we begin to follow God’s Laws in our lives then goodness will characterize us as it did King Hezekiah. This goodness will be evident in these ways:

  a. Goodness will always make us a target for compromise (2 Ki 18:31-32; 2 Chron 30:10).

  b. Goodness will always cause us to be respected (2 Ki 18:36; 2 Chron 32:23). Even though some scoffed and mocked Hezekiah’s zealous reforms, the majority were impressed. At his death “all” came and mourned his passing (2 Chron 32:33).

  c. Goodness will always cause us to stand in contrast with those who are arrogant (2 Ki 19:21-28).

  d. Goodness will always lead us to triumph while arrogance will always lead the compromisers to defeat (2 Ki 19:35; Is 37:33-38; 2 Chron 32:21-22).

  e. Goodness will always cause us to live committed and consecrated lives (2 Chron 29:5-19).

  f. Goodness will always prompt us to expose ignorance and rebuke arrogance (2 Chron 21:12-15).

 6. There is a sobering lesson with which King Hezekiah’s legacy ends – his goodness was compromised by his pride! What a tragic end to this good man’s career! See 2 Ki 20:12-20; 2 Chron 32:25-31.

Copyright 1999 by John L. Kachelman, Jr. may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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