Once upon a time, 1991, there was a whole marketing campaign by Gatorade which featured a song with the lyrics “If I could be like Mike” referring to being like Michael Jordan, the basketball player.
I have no idea why, but that silly song popped into my head this morning as I was thinking about Hezekiah and re-reading some of my notes from 2 Chronicles. If I re-wrote that song I would say, I want to be more like Hezekiah.
Believe me when I say that 2 Chronicles is not the most referenced, adored or used book in my Bible. For many years, I steered clear of a large portion of the Old Testament. Over the past year or so I’ve been taking in the Old Testament with eyes & ears opened a bit wider.
I am absolutely captivated by Hezekiah. If you know of any good books about this King, please send me the title or comment below. I’m curious for more. I am not a theological scholar or minister of any kind, but here’s what I know about Hezekiah.
He was 25 years old when he became king and he reigned in Jerusalem for 29 years. It says in 2 Chronicles 29:2 (NIV), “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” To me that is enough to make a big favorable impression. He undertook a major project of repairing, refurbishing and purifying the temple.
When it was finished 2 Chronicles 29:36 (NIV) tells us, “Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced at what God had brought about for his people, because it was done so quickly.” It makes me think of the times in my life where there has been much waiting, then suddenly God acts in a big way and things happen so quickly it nearly makes your head spin.
It also reminds me that God is capable of so much more than I can imagine. What seems impossible to me can seem so simple to God. He can knock down walls, build them up, part the sea, stop a river, and simply speak into creation. I am guessing that Hezekiah believed and trusted God’s power, might and provision to begin such a lofty undertaking.
I also love that Hezekiah and the people rejoiced. I regret the number of times that I have been too “busy” to stop and celebrate all that God has done. I have not taken the time to rejoice, but have simply crossed it off the list and moved on to the next big thing. I love that it says Hezekiah and ALL the people rejoiced. It wasn’t just some small happy dance he did in his office, he got everyone involved.
Here’s another passage that leaves me in awe, “Hezekiah prayed for them (those who had not been purified prior to partaking in Passover, contrary to what was written) saying, ‘May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone who sets their heart on seeking God – the Lord, the God of their ancestors – even if they are not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary.’ And the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people.” 2 Chronicles 30:18-20 (NIV)
To me, Hezekiah’s pray oozes grace. He acknowledges God’s goodness. He lays out what happened. The Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people. Again there was more rejoicing.
Oh to be righteous and have powerful prayers. I long so deeply to have prayers like that. Prayers that the Lord is eager to listen to, prayers that heal people.
“Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites, who showed good understanding of the service to the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 30:22 (NIV). I count Hezekiah as a fellow encourager. I get the impression that he was a king who walked a midst his people, who took the time to know and understand and listen to what was going on and the requirements of the work that needed to be done.
I think that is an important quality between encouragement and flattery. If there is experience and understanding about a situation, then there seems to be an opportunity to encourage and offer support. I think of flattery as someone coming up and giving a good “well done” and pat on the back when they know little more than your name; flowery words without heart, without depth and without meaning.
Hezekiah also “sought his God and worked wholeheartedly.” 2 Chronicles 31:21. I would love to sit down with this King and chat over coffee. I want to know what restless nights he had. I want to know when the wholehearted service hurt. When were the times that he wanted to give up.
I long to be able to fully trust the Lord. I want to pray like this King prayed. I want to be devoted and serve wholeheartedly. I want to acknowledge God’s goodness, to take the time to rejoice and to have prayers filled with Grace. Most of all I want to be an extraordinary encourager. I want to be extremely faithful with the gifts that God has given me.
I don’t know about you, but I struggle with doubt. I wrestle with my unbelief and taking captive some of the thoughts in my mind until I am physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausted.
Other times I don’t even spend the energy to struggle with them, I just give in and stew bitterly in my frustrations. Even though I really want to be like Hezekiah, sometimes I don’t even want to get out of bed. I weep over the hope that someone will encourage me, and I sit in my selfish pity pool.
The crazy thing is I can bounce from one extreme to another and back again two more times in a single day. I am a pitiful work in progress most days.
What about you? Do you ever feel like you oscillate between one extreme or the other? Do you long for purpose and rejoicing, but find yourself wearily moving one task to another to another like you are pushing a bolder up a mountain, wondering when the moment will come when it comes rolling back upon you?
You are not alone in any of those feelings. I am right there with you. Here’s what I do know. We have a God, a Lord, who loves us so much. A God who is not surprised or disappointed in us or in our struggles. His grace is bigger than any circumstances and bigger than our lives in their entirety.
Even when we are not righteous, He hears our prayers. Because His love for us is so great, He provided Jesus to intercede for us and the Spirit to pray with groans that we can not even fathom each and every moment of the day. That’s like saying we are going to take a huge certification exam, but don’t worry the guy who wrote the test is here to help us make adjustments before we hand it in and the one with perfect wisdom will reveal all things to us when we need them.
What amazing promises, that we can fall into. No wonder why it says the weary can come and find rest.
Dear and Beloved Lord,
Thank You so much for this day. Lord, thank You for Your goodness. Lord may I be, may we be more like Hezekiah in this day. May we serve You wholeheartedly, may our prayers be filled with grace & be powerful to heal many, may we take the time to rejoice over what is done to give You the glory that You deserve.
Lord, thank You for each amazing reader! They are each such an incredible blessing! May they know that and recognize that today. Lord, please sprinkle their days with joy. May it uplift them and bring them encouragement.
In the sweet name of Jesus, amen.