Who is Hezekiah and what made him so special?
Hezekiah is famous for two significant events, but for me there is a third event that I believe is the most significant.
Hezekiah was a son of a godless father, King Ahaz (2 Kings 16:2-4). Yet we are told that Hezekiah did “right in the sight of the Lord” (2 Kings 18:3). This is a pattern we see again and again – men and women forsaking the model they saw in the home and turning to God. Hezekiah became king in 716/715-687/686 B.C. He immediately removed and destroyed the false religious worship in Israel and restored the temple worship, sacrifices, the Levitical and priestly ministries and Passover (2 Chronicles 29:1-32:33).
Secular and religious historians have given Hezekiah a place in history for the amazing water pool and underground canal (2 Kings 20:20) that he had built to ensure the city had water during the on again, off again wars with the Assyrians. He also had the city walls extended to enclose the water source. The conduit is an impressive engineering effort (Archaeology of the Land of the Bible • 10,000-586 B.C.E., Amihai Mazar, Doubleday. pp.420-422).
Most Christians remember Hezekiah for the fact that God healed him and gave him an additional fifteen years of life (2 Kings 20:1-6).
In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.'” Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the LORD, saying, “Remember now, O LORD, I beseech Thee, how I have walked before Thee in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Thy sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And it came about before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “Return and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of your father David,” I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD. And I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’ (NASB) 2 Kings 20:1-6
For me the crowning jewel of Hezekiah’s life is that he not only walked with God but he remained faithful to the Lord throughout his life.
For he clung to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses. And the LORD was with him; wherever he went he prospered. (NASB) 2 Kings 20:5-6
There were few kings in Israel who walked with God, until they died. Most of them never walked with God or they started and went astray. Solomon, the wisest man ever, is an example of those who went astray.
That is my desire – to walk with God until I draw my last breath. It is the longing of my heart to be like Him – to be holy even as the Holy Father. For me, that is what is special about Hezekiah.