Summary: We can learn some valuable lessons from the life of King Hezekiah
Are You Paying Attention
1Hezekiah began to reign when he was five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. 2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done. 3 He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them. 4 And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street, 5 And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place. 6 For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned their backs. 7 Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place unto the God of Israel. 8 Wherefore the wrath of the LORD was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes. 9 For, lo, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. 10 Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the LORD God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us.
You’re driving a bus for Sunday school. At your first stop you pick up 7 kids. At the next stop you pick up 4 kids and at the next stop 6 kids. You drop them all off and go out for more. The next three stops you get 5 kids each and the last stop 2, and actually drop off 3. How old is the driver?
I’ve entitled this sermon Are You Paying Attention. Were you paying attention during the story? Well, I will answer the riddle later on – I probably made a mistake because now you are going to thinking about that riddle the whole time, but you better Pay Attention.
He is described as having a close relationship with God
I. Hezekiah was paying attention
A. To Judah’s Past
He knew what the Lord had established (verse 4)
He gathered priests and Levites Numbers 1:50: but thou shalt appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony, and over all the vessels there of, and over all the things that belong to it.”
He reminded them that the Lord had chosen them to minister
He knew the Temple was the house of the Lord God (verse5) and that it needed to be sanctified.
“carry forth the filthiness (or debris) out of the Holy Place”
He was constantly aware of God’s acts in the past
Was also aware of God’s interest in the events of every day.
He also paid attention…
B. To Judah’s Present – concern with present obedience
The sins of the past brought difficulty and judgment
Judah was filled with visual reminders of the people’s lack of trust in God.
Hezekiah boldly cleaned house, destroyed altars, idols, and pagan temples (chapter 31)
Reinstituted the Passover as a national holiday (Verse 30:1) “ And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah… that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem to keep the Passover unto the Lord God of Israel.”
He developed a powerful prayer life (Isaiah 37:16-20)
Prayed for Israel’s deliverance from the Assyrians
God answered his prayer by destroying the Assyrian army
Isaiah 37:36 “Then the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. 37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.”
The answer to his prayer was already in motion because the Assyrian army was already poised to attack.
Hezekiah didn’t know, so he persisted in prayer and faith even though he could not see the answer coming.
Another Riddle: Now pay attention. Two pastors attending a conference take a cab to the Convention Center. Traffic was very bad and it took the driver an hour and a half to get there. On the way back, traffic was just as bad but it only took him 90 minutes. How can this be?
Hmm? Did you pay close enough attention?
Hezekiah paid attention to the past and to what God wanted in the present
But also applied what he learned