Hezekiah, Judah's Faithful King
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Today’s Bible study continues to look at Isaiah’s prophetic ministry, this time during the reign of King Hezekiah, the son of King Ahaz.
King Ahaz had not been a good king. Ahaz had not respected God’s law, or God’s prophets. Ahaz worshiped idols. King Hezekiah, however, “did what was right in the Lord’s sight just as his ancestor David had done.” (See 2 Chron. 29.) The Lord was with Hezekiah, and Hezekiah prospered. Over time, Hezekiah’s wealth and success led to pride. How did Hezekiah react when God said everything in His house would be carried off to Babylon? “Who cares? I’ll be dead by then.”
Hezekiah was a faithful king who led the people of Judah to worship God like they were supposed to. But even good kings are sinners. Jesus is our faithful King who never sinned. One day He will return to make all things the way they are supposed to be. Jesus is our King forever.
Hezekiah, Judah’s Faithful King
2 Kings 18–20
Hezekiah was a young man when he became Judah’s king. He did what was right before God, just like King David did. Hezekiah changed the way people in Judah worshiped. He destroyed the bronze snake Moses made because the people had started to worship it.
Hezekiah trusted God and obeyed His commands. God was with Hezekiah and made Hezekiah successful; his army conquered the Philistines and he stood up to the enemy king of Assyria.
One day, Assyria attacked Israel and its capital city, Samaria. The Assyrian army made all the people leave their homes and go to Assyria.
A few years later, the king of Assyria and his army came to Judah. Hezekiah was afraid. He didn’t trust God to protect His people. Instead, Hezekiah sent a message to the king of Assyria. Hezekiah said, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have stood up to you. Please go away; I’ll give you as much money as you want.”
The king of Assyria demanded eleven tons of silver and one ton
of gold. Hezekiah didn’t have that much money! Hezekiah took the silver stored in God’s temple and in the palace. He took the gold off the doors and doorposts in the temple and gave it to the king of Assyria.
Still, the king of Assyria was not happy. He sent his huge army and three leaders to talk to Hezekiah. They brought Hezekiah a message from the Assyrian king. The leader spoke loudly so the people of Judah could hear. “Whom are you trusting to protect you?” The king of Assyria
had armies that were much better than Judah’s armies. If Judah and Assyria fought each other, Assyria would easily win. “You might as well just give up now,” the leaders of Assyria said.
The people of Judah stayed quiet. They didn’t say anything to the leaders of Assyria. Hezekiah sent a message to the prophet Isaiah. “Pray for us!” Hezekiah said. “Ask God to protect us!”
Isaiah responded, “God says: Do not be afraid of Assyria. I’ll take care of the king; he will go back to his country and he will be killed there.”
Later, Hezekiah got a letter from Assyria that said, “Do you really think that God will protect you? The Assyrian army has taken over all these other lands; what makes you think we won’t take over Jerusalem too?”
Hezekiah read the letter. He took it to the temple and prayed. “God, You made everything,” Hezekiah prayed. “Please hear me. Save us from Assyria so that everyone on earth will know that You are the one true God.”
Then Isaiah came to Hezekiah with a message from God. God had heard Hezekiah’s prayer. God was not going to let Assyria attack Jerusalem. The rest of God’s message was for the king of Assyria and his leaders. “Don’t you know who I am? I am in charge! Anytime you win a battle, it’s because I let you win the battle.” God also said, “I will defend this city and rescue it for My sake and to keep the promise I made to My servant David—that his kingdom would not be destroyed.”
That night, the angel of the Lord went into the camp of the Assyrian army and killed thousands of them. The next morning, the king of Assyria went home and was killed, just as God had said.
One day, King Hezekiah got very sick. Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “You are going to die. You are not going to get better.” Then Hezekiah turned away, and he prayed to God. “Lord, please remember my faithfulness. I did what is right.” Then Hezekiah cried.
Isaiah started to leave, but he stopped when God gave him another message. “I have heard Hezekiah’s prayer and have seen him crying. I am going to heal him.”
The king of Babylon sent a gift to Hezekiah, and Hezekiah showed the king’s messengers everything he owned. Isaiah came to Hezekiah and asked him about the messengers. “They are from Babylon,” Hezekiah said. “I showed them everything in my house.”
“A day is coming,” warned Isaiah, “when everything you have will be taken away. Even your sons will be taken, and they will work in the palace of the king of Babylon.” Hezekiah wasn’t upset at Isaiah’s prophecy because he knew he would die before this happened.
Christ Connection: Hezekiah was a faithful king who led the people
of Judah to worship God like they were supposed to. But even good kings sin. Jesus is our faithful King who never sinned. One day He will return to make all things the way they are supposed to be. Jesus is our King forever.