Hezekian and Grace
Grace is God’s undeserved favor. Not Hezekiah’s wife. Unless I missed it somewhere, I didn’t see the name of whom he married. His reign as King over Judah (also known as the Southern Kingdom) after his father, Ahaz, died. Ahaz was not a particularly good King in terms of spiritual leadership. Hezekiah was 25 years old when the title King fell to him. For some reason, he was a man who earnestly desired to follow God. (II Chronicles 29:2)
This year in reading my Bible through I have added more notes to the notes I had from the previous year. Israel was unified under only three kings: Saul, David, and Solomon. After that it was divided into the North and South with the kings of the Southern Kingdom (Judah) being more likely to have spiritual strength—but not always. Hezekiah opened the Temple for worship and called on the priests and Levites to commemorate Passover once again. In fact, he sent out invitations for some of the faithful remnant in the Northern Kingdom to join them. According to my calculations, it had been about 200 years since such a Passover had been kept.
When the people of the North came, they had not prepared themselves according to the law of Moses to be part of the Passover. Complaints came to his ears and Hezekiah did the gracious thing: he prayed for them. II Chronicles 30:18—20 tells us that God granted his request.
This is an amazing account in the Old Testament of God’s showing undeserved favor. If you read to the end of chapter 30 you will find the result of joy and gladness. God didn’t make them return without observing the Passover. It was a time for them to remember the wonderful passing over of the death angel when the Jewish people left Egypt. God knew, as did Hezekiah, that the observance of Passover might be what they needed to give the remnant courage to carry on worshipping God in the midst of turmoil under Assyrian captivity.
Are you feeling alone, estranged from family? God’s grace will carry you through even in the midst of terrible times. If you have a spiritual leader—a pastor perhaps—who will pray for you, and the Word of God to brace your heart, you will find grace sufficient for your needs.
I recently found a chart on the internet that gives a good bird’s eye view of the Kings and Prophets: http://thebookwurm.com/kingchrt.htm and you may find it useful too. It is copyrighted but limited use is available. Just don’t sell it!