The End of Hezekiah’s Reign

Open Your Bible

2 Kings 20:1-21, 2 Kings 21:1-26, Proverbs 11:2, John 14:13-14

Sometimes I joke about writing a memoir called, Parking Lots I’ve Cried In. Now that I think about it, it will have to be a picture book, full of maps, graphs, and infographics like, “The bowling alley parking lot where I got in my first fender bender,” “The church parking lot where my high school boyfriend dumped me,” and “The grocery store parking lot where I bought and ate an entire cookie cake after a bad day.”

As you’ve probably gathered, these instances weren’t planned, nor were they content set-ups for my future bestseller. The last thing I want is to cry in public, but I usually can’t hold in my tears until I’m behind closed doors. (Incidentally, one of my friends recently taught me that forcing yourself to rhyme—lime, crime, time, etc.—can distract your brain enough to stop you from crying.) I don’t want to feel myself crying, and I definitely don’t want anyone to see my tears.

Of course, most of the things we cry about are those we’d want to forget entirely, not write in a memoir. That was the case of Hezekiah when he became very ill, and while he prayed facing a wall (instead of in a parking lot), we can see that he, too, was in a very vulnerable position. In 2 Kings 20, we read the words of his prayer: “‘Please, LORD, remember how I have walked before you faithfully and wholeheartedly and have done what pleases you’” (v.3). And then he wept bitterly, and honestly before God.

Hezekiah’s prayer points to the old covenant, in which God blessed His people in response to their faithfulness to the covenant. In his most desperate time of need, Hezekiah asks God to validate whether or not he is worthy to approach the throne and ask for healing. And It’s easy to believe that this is the takeaway of Hezekiah’s story, that “good people” deserve good things. I don’t know about you, but that hasn’t always been my personal experience.

The most important part of this story isn’t Hezekiah’s healing, his ultimate death, or the end of his reign. It’s that under the new covenant, we no longer have to question our standing with God, because in Christ Jesus, we have been justified. Jesus died in our place so that, by placing our trust in Him, we could gain eternal life (Romans 6:23).

The Lord said to Hezekiah, “This is what the LORD God of your ancestor David says: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears,” (2 Kings 20:5). Because of Jesus’s work on the cross, the same God who acknowledges our every sorrow, is now present with us in all things (Psalm 56:8; John 14:15–31). Thanks be to God for all the ways He teaches us about our original sin under the old covenant, so that we may fully know the gift of His Son under the new covenant.

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20 thoughts on "The End of Hezekiah’s Reign"

  1. Jill Kenny says:

    This is what The Lord said to me today through His word, “This is what the LORD God of David says: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears and because of Jesus’s work on the cross you are eternally mine.” How blessed to live under the New Covenant!

  2. Mari V says:

    I can’t begin to tell you how comforting it’s been to me knowing that MY God has seen my tears. Times when I was so scared. And even scared of my own shadow. I’m so thankful since leaving my environmental over two years ago I finally begin to heal, become stronger, I’ve gained confidence and most of all I’ve drawn so much closer to God. Of course there’s still life challenges, I still get scared especially with upcoming court but I know one thing HE, MY GOD comes with me.

  3. Maura says:

    Thankful that we have a god that not only sees our tears and hears our prayers but loved us enough to dwell with us, give everything so that we could be with Him. His sacrifice for us is incomprehensible. May we praise Jesus and may He give us eyes to see and ears to hear those around us that so desperately need Him.

  4. Rachel from Texas says:

    Kathy, praying for you, Macy, her friends and family and the school! May the Lord be near to you all, bringing comfort.

  5. Skylar Jutte says:

    Every morning this week His word has given me exactly what I needed to hear. I pray it’s giving everyone else the same. Amen!

    1. Mari V says:

      It has! I love it. God is good.

  6. Angie.M says:

    I love reading the rest of Manasseh’s story in 2 Chronicles 33:10-20. Although he was labeled as an evil king because of the idolatry that he practiced and led his people to practice, he repented. The Lord caused him to be removed from his throne in Jerusalem for a while and brought to Babylon. There, he realized what happened and prayed humbly to the Lord. The Lord listened to his prayer and brought Manasseh again to Jerusalem. At that point, Manasseh knew that the covenant God of Israel was the one and only true God. God became personal to him. For the rest of his reign, Manasseh did what he could to remove idol worship from Jerusalem and encourage the people to worship the one true God. The people did worship God, but in their own way; not in the way the Lord told them to.

    I love how this part of Manasseh’s story shows God’s gracious lovingkindness to even those who are evil. This is also a beautiful story of one evil person’s complete repentance. However, it also contains a warning. No matter how much we repent and seek God later in life, one of the consequences of practicing evil before trusting Christ may be that people will continue to be encouraged to follow our former evil example instead of our current Christlike ways.

    Today is the day of salvation. Do not put it off. Do what you can to further God’s kingdom and trust God for the fruit you will bear.

  7. Churchmouse says:

    “I have heard your prayers. I have seen your tears.” What comforting words from God through Isaiah to Hezekiah. What comforting words to us today. Our prayers and our tears are never wasted. They are valuable and worthy to be addressed. God’s heart is to hear and see and then move on behalf of His people. In our difficult and troubling circumstances we forget this. We feel we have become invisible, forgotten. Not so! We are His priority. Always. Let’s not turn out face to the wall. Let us turn our face to His. His gaze will never turn away from us. We are His beloved.

    1. Lea LeganMcCoy says:

      ❤️❤️❤️

    2. Karen J says:

      I always look forward to your commentary. ❤️

    3. MsAmy Vann* says:

      This touched me so much I had to jot it down word for word. Thank you Churchmouse.

  8. Angie says:

    Kathy, continuing to lift you all, Macy, and her family in prayer. I’m sorry for the recent news, and praying for the treatable form of Hodgkins. May God grant this young girl health and time. He is able. According to His will.