Hezekiah pledged his life and spirit to God and sought to walk humbly before Him, focused on praise and thanking. Additionally, Hezekiah asked that his descendants serve Him.
But, Isaiah informed him of his imminent demise. This harsh assessment caused much distress for David.
How could God know that Hezekiah’s descendants would serve in Babylon if that option became available in the future?
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God was protecting Hezekiah
Hezekiah felt sure he would die soon, so he did what all good leaders should: He asked God for help and his prayers were answered by Him.
He told Hezekiah it wasn’t time yet and that He would extend his life for 15 more years. Open theists often use this story as evidence that God can alter his plans according to our needs and prayers, or to show how gracious and merciful our God can be in answering prayers such as Hezekiah’s.
Hezekiah lived under the Old Covenant and did not understand Jesus or eternal life after death as Paul did, with no assurances such as Paul wrote about in Philippians 1:21b (to live is Christ and to die is gain). For this reason it can be difficult for us to comprehend God when He directs our hearts away from Him, yet Hezekiah had to experience death and loss first-hand before opening himself back up again to Him.
Hezekiah turned toward the wall and prayed to God when told of his impending death, imploring Him as to why this should happen, since he had faithfully served Him all his life.
His prayers were heard and Hezekiah received fifteen more years of life – not because God miraculously answered, but rather as an indication that His heart had returned to Him.
Hezekiah made a plea in his prayer, imploring God to demonstrate that He was still worthy of his trust and to not put his confidence in earthly riches and power alone. It was an important lesson we all must heed.
Hezekiah died without an heir, although Manasseh likely came into being after Hezekiah had extended his reign for 15 years (2 Kings 20:6-21:1). Perhaps Hezekiah needed to arrange his successor properly so as to ensure an orderly transition of leadership and government functions after his passing (2 Kings 20-21).
God was giving Hezekiah more time
Hezekiah was an admirable and righteous ruler who led Judah with faith in God. However, as Hezekiah aged, his health started deteriorating rapidly, leading him to an illness which threatened his life. Praying and asking God for mercy he reminded Him all that He had done for him and his people as well as what promises He had made to them both.
Hezekiah found comfort in God when He answered his prayers by adding fifteen years to his life (2 Chronicles 20:1-7). In gratitude and thanksgiving for God’s mercy, Hezekiah thanked Him and gave thanksgiving. This story reminds us that His grace can save even those of us who seem unworthy – He never lies or falsifies his promises!
Hezekiah’s life was prolonged for many reasons, one being his lack of heir to his throne. If Hezekiah were to die without one, David’s dynasty would cease and God’s promises for Israel would be dismantled; so God gave Hezekiah time to father a son who could continue in David’s lineage and eventually be Israel’s messianic figure – giving Hezekiah another chance to fulfill those promises through him and fulfill God’s promise that Jesus would come through him.
But Hezekiah made a fatal error that ultimately cost him his life. When visiting envoys from Babylon came, Hezekiah unwisely displayed all his wealth before them – an act of pride which should have been trusted to the Lord instead.
Hezekiah had become too self-centered and preoccupied with material possessions rather than worshipping God as the Source of all goodness and strength. Additionally, when hearing of his impending death he exhibited no empathy whatsoever.
Hezekiah extended his life for fifteen more years during which time, fathered a son named Manasseh who then succeeded him as King of Judah after Hezekiah had died. Unfortunately, Manasseh proved himself an immoral ruler who brought great suffering upon Judah. This serves as a reminder that we should always remain humble before the Lord regardless of circumstances or what benefits may have come our way – He will punish those who place their trust elsewhere while rewarding those who trust and serve Him faithfully!
God was giving Hezekiah a sign
As soon as Hezekiah heard from Isaiah that he would die soon, he prayed earnestly to God in tears for a miracle to extend his life by fifteen years. God answered those prayers by adding an additional fifteen years.
Hezekiah’s prayer in 2 Chronicles 20:8-11 shows he was a man of faith who trusted God completely, standing firm on integrity and believing He would help in every situation. Furthermore, His prayer illustrates His understanding that it is Jesus Himself who gives life and restores health – something Hezekiah understood was done for the greater good of His people as well as Him alone.
As Hezekiah prayed, he reminded the Lord of all of His past blessings and the good deeds He had performed for His people. Hezekiah reminded Him that only He could provide life and healing, reminding Him that only He is God. Lastly, Hezekiah asked that His power be displayed across nations so they would see that He was truly their savior.
Hezekiah asked God for a sign to show that He heard his prayers and would keep His promise of adding fifteen more years. God made a sign known as an augury appear as the shadow on a sundial moved backwards – this event being considered supernatural by some scholars who use this story as evidence against open theism, or believing God can adjust His plans according to our needs or prayers; however, such theories present several problems.
1. How did God know Hezekiah would live for exactly fifteen years? Since He knows nothing of what lies ahead, making such a specific prediction seems impossible. Furthermore, given how impossibly impossible the sign would have been faked is evidence of His hearing his prayer and answering accordingly.
God was giving Hezekiah a miracle
God granted Hezekiah an extended lifespan of 15 years (2 Chronicles 20:7-10). This incredible miracle proved His faithfulness! Hezekiah kept his word, reformatted worship of his people and honored Yahweh as their only God; he also honored Jerusalem from Assyrian threats while stamping out idol worship and renewing true faith across Judah.
Hezekiah was so eager to please the envoys from Babylon that when they came calling he displayed all his wealth before them in an extravagant display of pride and showed off everything from silver and gold treasures, armory and everything imaginable – almost everything. Isaiah quickly corrected Hezekiah for this display of foolishness and swiftly advised against further display of such extravagant display of wealth before them.
Hezekiah should have been content with what God had given him and boasted in His greatness rather than boasting in his riches or power. Instead, Hezekiah should have thanked the Lord for answering his prayer mercifully and bestowing 15 additional years on him.
Hezekiah’s primary sin was pride; he thought himself superior to others and focused too heavily on himself, rather than looking forward to death with relish like Paul did; instead, Hezekiah should have placed more focus on God and His goodness than on himself.
One hundred years later, Hezekiah’s son would serve in the court of Babylon – further evidence of how God knows everything and can change our future if we turn towards Him.