DOING RIGHT in the sight of God: "Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done." (2 Kings 18:1-3)
Hezekiah became the king of Judah when he was twenty-five years old. It is very important to note that his father Ahaz was one of the most rebellious and ungodly kings who ever ruled Judah who even dedicated his son (probably Hezekiah) to false gods by making him pass through the fire. "Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord his God, as his father David had done. But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel; indeed he made his son pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out from before the children of Israel. And he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree." (2 Kings 16:2-4). Taking over the throne from such an ungodly father, Hezekiah would have been inclined to follow his footsteps. Also, the neighboring Israel was in total sin and depravity, due to which the people of Israel were carried away captive to Assyria (2 Kings 17:5-39). Their lifestyle was summarized in the following verses: "However they did not obey, but they followed their former rituals. So these nations feared the Lord, yet served their carved images; also their children and their children's children have continued doing as their fathers did, even to this day." (2 Kings 17:40-41)
In the midst of all these ungodliness, Hezekiah did what was right in the sight of God. What exactly did Hezekiah do that pleased God?
- He destroyed all false gods and idols. "He removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan." (2 Kings 18:4)
- He trusted in the Lord God of Israel. "He trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him." (2 Kings 18:5)
- He held fast to God and followed Him. "For he held fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him..." (2 Kings 18:6a)
- He obeyed all the commandments of God. "(He) kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses." (2 Kings 18:6b)
When Hezekiah did what was right in God’s sight, "the Lord was with him; he prospered wherever he went." (2 Kings 18:7). Hezekiah stands before us as a good example of trusting and following God in the midst of people who are committing evil.
Let the words of Psalm 37 be an inspiration to us: "Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday." (Psalms 37:1-6)