2 Chronicles 29:1-2; 2 Kings 18:1-8
2 Chronicles 29:1-2 begins by giving us a general assessment of Hezekiah’s reign; and he was a good king; and one who was like David. David is benchmarked in the Old Testament as a faithful king, because he earnestly desired God at every stage of his life. Sure, David did fail (and horribly so) at the height of his career; but he quickly and sincerely repented when rebuked by the prophet Nathan. Under David, the United Kingdom of Israel was blessed by God, and reached its peak. To be acclaimed as being “like David” is a lofty assessment, indeed.
But Hezekiah’s consistent faithfulness did not mean that he was perfect. As we proceed in our narrative (in the coming weeks, that is), we will see how Hezekiah did become proud and made a serious mistake. But none of the king of Judah/ Israel was perfect; not even David to whom they are compared. Despite his steadfast faithfulness, and his being “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22), David was not infallible. This was why it was not sufficient for Israel’s Messiah to be merely “like David.” There needed to be another king, the Greater Son of David – our Lord Jesus Christ – who would be the Perfect Covenant Keeper. And it would be under His infallible reign that God’s Kingdom would last forever.
Let us then consider these:
None of us are infallible in our walk with God. In fact, John insists that “if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Our failures testify to God’s faithfulness all the more! But we should desire to be faithful, and to be used by God to do His Kingdom’s work, not as a legalistic requirement but out of an overflow of worship and thankfulness!
In presenting Hezekiah (and even David) as imperfect leaders, the Bible gives us a realistic picture of leadership: that even the good leaders are fallible and should not be elevated to a cultic standard. But that they are to be appreciated and honored in their faithfulness to imitating Jesus Christ (consider Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 11:1, that the congregation could take after Paul’s example insofar as he exemplified Christ).
Lastly, we live in days where good role models are needed. For those of us entrusted with positions of leadership in the home, company, society; we should desire to be used by God to glorify Him by being His representatives. We may need to consider that Hezekiah’s father, Ahaz, was one of the most wicked and impenitent kings in Judah. In days where there is a general failure of good role-modeling from those in positions of power, where the leaders are more often repressive, oppressive and manipulative, let us learn from Hezekiah not to be discouraged by the situation; but rather to see that as God’s call for us to be salt and light.