II Kings 16-18, II Chronicles 29
From the Journals of Isaiah
After sixteen years of Ahaz turning the people of Judah away from worshiping the God of our fathers, I'm not sure how Hezekiah chose to do what was right. But he did, and I am thankful.
Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five-years old, after his father had died. The people chose not to honor Ahaz by burying him in the tombs of the kings of Israel.
Zechariah, a priest who loved God and worshiped Him with all his heart, happened to be Hezekiah's grandfather. Young Hezekiah respected and loved his grandfather.
As soon as Hezekiah came to power, he got to work removing all the idols and places of sacrifice to false gods. He smashed the sacred stones for the false gods, cut down the Asherah poles that people worshipped, and broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made because the Israelites had been worshiping it as if it was a god.
Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. He kept a strong faith in the Lord and did not ever stop following him. He kept the commands the Lord had given Moses.
As a result the Lord was with him. Hezekiah was successful in whatever he job he tried to do.
After smashing the false gods, Hezekiah went to the temple of the Lord. He had only been king for one month and already did so much to bring the people back to worshiping God.
Hezekiah walked to the doors of the temple and ordered them to be unsealed. The doors were opened and found to be damaged. Hezekiah ordered the doors to be repaired.
The next day Hezekiah called for all the priests and Levites to meet with him in the square on the east side of the temple. Many of these men had been in hiding fearing what Ahaz would do to them, but when they learned Hezekiah had opened the temple doors they came.
Hezekiah stood before the men. He held his hands high to gain their attention and spoke. "Listen to me, Levites. Clean yourselves, your clothes, your bodies, and your hearts. Then, cleanse the temple of the Lord, the God of your fathers, in the same way He commanded your fathers to do years ago.
"Remove everything that would offend the Lord our God."
Come back next time to see what other good things Hezekiah, king of Israel did to show his love for God.
1. How long had the evil king Ahaz reigned?
2. Ahaz was was/not given an honorable burial place. Which is correct?
3. Who was Hezekiah's grandfather and what did his grandfather do?
4. How was Hezekiah different from his father Ahaz?
5. What good things did Hezekiah do?
6. What did Hezekiah ask the levites and priests to do?