2 Chronicles 31&32

When it Rains it Pours

We conclude our study of Hezekiah today with Chapter 32. The reign of Hezekiah is also recorded in Isaiah 36-39 and 2 Kings 18-20. Hezekiah was a man who brought great reform to Judah and that reform has been the focus of our study in Chronicles. However, there is more to the story though if we combine all three records.

Hezekiah reigned in Jerusalem for 29 years. In the fourteenth year of his reign Assyria invaded Judah and attempted to take Jerusalem. Hezekiah found himself building up the defenses of the city even though the odds against him were overwhelming. It was also in the fourteenth year of his reign that Hezekiah became mortally ill and received word from Isaiah the prophet to put his house in order as he was about to die. It was also around this time that Hezekiah received a letter from the commander of the Assyrian forces that even though they had to withdraw from the siege to join the King of Assyria who was laying siege against Libnah, a fortified city in Judah, he would be back and take Jerusalem. Overwhelmed, Hezekiah took the letter to the Temple and laid it all out in prayer before the Lord. God sent word through the prophet Isaiah that no Assyrian soldier would enter the city. In one night 185,000 Assyrian soldiers were killed and the remaining soldiers had to return to their homeland. We also are told that Sennacherib, king of Assyria was killed when he returned home. What we are not told is that it would be 20 years before he was killed, so Assyria remained a threat throughout the reign of Hezekiah. Judah is very weak since Jerusalem is about all that remains of the nation of Judah. All the rest of the area around Jerusalem is under the control of Assyria.

Hezekiah also prayed about his illness and God gave him 15 more years to live. After Hezekiah recovered Merodach-baladan  King of Babylon paid Hezekiah a visit. The king of Babylon was a Chaldean who had rebelled against Assyria. It is likely that Hezekiah thought that Babylon could be an ally with Judah against the Assyrian threat. However, the rebellion was short lived and Babylon was taken by Assyria.

Hezekiah faced many trials and problems especially in that fourteenth year. For the most part he did well except that he seemed to put his hope and trust in Babylon.  Verse 31 of 2 Chronicles 32 says that God allowed Hezekiah to go through a test regarding his healing and recovery so that he would know what was in his heart. Would God get the glory or  would Hezekiah’s pride win out?

We all go through trials and difficulties. God can use these to grow our faith in Him. He can also use these to show us if we are getting off course in life. This is why James says, “Consider it all Joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials.” James 1:2 NASB

Verses 3&4 tell us that trials develop endurance. It would be nice to think that when we make our commitment to the Lord everything is going to fall into place and everything is going to be just fine, but that is not the case. Believers need to develop endurance and perseverance. Here are some more verses to consider.

Romans 5:1-5; Hebrews 12:1-12; 1 Peter 1:3-11.

Pastor Dave