Summary: King Hezekiah was considered one of the greatest kings of Judah. He had a passionate heart for the Lord—“He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord … He trusted in the Lord God of Israel … he clave to the Lord and departed not from following Him … and the Lord was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth” (2 Kings 18:3-7, KJV).
The record of King Hezekiah in the Bible gives us some keys to his prosperous, successful reign over the kingdom of Judah. Specifically, one solitary verse — 2 Chronicles 31:21 — gives us insight into the reasons for the king’s success, both natural and spiritual. And that verse has some especially valuable lessons for us today. Let’s look at the verse’s “5 Steps to Spiritual Prosperity” for the Christian today.
The king “prospered … in every work that he began” —
Hezekiah was a God-fearing king of Judah. The Bible says that his life was typified by “acts of devotion” to the Lord (2 Chronicles 32:32). In our featured verse above we see five keys to the king’s prosperity. The apostle Paul tells us that “such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us” (Romans 15:4).
Again and again the New Testament writers went back to, and quoted, Old Testament verses to teach us about God’s truth and godly living. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to impress upon us five principles for our spiritual prosperity, as revealed in the life of King Hezekiah, who was said by God to have “prospered” as a result of these five things.
The key introductory words were: “
The “house of God” in the Old Testament was a physical building — first the Tabernacle built by Moses, later the Temple in Jerusalem. In the New Testament the house of God is the Lord’s Church — “…the house of God, which is the church of the living God” (1 Timothy 3:15, KJV). The apostle Peter said of Christian believers that “you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5).
The Old Testament believers focused their service to God in a natural “house,” the tabernacle and temple. New Testament believers dedicate themselves to service in a spiritual house, the Church. And remember, the church of the New Covenant is not a building; it is the redeemed people of God.
So key #1 to spiritual prosperity is that we be fully involved in a local Christian church (i.e., an assembly of people near us), where Jesus Christ is honored, the Word of God is preached and taught, and the Holy Spirit is allowed to move powerfully. There should be no such thing as “lone wolf” Christians. Jesus said that He would build His church (Matthew 16:18), which He deeply loves (Ephesians 5:25). Let us be fully devoted and faithful to that which means so much to our Lord and Savior — that is, His Church, His faithful born-again followers, for whom He died and rose again for our salvation (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
Technically, “the law” in the Old Testament was the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible. It was and is the revealed word of God given to and through Moses. So when the Scripture says that King Hezekiah was dedicated to work “in the law,” it specifically means that he was devoted to the Word of God.
The completed Bible, the Word of God, consists of 66 books (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament). Of this sacred collection of God-inspired writings the apostle Paul says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16, NASB).
The longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119, is 176 verses long. Almost every verse is a brief jewel of truth praising the excellence of God’s Word, the Scriptures of the Bible.
Our divine Savior Jesus Christ said of His words that “they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63, KJV). He said further to those who believe in Him and His words, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32, KJV). Speaking to God the Father, our Lord said, “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17).
No Christian should tolerate being biblically illiterate. Devote yourself to Scripture study. Spend time in God’s Word daily. Be in a good local church where the pastor preaches faithfully from God’s Word the Bible. And if so, then like Hezekiah, you will prosper from your devotion to God’s Word.
Some believers erroneously think that grace is loose and permissive. “Hey, I’m under grace” is sometimes heard in an attempt to justify a less-than-holy lifestyle. But no! The apostle tells us that “grace teaches” us something. And this is not some special, alternative kind of grace; it’s the very “grace that offers salvation.” And that saving grace “teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives.”
God’s commandments are not some heavy burden, difficult to bear, depriving us of liberty. No, in fact they are beneficial principles for godly living — don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t covet, don’t commit adultery, flee fornication, love God, love your neighbor, love one another, and many more. These things are part of personal character that reflects the majestic, perfect holiness of God. Holy and righteous conduct will be seen everywhere in that future “new heavens and new earth, in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13, NASB). What a glorious future that will be, when we walk with the Lord in our resurrected bodies in a new earth in which absolute holiness and godliness prevail everywhere.
And we have the opportunity in this life, with the grace of God and the help of the Holy Spirit, to take upon ourselves the Lord’s holiness and to live upright, godly lives pleasing to the Lord God Almighty.
Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15, KJV). Let the Lord’s biblically revealed precepts for godly living motivate your life each day. Let obedience to them be reflections of your love for Him and then, like King Hezekiah, you will prosper in your walk with the Lord in this life.
There are many ways biblically to “seek” the Lord. We can seek Him in prayer, in praise and worship, in specific petitions (for example, “Early will I seek thee…to see thy power and thy glory” - Psalm 63:1-2, KJV), to name some.
We can seek to be very much aware of His presence (I pray this often), as in “Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face continually” (1 Chronicles 16:11, KJV). To seek His face is a Hebrew way of saying to seek His presence.
We can “seek” the Lord in the sense of a desire to be involved in His kingdom work. For example, King David said to his son, the future King Solomon: “Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the Lord God…the house that is to be built to the name of the Lord” (1 Chronicles 22:19, KJV).
We can — and should as needed — seek the Lord in prayerful repentance. The Lord spoke to Solomon that His people should “…pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways…” (2 Chronicles 7:14, KJV).
We can and should seek the Lord to guide us to live in ways that are pleasing to Him. For example, it was said of King Rehoboam that he “did evil because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord” (2 Chronicles 12:14).
Many more examples could be given, but these shall suffice to impress upon us the importance of a life devoted to seeking the Lord, His kingdom, and His righteousness. The results? — “…all these [other needed] things shall be added unto you,” Jesus said (Matthew 6:31-33, KJV). Seek God in prayer, praise, worship, petition, etc. and, as with King Hezekiah, God will prosper you in His gracious response.
When King Hezekiah wisely determined to “seek his God, he did it with all his heart and prospered.” The Psalm says, “Blessed are they…that seek Him with the whole heart” (Psalm 119:2).
The prophet Jeremiah foretold the idolatrous kingdom of Judah’s captivity in Babylon for 70 years. But he added God’s gracious promise to them when in Babylon that He would visit them there and bring them back to Judah and Jerusalem. But God added a condition to the promise: “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:10-13, KJV). There is no “captivity” that God can’t deliver you from if you pray (vs. 12) and seek after the Lord with all your heart.
“The Lord is good…to the soul that seeketh Him” (Lamentations 3:25, KJV). The Bible’s great faith chapter (Hebrews 11, KJV) says that “he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (vs. 6). How should the believer seek God? Diligently and with all our hearts! To such persons God will be a “rewarder” and will cause you to prosper in your walk with Him.
Hezekiah, the godly king of Judah, was enabled by God to prosper in every work that he began:
We New Testament believers will likewise experience spiritual prosperity in every work that we begin:
In brief, devote yourself to Jesus’
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©2021, James H. Feeney.
Pentecosal Sermons &
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Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.