Devotion written by Nichole Tamburstuen, Director of Foster Care, Maricopa County.
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 held fast to the Lord and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses. And the Lord was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook. — 2 Kings 18:5-7
Recently while studying the Old Testament, I landed on this verse and it has continued to stir in me weeks after the study. The life of Hezekiah shows a King that honored the Lord. However, at the end of Hezekiah’s life, we see a very different king. His humanity has run amuck, pride and haughtiness have taken over, and he elevates himself and brags about “his” riches to Babylon. Isaiah shares with Hezekiah the Lord’s consequence to these actions. Isaiah tells him that Hezekiah’s sons will become slaves and their kingdoms’ riches will all be taken away. Hezekiah responds, “The word of the Lord you have spoken is good, there will be peace and security in my lifetime” (2 Kings 20:19). Hezekiah’s response comes from a place of resignation and selfishness and it is heartbreaking to see that he has drifted this far after a lifetime of faithfulness. If Hezekiah, a great king, could fall so far after such a life without any regard for even his children, how easy could it be for us? After all, it only needs to start with a few prideful thoughts. While I am not a king, I have to ask myself, when do I take credit for God’s blessings in my life or in ministry and not give the full glory to God? Hezekiah’s story reminds us of the true need for intentional reverence and recognition to the one and only true God who brings all blessings and honor.