I’ve been reading lives and reigns of kings in the Old Testament. Bad kings did evil in the sight of God. Good kings did what was good in the eyes of God. Other than just these two ‘seemingly’ simple statements of good and bad, what more concrete means and ends do we see to differentiate the good from the bad kings?
Today I read about King Hezekiah. How did he started out as a king? How did he end? In the Old Testament, 2 Chronicles 29-32 recorded his reign.
In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them. (29:3)
At 25, Hezekiah initiated the worship of the Lord. God’s temple was in ruins – it’s been a long time since people worshipped God in his temple. The king called on all the people to ‘consecrate’ (make themselves clean and holy) fit to worship God. This was through temple worship – offering sacrifices to God. He called on all Israel to celebrate the Passover. He prayed for the people whose hearts were intent to seek God to celebrate and eat the passover meals even though they did not go through the purification rules. God heard his prayer and healed the people (30:18-20).
There was great joy in all the land as they worshipped the Lord. Altars and idols were destroyed (31:1) The people gave so much of their gifts, there were heaps of them. (vv.5-9)
This is the summary of what Hezekiah did during his reign:
Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah; and he did what was good, right and true before the Lord his God. Every work which he began in the service of the house of God in law and in commandment, seeking his God, he did with all his heart and prospered. 2 Chronicles 31:20-21
To do good, right and true before God with all his heart, in law and in commandment, that is the mark of a good king. What comes from the reign of a good king? People are called to be holy to worship God. People destroy all the idols they have. People worship in joy and giving – giving all that they have.
We truly need to pray for our ruler in the land: that he will have the fear of the Lord – to do good, right and true before God, that all he does he will seek God with all his heart. When a leader loves God, he sets an example to the people to love and worship God with all heart, soul and mind. He encourages the whole nation to follow God’s ways. He calls on the people to do what is right, and give their best to God. God will surely prosper the works of his hands, heal his people and heal the land. Amen.