Day 184: Hezekiah Reigns

Introduction to EXILE (with Jeff Cavins)

2 Kings 18:1-12 Hezekiah was King of Judah at the time of the Assyrian siege of the Northern kingdom. He was a faithful king, keeping the Law of the Lord and eliminating idolatry from Judah. The Canaanite pillars were felled, and even the bronze serpent made by Moses was destroyed because people were worshiping it as an idol. Because of his faithfulness, Judah enjoyed ample blessings of God.


2 Chronicles 29:1-36 Hezekiah proed to be the complete opposite of his father Ahaz. During his reign, Hezekiah reformed the religion of Judah, purified the Temple that had been defiled by idolatry, renewed the religious ceremonies and feasts, and restored the proper role of the Temple priests.


Ch 29:30-36 The music, rites of purification, and sacrifices offered in the Temple are types of the Sacraments that Christ would establish for his Church (TYPOLOGY!!); both are particular signs and symbols of the covenant with God and all that God accomplishes for his people. Traditional rites and actions such as anointing, circumcision, the laying on of hands, and especially the Passover feast point to the Sacraments that are the channels of sanctifying grace in the New Covenant. (CCC 1150)


Psalm 141: Let my prayer...an evening sacrifice!: Evening Prayer for Sunday of Week I in the Liturgy of the Hours begins with this verse. If prayer comes from a heart docile to God’s will and filled with love, then it has the value of a pleasing sacrifice expressed in rising incense. Elevating the hands is the traditional gesture that signifies raising the heart and mind to God. The psalmist recommits himself to seek God’s will in all things and to trust in God’s protection. (St. John Paul II, General Audience, November 5, 2003)


Set a guard...of their dainties: The psalmist is essentially asking the Lord to lead him away from sin and temptation. We pray for this in the Lord’s Prayer: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Mt 6:13). He knows the value of perseverance and draws the strength to persevere from God. Since no one is ever invulnerable to sin, we must, in addition


to habitual prayer, commit ourselves to avoid all near occasions of sin. (CCC 2612)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)


  • This is our first day in the “Baby Blues” of the Babylonian Exile

  • If you’ve been a little bit overwhelmed by the length of the last couple of days, today is only three chapters

  • We are back in sync with 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles

  • Remember that 2 Kings is written right after the events happened

  • 2 Chronicles is likely the LAST BOOK WRITTEN in the Old Testament, chronologically at least


  • Psalm 141 is a great prayer to begin the day with

  • “Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord, keep watch over the door of my lips!”

  • That is a great prayer to pray when you know you are going into a conversation where the tensions can get high and maybe some words that shouldn’t be said are potentially going to be said

  • “Just set a watch over my lips, Lord. Set a guard over my mouth.”

  • It can be a great prayer to begin the day

  • GOSH!

  • It’s so good to be back synced up here with 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles

  • We get the story of Hezekiah

  • We know that his dad was Ahaz

  • We also know that Ahaz was one of the WORST KINGS THAT JUDAH (SOUTHERN KINGDOM) EVER HAD

  • Hezekiah was one of the BEST KINGS that Judah (SOUTHERN KINGDOM) ever had

  • We recognize that OUR PEDIGREE IS NOT OUR DESTINY

  • OUR HISTORY IS NOT OUR DESTINY

  • The people that come before us, our ancestors, DO NOT DETERMINE OUR FUTURE

  • Here is Hezekiah who LEARNED from his father

  • Hezekiah LEARNED from Israel in the North

  • His father Ahaz was NOT FAITHFUL

  • Hezekiah does not condemn his father in Scripture

  • We just have him with his ACTIONS undoing all the things his father had done

  • This is REMARKABLE

  • We also see that three years after Hezekiah began his reign, that is when the King of Assyria came into Israel (NORTHERN KINGDOM) and EXILED THEM

  • Hezekiah also saw that UNFAITHFULNESS leads to this DESTRUCTION

  • It is SO INCREDIBLE

  • Ahaz was one of the WORST

  • Hezekiah was one of the BEST

  • What does he do?

  • Hezekiah re-institutes TRUE WORSHIP

  • 2 Chronicles shows us that the restoration was IMMEDIATE

  • In the first MONTH of his reign, he begins to tear down the false structures for worship

  • Remember, some of the DECENT kings reestablished worship in the Temple

  • BUT…

  • They were not willing to tear down the Asherim and high places etc

  • Why were they not willing to do that?

  • Because people outside the city of Jerusalem LIKED to go to those places of idols and pray

  • So the kings thought they would keep their people happy by letting them DO WHAT THEY WANT TO DO

  • As opposed to LEADING THEM INTO HOLINESS

  • When you are the KING, the person in charge, your responsibility is for yourself, yes

  • BUT…

  • You will have to make decisions that PEOPLE MAY NOT LIKE

  • Hezekiah got pushback because all of his ancestors had left those people alone

  • You can imagine people out in the country saying, “You can reinstitute Temple Worship. That’s no problem. Just leave OUR private idols out of it. Leave our sacred poles. Leave our Asherim. Leave those out of it.”

  • AND YET...

  • Hezekiah was not willing to leave those out of it

  • Hezekiah reestablished TRUE WORSHIP IN THE TEMPLE

  • Hezekiah REMOVED the FALSE GODS from the people of the land

  • Hezekiah had to take a stand AGAINST THE PEOPLE because soon, he will take a stand FOR THE PEOPLE

  • We see this in 2 Kings 18

  • The King of Assyria, Sennacherib, sends his ambassador, the Rabshakeh

  • He has a message for Hezekiah

  • Who goes out to meet the ambassador?

  • Eliakim, the head of the house

  • Shebnah, the secretary

  • And Joah, the recorder

  • The Rabshakeh, Sennacherib says, “Here is what is going to happen. We are going to destroy you. We have destroyed everybody.”

  • At one point, Eliakim says, “Speak to us in Aramaic. We understand it; do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.”

  • Because the people on the wall would get discouraged

  • Just talk to the three ambassadors of King Hezekiah

  • The Rabshakeh is a tough dude

  • He says, “No. Listen, I will speak in such a way that these people on the wall can hear me and understand me but so that they know that Hezekiah is causing all this problem.”

  • That’s not true, of course.

  • It’s Sennacharib, the King of Assyria, who is causing problems because he is invading Jerusalem

  • The reason there is going to be terror here is because Hezekiah is not willing to just fold and let the king of Assyria roll over him

  • The Rabshakeh is very graphic in how the people are going to suffer

  • They are going to EAT THEIR OWN DUNG

  • They are going to DRINK THEIR OWN URINE

  • The Rabshakeh says, “We have conquered all of these cities. We have conquered all of these people. And not one of their gods helped them. I know you have your Hezekiah who is faithful to the Lord your God. But we even conquered Samaria. I thought you guys had the same God. He didn’t help them. What makes you think that the Lord your God is going to help YOU?”

  • This is the BIG BIG QUESTION

  • In the following chapters, we will learn if it is worth following the Lord God and relying on HIM rather than making an alliance with Egypt

  • Hezekiah was NOT relying on Egypt

  • Hezekiah was relying on the LORD HIS GOD

  • THAT IS KEY

  • Hezekiah is the KING who is LEADING HIS PEOPLE SO WELL

  • We will see how things unfold

  • Here is Hezekiah in this moment who is not only purifying Temple Worship and ELIMINATING FALSE WORSHIP

  • He is relying upon the Lord in the face of GREAT OPPOSITION and GREAT DANGER

  • 2 Chronicles you may have noticed that all the things we read in Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy is making sense now

  • They brought all these bowls, goats, and lambs and splashed their blood on the altar

  • They took these he-goats and laid their hands on them

  • WHY?

  • THEY WERE SCAPEGOATS!! (Does this sound familiar? Go read Day 41:The Day of Atonement for a refresher!!)

  • When they laid their hands on the SCAPEGOAT, the were placing the sins of the people SYMBOLICALLY upon the heads of the he-goats and then slaughtering them and whatnot

  • WHAT A GIFT!

  • We know this now because we have gone through Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy

  • Hundreds of years later when Hezekiah and the Levites are doing all these things, WE KNOW THIS NOW

  • GOOD JOB GUYS AND GALS!!

  • We are getting to know God’s Word MORE FULLY

  • It is SO IMPORTANT TO GIVE GOD WHAT HE ASKS FOR IN WORSHIP

  • It is SO IMPORTANT TO TRUST IN THE LORD when our backs are against the wall and when we are facing incredible opposition

  • There are so many of us in the Bible in a Year community that are facing opposition RIGHT NOW

  • SO WE ARE PRAYING FOR YOU

  • KEEP PRAYING FOR EACH OTHER

  • PRAY FOR FR. MIKE


Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, we thank you so much. Thank you for your Word and your kindness. Thank you so much for the fact that you receive our prayers and that for whatever reason, God, our prayers matter to you. Our hearts matter to you. Our lives matter to you. The hairs on our head, apparently for whatever reason, God, this doesn’t make any sense, but we matter to you. Thank you. Thank you for hearing our prayers. Thank you for the fact that we listen to your Word, that that matters to you. That that honors you. That that gives you glory and that you receive that. Receive this time that we have spent together, this time that we have spent listening to your Word as our gift to you when we know truly what it is, is your gift to us. You are so good, God. We thank you and praise your name. We ask you to keep us. Help us to remain faithful, and if we haven’t been faithful, make us so. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”