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2 KINGS 20:1-21:18; 2 CHRONICLES 32:24-33:20; ISAIAH 38:1-39:8
by Ron Rose
While his great victory was still fresh in his memory, Hezekiah became seriously ill, and Isaiah told him to get his affairs in order. But the king begged God for more years of life, and moved by Hezekiahs tears, the compassionate God of life granted him fifteen more years. During those years Hezekiah became wealthy and famous, and God tested him to see what was in his heart. Although Hezekiah accomplished many great tasks, his pride in what he possessed hurt his relationship with God. Isaiah warned him that eventually the southern kingdom and even his family would be carried off to Babylon.
Imprisoned, alone, and powerless, he found humility and a spirit of repentance. God heard his prayer and forgave him and made it possible for Manasseh to return to Jerusalem. There he spent the last years of his reign, ridding the nation of the altars to false gods he had encouraged before, but he couldnt rid the people of the influence of the past years.
Reflection: The compassionate King of kings granted Hezekiahs request and blessed him with more years, but during those years Hezekiah grew proud and distant from the Giver of life. On the other hand, our listening, forgiving God heard Manassehs prayers for mercy and granted him a second chance as king. Clearly our God is a God who listens and responds to our pleas. He is the God of second chances.
Author: Ron Rose
Publication Date: June 12, 2002
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