Introduction: Hezekiah was a great king! He followed God’s will and
turned his country away from idol worship. When he faced death, he
turned to God for help. In most ways he was faithful to God. But, he
lacked discretion and he struggled with pride. These problems brought
great harm to his country and his descendants. How about you? Does
your lack of discretion, your pride, or your lack of obedience
undermine your desire to advance God’s Kingdom? Let’s plunge into our
study of the Bible and Hezekiah to see what we can learn!

  1. Reprieve

    1. Read Isaiah 38:1-3. God determined it is the end for
      Hezekiah, but gives him time to put his “house in order.”
      On what basis does Hezekiah ask for God to change His
      mind? (He recites his good works. He is bitterly sad.)

    2. Read Isaiah 38:4-5. Why does God add fifteen years to the
      life of Hezekiah? (His prayer and his tears.)

      1. Why does God not mention Hezekiah’s good works?

    3. Read Isaiah 38:6. What else does God promise to Hezekiah?
      (That they will be safe from the Assyrians. You may
      remember that Hezekiah has a history with the Assyrians.
      See Isaiah 36.)

      1. Why did God add that promise? (Imagine what it would
        be like to have an additional fifteen years of

      2. Read 2 Kings 20:6 for the parallel account. What
        reason for defending the city do we find here? (God
        defends the city for His sake and for David.)

        1. What does this teach us about a great
          relationship with God? (That it will be a
          blessing to our descendants.)

      3. I pay attention to research articles that say that if
        you do “X” then you will have an additional five
        years of life. So far, I’m doing so many of these
        things that I should live to be 150! What does this
        story tell us about our longevity and our God? (Our
        life is in God’s hands.)

    4. Read Isaiah 38:7. Why would Hezekiah need a sign? Is God’s
      word not enough? (Read the parallel account in 2 Kings
      20:8. Hezekiah asked for a sign. Apparently, God’s word
      was not enough for him. Some commentators say this is not
      a sign of Hezekiah’s doubt, but that it was routine to ask
      for a sign.)

    5. Read 2 Kings 20:9-11. Do you agree that it is easier for
      the shadow to go forward than it is to go back? (As I
      understand science, the sign is a much greater display of
      power then the healing. God has altered the position of
      the earth or sun! It is also possible that God altered
      perceptions or changed the light in that area.)

      1. What does this teach us about God’s attitude towards
        us? (God not only increased Hezekiah’s life, but He
        showed His long-suffering nature by performing a
        miracle to bolster His word. Plus, He let Hezekiah
        choose the details of the miracle.)

  2. Pride

    1. Read 2 Chronicles 32:24-25. How did Hezekiah respond to
      God’s extension of his life? (We see another parallel
      account which provides the additional information that
      somehow Hezekiah did not respond properly to what God has
      done for him.)

      1. How do you think Hezekiah displayed his pride in the
        face of a miracle? (My guess is that he decided that
        he deserved to have his life extended. It was unfair
        that he should die now. God owed him a longer life.
        If you read Isaiah 38:9-17 gives some evidence for
        this theory, although the evidence is mixed at best.)

        1. Do we have this attitude – that we deserve the
          good things that happen to us?

    2. Isaiah 39:1. Isn’t it great when you are sick to be
      remembered by friends in high places?

    3. Read Isaiah 21:1-2. The Bible Knowledge Commentary says
      that this “invader” is Marduk, the same fellow who wrote
      the letter to Hezekiah. He had invaded Assyria, captured
      Babylon, and was crowned “King of Babylon.” Now do you
      think that this is only a friendly, I’m glad you got well,
      letter? (Recall the earlier mention that Hezekiah had a
      history with the Assyrians? He had been threatened and
      insulted by them, and God miraculously delivered Judah.
      The letter writer was a man who had attacked the
      Assyrians. It makes sense that he reached out to Hezekiah
      to gain an ally against the Assyrians.)

    4. Read Isaiah 39:2. Why would Hezekiah show his wealth and
      his weapons to the representatives of Marduk?

    5. Read 2 Chronicles 32:31. God says that the visit from
      Marduk’s representatives is a test. A test of what?
      (Recall that Hezekiah has a problem with pride.)

      1. Assuming that we are correct that pride is the issue,
        how is this a test of Hezekiah’s pride problem? (The
        obvious answer is that it shows that Hezekiah is
        rich. The less obvious answer is that it shows that
        Hezekiah is a worthy ally to help defeat the

    6. Read Isaiah 10:5 and Isaiah 10:10-13. Why is Assyria
      referred to as “the rod of [God’s] anger?” (God is using
      that pagan nation to punish the disobedient.)

      1. Who are among the disobedient? (Isaiah prophesied
        that the Assyrians would punish God’s people for
        their idolatry.)

    7. How would you analyze what Hezekiah is doing? What does
      this have to do with a test of Hezekiah’s pride? Remember
      that he is a good king and he destroyed the idols to false
      Gods. (Instead of letting God work this out, instead of
      relying on God’s promise to be safe from the Assyrians
      during his lifetime, Hezekiah is attempting to take the
      defeat of the Assyrians into his own hands.)

  3. Sad Attitude

    1. Read Isaiah 39:3-6. How does Hezekiah’s pride and his
      potential war plan backfire? (Marduk will attack Judah. He
      is not seeking to make an ally of Hezekiah. God promised
      that Judah would be safe from Assyria, but now Hezekiah
      has brought Babylon to their door.)

    2. Read Isaiah 39:7-8. How can Hezekiah consider this to be a
      good word? (Only if you look at this in the most selfish
      way can this be considered “good.” He descendants, his
      family, will be captives. They will be castrated. This
      makes me think much less highly of Hezekiah.)

    3. Let’s go back and review some of Hezekiah’s achievements.
      Read 2 Kings 20:20, 2 Chronicles 31:21 and 2 Chronicles
      32:30. Hezekiah’s life was one of promoting the true God
      and his worship. He improved Jerusalem in ways that would
      be lasting achievements. How is this consistent with
      Hezekiah’s “good word” comments about the terrible future
      for Jerusalem and his family? (I think this is a reversal
      of everything that Hezekiah has tried to do during his

      1. What is at the bottom of Hezekiah suffering a
        reversal of everything that he has worked for during
        his life, including many great religious works?
        (Pride. Self interest.)

      2. Re-read 2 Chronicles 31:21. Who made Hezekiah rich?
        (God did.)

      3. How do we separate enjoying the prosperity of a life
        well-lived from pride in our prosperity? (Re-read 2
        Chronicles 32:25. The Bible tells us that Hezekiah’s
        failure was not responding to God’s kindness. I think
        this means he did not show gratitude towards God for
        prospering him and saving his life.)

    4. Friend, what do others see in your life? What do they see
      in your house? Do they see pride? Self-centeredness? Or,
      do they see gratitude towards God for His kindness? Why
      not ask the Holy Spirit right now to give you the right
      attitude? An attitude that will draw others towards God?

  4. Next week: Turning Hearts in the End Time.