Hezekiah was one of those good kings. He was a king of Judah described in the Bible as one who “did what was right in the sight of the Lord.” In fact, it’s also said of him:
He trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him. For he held fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses. The Lord was with him; he prospered wherever he went. 2 Kings 18:5-7
Living by faith and obedience to the Word of God had blessed Hezekiah just like the law had promised. But then something happened. Hezekiah watched Israel get taken captive by Assyria. Hezekiah watched as Judah’s own fortified cities were overthrown. Only Jerusalem was left.
It says that Hezekiah had “rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.” Hezekiah had a previous victory over Assyria. But that past victory wasn’t enough when the king of Assyria returned.
He didn’t remember the previous faith victory. He didn’t trust. After all, it seems faithful and upright living wasn’t working for him anymore. His cities had been overthrown. It was already too late. Faith hadn’t worked. He digs down into his own resources and relies on himself for salvation from the Assyrians. He pays off the King of Assyria. He uses the temple gold. Assyria is pleased, and as I always point out to my children, “Bad guys are bad; you can’t trust them.” The King of Assyria returns, encouraged by how Hezekiah backed down earlier. This time, however, Hezekiah has no resources of his own left. He had no way of saving himself, or even trying to. There was nothing or no one else he could turn to. So he turns to God. And God saves him and the city. They didn’t even have to fight. God did the whole thing on His own.
It turns out that faith does work. Faith did work. There are times when the tribulation increases, when it seems like things have already gone the wrong way and that faith hadn’t stopped them or turned things around. But it’s here God gets to see your heart. Will you rely on yourself or will you trust Him? And if we aren’t ready to trust Him, then these tribulations can keep knocking us lower until we have no where else to turn but to God.
Why does God knock us down until we turn to Him? Because we are saved by faith and salvation is what He wants for you. It’s all out of His abundant love and grace that He allows us to endure trials to purify our hearts and perfect our faith. So the next time it seems like faith didn’t work, hunker down, cry out to God and don’t allow your situation to confuse the truth. God is faithful and cannot fail you. Faith saves.