Hezekiah is another biblical character who is shown in all his human frailty and sin. Faced with the Assyrian empire in all its glory, he prays and is delivered by the hand of God. He then gets a fatal illness, a boil of some kind, and prays and is healed and given 15 more years. By this time, you would think Hezekiah was a deeply faithful model and hero. But the very next story is him showing off his riches and power to envoys from Babylon, who we know in hindsight will ultimately be the downfall of Judah.
Isaiah comes to him and declares that the kingdom will fall to Babylon and that Hezekiah’s own offspring will be maimed as eunuchs serving the Babylonian King. And what is the response of Hezekiah, our hero and model? “No problem, as long as it’s not in my lifetime.” Can you believe a national leader willing to sacrifice the future of his own people if it doesn’t disrupt his current happiness?
Yet God’s grace reigns again. This story ends Ch. 39, and the very next words in Ch. 40 have become some of the most encouraging words in scripture. “Comfort, comfort my people,” declares the Lord. Yes, Isaiah has declared captivity in Babylon, but be comforted, for there will come one proclaiming the coming of the Savior. Grace reigns indeed.
Ever feel like Hezekiah, where you have some huge spiritual successes followed by a huge spiritual failure, which in turn is met by the Grace of God? Few if any of us are consistently successful in our faith, so when you fail, hear these words from God loud and clearly: “Be comforted, for the Savior has come for all of us, not just for the constant failures or the constant successes. He’s come for us all, the inconsistent and mildly consistent alike.”