Good Kings Who Honored God
2. David – the Most Famous King
“After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do’” (Acts 13:22).
Perhaps the best-known king in Scripture is King David. He is referred to as a man “after God’s own heart,” and responsible for bringing the nation back to God, for slaying the giant Goliath, and for writing most of the book of Psalms.
The life and rule of David holds a special significance as it was foretold that the Messiah would come from his family as one of his descendants, a prophecy fulfilled in Jesus. As a ruler, David made good decisions and sought after God. Yet his personal life was riddled with poor decisions that affected generations to come. His decision to have an affair with a married woman is the most prevalent example of sin in the life of David (2 Samuel 11).
This reminds us that David, although a great ruler, was not a perfect man. We can learn from David that we will fall, we will make mistakes. Yet as we confess our sins with a sincere heart God is faithful to forgive us, in spite of the fact that there will indeed be consequences for our behavior.
3. Hezekiah - the King Who Trusted in God
“Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him” (2 Kings 18:5).
Hezekiah was thirteenth king of Judah, had a strong relationship with the prophet Isaiah, and trusted in God to fight the battles of Israel instead of trusting in his own strength. When Jerusalem was surrounded by the Assyrian armies of Sennacherib, he sent word to Hezekiah mocking his faith in God. “Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria.’ Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered?”” (2 Kings 19:10-11).
Yet Hezekiah trusted in God and a miraculous thing happened – without a single Jewish soldier going to battle, an angel of God wiped out the Assyrian armies (2 Kings 19:35).
Hezekiah trusted in God to the extent that when he was ill and about to die, God allowed him to live another 15 years (Isaiah 38:5).
We also owe a good section of the book of Proverbs to Hezekiah! Not because he wrote it (he didn’t) but because his men copied several of Solomon’s proverbs so that they would be complied with the rest of the book (Proverbs 25:1).
4. Josiah – the Great Reformer
“He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left” (2 Kings 22:2).
Josiah was the sixteenth king of Judah, and it was during his reign that the high priest Hilkiah found ‘the Book of the Law’ in the temple (2 Kings 22:8), generally believed to be what we now know as the book of Deuteronomy.
Josiah immediately went about enacting all that was written in it, along with tearing down altars to idols and restoring God’s covenant with Israel that had been broken by the people’s selfishness (2 Kings 23).
From Josiah we learn that God is willing to forgive us when we faithfully choose to follow him, and that his word is eternal and life-giving.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Aaron Burden