2 Kings 18:5-6
He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.…
The reign of Hezekiah was a halo of sacred glory to relieve the gloom of the darkest period in Jewish history. So estimable a character was Hezekiah's that the sacred penman assigns to him the highest place among the worthies of the covenant, "so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him." Of such a charactor we ask, What was the secret of its power? What was the basis of its operation? Is such a character possible to us? Our text is the answer: "He trusted in the Lord God of Israel." — Herein is the foundation; everything noble in life springs from trust in God. This, we observe, is the source of all virtue, the correct inspiration of every act, the unerring guide in moments of perplexity, and the only satisfactory finality to human life.
I. TRUST IN GOD IS THE VIRTUOUS SOURCE OF CHARACTER. A character of such sterling worth and paramount influence, which, after the lapse of ages, is so immortal, drew its vital force from the Divine source. The first trait in his life, and one which claims the preeminence, is virtue. It is the undying element which gave stability, vitality, and nobility to his deportment. Moral purity can only flow from one source — trust in God. The language of that trust is, "Be ye holy, for I am holy." His thoughts, his motives, his desires, and his acts were pure, because he communed with God. You cannot build a character without virtue, and virtue is impossible without faith. The brightest intellect without virtue is only a meteor that will be lost in the darkness of its own sin-clouds. The most loving heart without virtue is only an electric spark which kills where it intended to give life. The highest endowments of life — birth, education, society, wealth, and friends — like the branches of a tree, will soon wither if the worm of impurity is at the root. Lives, otherwise noble, have come to the ground with a crash because there was no holiness in thought. The first act of trust is to give our own hearts to God, to be washed from sin. The experience which arises from this act leads us to seek, not a momentary discharge from guilt, but a life of perpetual purity. The only character worth having is that built on God.
II. TRUST IN GOD IS THE TRUE INSPIRATION OF CHARACTER. When Hezekiah came to the throne the people had no fixed religious views. Their hold upon the land was precarious, for they owed a stricter allegiance to a foreign king than to their own, The court was disorganised, the priesthood was neglected, and the people were intellectually and morally degraded. Reform was difficult; to bring back the hearts of the people to the God of their fathers was a great task. Trust in God as a source of action is the universal experience of the Church. That faith is a receptive medium of grace and power is evident, but it is power to be set forth in action. As rest resuscitates the strength of the body, so faith derives fresh supplies of grace from Christ Jesus. This state of comparative passivity, however, is but a link which unites the inner energies of the spiritual life to the corresponding outward activities. Soul-refreshing meditation and prayer result in wisdom and power; those who trust in God are partakers of the Divine nature. Faith lifts them up into participation of infinite wisdom and strength.
III. TRUST IN GOD IS THE SOUL'S STAY IN TRIAL. Trials bear either directly on our persons or on our circumstances.
IV. TRUST IN GOD IS THE FINALITY OF CHARACTER. Hezekiah slept with his fathers after he had fulfilled his mission and finished the work the Lord had given him to do. His life, like a graceful sentence, ended with a full stop. On what foundation are you building? The best materials will not make a safe building if built on the sand; your most sincere desires and efforts will not stand unless built on the Rock. The rock is Christ. Character is everything, and Christ is everything to character. Trust in God.
(T. Davies, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.