In 2 Chronicles 29, Hezekiah is crowned king of Judah when he is 25 years old. In verse 2 we find that he was a man who did right in the eyes of God, according to all that David his father had done. David was not his actual father, but Hezekiah was a descendant of David. That’s important to know because God had promised David that his family line would remain on the throne and through David’s genealogy the Messiah would be born.
Sometimes as we read God’s Word we read past phrases and fail to meditate on them and discern what the Holy Spirit might be saying. As we go through this section of the Bible we are given the succession of king after king. As each king takes the throne we are told if they did right in the eyes of God or did evil in the eyes of God. Why is this important? Because as the leader goes, so does the nation.
Kings Who Did Evil in the Eyes of God?
The kings who did evil in the eyes of God were the ones who led the nations of Israel and Judah into idolatry. They forsook God and turned their backs on the covenant the nation had made with God and chose to live their own way rather than God’s way. They also were involved in temple prostitution and child sacrificing as part of worshiping the false gods. Many of them were also guilty of murder and other sins. Whenever an evil king was on the throne, they led the nation of Israel away from God.
A King Who Did Right in the Eyes of God?
However, scattered here and there throughout the evil kings, a new king is crowned who does right in the eyes of God. As I meditated on that phrase, its easy to point out the things Hezekiah did that the Bible records. For example here in chapter 29, we find that he opens the doors to the temple and has the temple repaired. He had the Levitical priests and the temple consecrated to God. Hezekiah also acknowledged the sin of his people and that their family members had been carried away into captivity because of their sin. And in verse 10, he says, “Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, in order that his fierce anger may turn away from us.”
Whether it was Hezekiah or another king that did right in the eyes of God, we find that these kings would lead the nation back to worship God and follow His commandments. So, let’s take a deeper look about what it means to do “right in the eyes of God.”
Right in the Eyes of God: A Deeper Look
What if you have two choices in life and neither one is a wrong choice. Neither will land you in jail or break some unspoken moral code. To keep it simple, let’s say your church has two events happening. One involves your small group getting together for dinner. The other involves chaperoning your two teenagers to laser tag with the youth group. When the youth pastor asks for chaperones, you stay quiet because you had already planned a quiet, much needed dinner with your friends in the small group. And after all, you helped chaperone the last three youth outings and gave up your small group outing to do so. So you wait for other parents to step up and convince yourself that if you keep volunteering, none of the other parents will take a turn and that isn’t fair.
However, there is a disquieting, unsettling feeling inside and you begin to argue with yourself. In the end, the youth event is cancelled because no one stepped up to help chaperone. Your teens are disappointed and they are not happy with you, telling you all you do is think of yourself.
As the night of your event approaches, you still feel guilty and you’re still trying to rationalize with yourself and God why other parents need to step up. Your teens are still not happy with you either. On the way to the dinner, a driver behind you fails to stop when you’re at a red light and he rear-ends you. You end up not going to the dinner because you now have to wait for the police, a tow truck, and you feel like you have whiplash.
What’s your verdict?
Would you say you did or did not do right in the eyes of God? You would be correct to feel that other parents also need to step up. There is nothing wrong with feeling like you need some time with your friends to fellowship with them and be refreshed by your time with them. However, there was a nagging feeling inside that wouldn’t go away. That feeling could have been the Holy Spirit prompting you to go with the teens and had you gone, you would have avoided being at the same place where the driver ran into you. Because you did not listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, you did not do what was right in the eyes of God.
To do right in the eyes of God requires obedience:
James 4:17 tells us, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” In the example above, this person knew they needed to go with the youth, but chose their own way. They ignored the voice of God. So even though there was nothing wrong with her going with her small group, for her in this situation, it was sin.
Hezekiah identified the disobedience of the kings before him that brought the judgment of God. In verse 6, he says, “For our fathers have been unfaithful and have done what was evil in the sight of the Lord our God. They have forsaken him and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the Lord and turned their backs.” However, Hezekiah “has a mind” to make a covenant with God to turn His anger away from them.
All or nothing obedience
You also can’t choose the parts you want to obey and re-write the parts that don’t work for you. Doing right in the eyes of God is an all or nothing deal. You either do right – or you do evil. You either live in obedience or disobedience. If I tell my daughter to do the dishes and she puts them in the dishwasher but then doesn’t turn it on, has she obeyed me? No, the dishes are still dirty. If God says to keep the Sabbath day holy and you’re in church 51 weeks out of the year, but there’s one Sunday when you chose to go to the beach instead, have you kept God’s law?
To do right in the eyes of God requires submitting to God.
We don’t like the word submit in our culture today. It’s been given a very negative connotation. When we submit to God, we simply lay aside our will and follow our Father’s will knowing that He only has our best interest in mind. It means submitting our bank accounts to him, our marriages, our children, our careers and every single part of our lives.
To do right in the eyes of God requires cleaning out the evil.
Hezekiah started with some cleanup. If you want to do right in the eyes of God, you’ll need to do the same. You’ll need to get alone with the Holy Spirit and ask him to search you and reveal to you any unconfessed sin. Then sit in quiet and allow Him to show the areas of your life that need some cleansing.
To do right in the eyes of God requires consecration
To be consecrated means to be “set apart.” You can’t live as part of the world and as a Child of God. Because Jesus redeemed you at the cost of His own blood, you were set apart from the world. We should be the light of Christ to the world and lead the lost to Him. When the world looks at us, they should see Christ. Is there anything you need to get rid of so that you are set apart for God?
To do right in the eyes of God requires doing right when everyone else is doing wrong
It’s hard to be different. We want to fit in. But Jesus wants us to stand out so that the world will see Him. Israel and Judah struggled with exactly this. They wanted to fit in with the countries around them and they worshiped the false gods they worshiped even after the many miracles God did that they witnessed. The pull to fit in is always greater than the desire to stand out.
Would the writer of Chronicles say you have done good or evil in the eyes of God.
As Christians, we can be guilty of thinking we are doing right in the eyes of God because we don’t get involved with criminal activity and such. But as you meditated to day on the concept of doing right in the eyes of God, what has the Holy Spirit revealed to you? If there is evil that needs to be cleansed and confessed, take time to do so now.
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