The Will of God

  1. Hezekiah’s son is only twelve years old when he begins to reign. Did he not have an heir when he was weeping about not dying? Was it going to mean the cutting off of his line? We aren’t told that specifically, but somehow his oldest son is just twelve after fifteen extra years of life.
  2. This son is the worst king in Judah’s history, another reason why it might have been a very bad idea to ask for a longer life. We wouldn’t have had a Manasseh if Hezekiah had died when the Lord said he would.
  3. Does that bring up any questions in your mind about God’s will? Did He will that Hezekiah would die earlier or later? Let me try to simply explain. I don’t think we think right about God’s will. The word for will is about God’s heart, and God’s character is unchanging. He will always be for Israel, even when He sends them to Babylon. They will always be His people; He will always have them in His heart. That’s His unchanging will. He is always just and always good. That’s His unchanging will. His heart desire for everyone to be saved is never going to change. That’s His unchanging will.
  4. His plans, however, do change. We see them change. People pray and He changes his plans. We see that here with Hezekiah’s prayer to live longer and we see that with Moses, as two examples. God’s will didn’t change in either case. With Moses, God’s will was to glorify Himself through the people of Israel. That was unchanged by His changed plans. God’s heart is to have compassion on His people, and we know His heart is to bless them with long life. His will didn’t change; His heart’s desire toward Hezekiah didn’t change. He just changed the plan.
  5. God’s plans have to change because there are people involved in the story. We make choices, and He has to respond. We pray, and He has to respond because His will, His heart is to hear and answer the prayers of His children.
  6. God had a plan to keep His children, the Hebrew people, in the land of Israel forever. His plan was to keep His name in their temple. His plan had to change because the people, like king Manasseh chose to not follow the God of the Jews. He followed after other gods and worshiped them. God had to act according to His word that if they disobeyed they would be removed from the land. God cannot lie. His heart didn’t change. He still loved Israel and will preserve a remnant and bring them back to the land, but He had to act according to His will, according to His unchanging character. His heart toward them didn’t change, but His plans had to change because of their choices.