“I have found the book of the Law in the house of the Lord” 2 Kings 22:8
It is always an interest of mine to notice the effects one generation has on the next to see what impact there is. Key to this is to discover who influenced a person when they were very young. In the Bible it is sometimes impossible to know and other times it may be little more than a guess but there are some clues given.
Hezekiah was 25 years old when he became king of Judah. His father, Ahaz, had introduced Judah to a syncretic religion, a blend of the Law given through Moses and other religions of the region. We are told that Hezekiah’s mother was Abi, a daughter of Zechariah. This suggests that Hezekiah may have been influenced more by his grandfather (on his mother’s side) than by his father.
Hezekiah went further than any king since David to cleanse Judah of false religion. He developed an intimate walk with the Lord, trusting and obeying the Word of God.
Assyria had already displaced the northern tribes of Israel when Sennacherib came against Judah. Hezekiah demonstrated his trust in the Lord by resisting Sennacherib and seeking counsel from the Lord.
Later, however, when told by the Lord of his imminent death Hezekiah asked for healing. The Lord gave him an extra fifteen years. Almost right away Hezekiah demonstrated that pride was the reason he did not want to go and be with the Lord. He loved the glory of wealth and power and took credit for his success forgetting that it was the Lord who had given him all. God forbid that we should prefer to remain in this world rather than be present with the Lord.
Hezekiah turned from trusting the Lord and it was in that time that he bore a son, Manasseh, who would become king at just twelve years of age. He was raised by a father who was attempting to steal glory that rightly belonged to the Lord and had turned from following the Lord.
The outworking of that is that Manasseh did evil, returning Judah to a syncretic religious state. His son Amon was born and raised in that environment but a few years before his death Manasseh repented and turned to the Lord. It was in these years of revival that his grandson, Josiah, was born.
Amon was a wicked and evil king but fortunately reigned only two years. Josiah began to reign at just eight years of age. He may have been influenced by Manasseh’s repentance and did more to cleanse Judah than any before him.
How each of us live our lives will affect our children and grandchildren. The best outcome for our children and grandchildren will always be if we continually trust, obey and walk with the Lord.