The Bible is a mysterious book, and there are a few accounts that really boggle my mind. Lets take King Hezekiah for instance. He was one of the few good kings. In fact, he may have been the best ever; better than David even (“…there was no one like him…before or since. He remained faithful to the Lord in everything…” 2 Kings 18:5-6).
I’m going to focus on the end of his life, which to me is the most peculiar. When he is 39, he gets really sick and gets word he’s going to die soon. So he prays like his life depends on it, and Isaiah tells him in so many words: “way to go bro: you just scored yourself another 15 yrs of life!” (ch 20).
That would all be well and good except for one thing. In the next chapter, we read about his son Manasseh. When Hezzy finally does die 15 yrs later, his son becomes the king. We quickly learn that ole Manny was the spiritual opposite of his dad. Most of the kings back then were evil, but he was particularly so; not just setting up idols and such, but killing a whole bunch of innocent people (21:16). So yeah, he’s a bad dude.
I’m a math guy (full disclosure), and it occurs to me that Manasseh was 12 yrs old when he became king, which means Hezzy had Manny during the 15 year period that he was originally not going to be around for. This complicates things morally for me a great deal…
The book of 2 Chronicles (esp 32:31) gives some added perspective. It tells how Hezzy got prideful over being healed, and perhaps he had/raised Manny during a lot of this time.
Given that Manny ruled for a whopping 55 yrs, and his good dad only 39, might it have been better for everyone all around if Hezekiah really had died when he got sick?
If Hezekiah knew his own son would have been so horrible, would he have still prayed? I’m guessing yes on that one, because we know he had some serious self-centeredness going on (20:19)
Or a different question: why would God knowingly answer a prayer that would lead to a wholly and completely awful king that hurt your own beloved people?
It could be argued that Manasseh was largely influenced by the political climate at the time with the surrounding nations, and was only doing what he thought best for his people, and a different son would have done the same things.
It also deserves mention that Chronicles was written 600 yrs later, and Kings ~500 yrs later, with the benefit of hindsight.
I don’t know the answers to any of these questions; I bring them up to illustrate that when scripture says we see dimly, it ain’t kidding. Let us harness our confusion over these things to push ourselves further into the great Mystery Himself, Jesus Christ.