Second Chronicles 32 recounts how Hezekiah of Judah led, encouraged, and protected the citizens of his kingdom when King Sennacherib of Assyria came against the city of Jerusalem. Nation after nation had collapsed in the wake of the powerful Assyrian army. The people of Israel knew of their reputation and could easily have given up in despair. But Hezekiah had other ideas and quickly went to work to encourage his subjects to remain strong and trust in the Lord.
He sought their input. “He consulted with his officials and military staff . . . and they helped him” (v. 3). Hezekiah wasn’t a one-man show. He knew he didn’t have all the answers and needed help. So he conferred with his leaders. He asked for their input. They responded and willingly helped their king.
He worked alongside them. “He worked hard repairing all the broken sections of the wall and building towers on it” (v. 5). While the king’s “work” may have been more oversight than manual labor, the idea is that he engaged with the people as a partner and coworker. He was involved along with them in the projects they undertook.
He brought people together. “He assembled” (v. 6) the people in the city square. The simple act of bringing people together to address and solve problems helps everyone feel like a part of the solution.
He inspired people. “He encouraged them with these words: ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him” (vv. 6, 7). He used his position of leadership to remind the people that God was them and that no army can stand against him.
He imparted confidence. “The people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said” (v. 8). The citizens of Jerusalem, confident in their king, in themselves, and in their God, successfully fortified and protected their city.
We may not wield the influence of a king, but we can bless and encourage the people we live and work with in similar ways. Wherever we find ourselves, let’s be royal encouragers.