Isaiah 32:1 says, “See a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice.”
Evil Son And Father
In understanding this verse; it begins with going back to 8th century and taking in the context wherein Isaiah is speaking. It was a time and place when monarchies were the way of the land. Hezekiah is most likely the King at the time Isaiah is speaking, taking note, that he comes to the throne after the reign of his father Ahaz.
King Jotham, who was Ahaz father was a good king; meaning, a king who did right in the site of the Lord. However, Ahaz rebelled and disdained the ways of his father, while subscribing to the influence of cults, paganism, perversion, idolatry, wickedness, evil and power. The people he surrounded himself with and their desire for pleasure, comfort and wealth led him down the road of rebellion against God.
Ahaz, grew into a wicked man who brought disgrace to his father, and to the God of Israel, in who his father believed. He usurped the structures of his father’s government and replace them with structures that appeased the Assyrians; structures created by men, evil, idolatrous men.
He allowed for the incorporation of paganism into the structures of Judah’s everyday life. He sacrificed his child, and other children to pagan deities, and recreated a way of life that God removed from the land of Canaan. He bough it all back, sexual perversion, immorality, tyranny, fraud, and privileges for the few at the expense of the many.
Ahaz was 20 years old when he took the thrown; he ruled Judah for 16 years, 741-725 B.C. During his reign, Judah sinned openly against God and His commandments. Judah, like Ahaz; it’s king, was evil and its people made offerings to demons and false gods.
Fathers make a difference, however, they cannot control the actions of their children once they are grown or ascend to power as Ahaz did. Jotham was a good man and king, contrarily, his son Ahaz was weak and led astray by his peers, relatives, friends, counselors, and power which fostered an environment of subjugation, marginalization, corruption, oppression and instability.
Good Son Becomes A Man/King
King Ahaz eventually died and his son Hezekaih took the throne. The text selected for this reflection says, “See a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice.” It is pretty clear that Isaiah is referring to Hezekaih, and not Ahaz.
Isaiah was a prophet speaking to Judah and Israel during the reign of both Ahaz, and his son Hezekaih. Isaiah’s prophet ministry lasted from 742 to 700 B.C., which is about 40 years.
Think of it this way, “chaos is the unleashing of destructive power.” Where Ahaz facilitated the unleashing of chaos during his reign as King, Hezekaih takes the throne and is know as a good King; a king who did right in the sight of the Lord.
When Isaiah says, “a king will reign,” in a sense he is saying, God is gracious and will reign over people with grace. The king will repair and restore God’s reign and rule among the people and land. The temple gets ride of the idols, and the presence of pagan deities. The temple welcomes God, and seeks to yield in obedience to his commandments. The good king exercises power in the spirit of righteousness. The king organizes the government, and its administrators follow the ways of the King.
Exodus 19:21 says, “But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.”
The king who reigns with righteousness and justice can sleep at night because all is well in the kingdom. The king and those working as ministers and counselors serve the King of kings; the Lord God.
Equality and opportunity rule the daily lives of the people. Wicked men and women, tyrants are given notice to repent and change. For their destruction is sure as the Lord defends his righteousness and judgements. Likewise, people who love God defend his honor and religion; they defend the right of every human being to live in relationship with God.
Where there are people living in relationship with God, brotherly love; love for others is the norm. Standing up, and ensuring people have the opportunity to live full lives, lives governed by gifts, talent, and work is what makes the land good. Morality, charity, kindness, love and truth seek out the poor and less fortunate ensuring their seat at the table wherein they sit with others who care for them.
Hezekaih is the son of Ahaz, and where Ahaz practiced idolatry; exploited and oppressed the people of Judah enslaving them to ideologies of gods created by men; Hezekaih is not like his father. Hezekaih sets his heart on being a king who reigns in obiendence to the God of Israel, Yaweh.
Hezekaih is the king who reigns on behalf of the people. And, in doing so, he is God’s servant; he is the king who serves God, liberating people from oppression and enslavement to tyrants and false gods. He implements reform, and God’s commandments are revived and become the way of life. As king he is the servant of the people, and he governs with righteousness and justice.
Matthew 25:34-36 says, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
Father, in the name of Jesus we pause to worship and praise you. You are Holy, you are Sovereign, you are Omnipotent; you are Alpha and Omega. Father, your word says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Father, you told us “be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” We need your presence, your guidance, your direction, your Son Jesus Christ.
Father, we seek to be obedient, we seek to be sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, neighbors and friends. We seek to fill the earth and subdue it. We need your help every minuet, every hour, and every day. Help us understand the example that Jesus gave us, help us to surrender to the Holy Spirit speaking in our hearts and minds; and anoint us in the work of making this world and our way of life a better reflection of “Your will” and intended purpose in having created us. In Jesus name we pray. Amen