Series: Thru the Bible
King Hezekiah – Pride, Humility & God’s Mercy Pt. 3
Thru the Bible: 2Kings 19-21:18; 2Chron. 32-33:20
We left off last week with an incomplete account of Assyria’s threat to conquer Judah. We read the end of this conflict in 2Chron. 32 but did not take the time to finish reading the same account in 2 Kings 19 so that is where we will begin this week.
Last week’s account was good, but this one is filled with details not mentioned in the other and could easily stand alone as the only account necessary for these events, but God in His graciousness gave us both!
In 2 Kings 18 we ended with Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the court historian, coming to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, reporting the threatening words from the King of Assyria…
Isaiah Reassures Hezekiah
“(1) When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the LORD’s temple. (2) Then he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. (3) They said to him, “This is what Hezekiah says: ‘Today is a day of distress, rebuke, and disgrace, for children have come to the point of birth, but there is no strength to deliver them. (4) Perhaps the LORD your God will hear all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke him for the words that the LORD your God has heard. Therefore, offer a prayer for the surviving remnant.'”
(5) So the servants of King Hezekiah went to Isaiah, (6) who said to them, “Tell your master this, ‘The LORD says: Don’t be afraid because of the words you have heard, that the king of Assyria’s attendants have blasphemed Me with. (7) I am about to put a spirit in him, and he will hear a rumor and return to his own land where I will cause him to fall by the sword.'”
The King of Assyria defies the Lord
“(8) When the Rabshakeh heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish, he returned and found him fighting against Libnah. (9) The king had heard this about Tirhakah king of Cush: “Look, he has set out to fight against you.” So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, (10) “Say this to Hezekiah king of Judah: ‘Don’t let your God, whom you trust, deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria. (11) Look, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries: they destroyed them completely. Will you be rescued? (12) Did the gods of the nations that my predecessors destroyed rescue them–nations such as Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the Edenites in Telassar? (13) Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, or Ivvah?'”
“(14) Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers, read it, then went up to the LORD’s temple, and spread it out before the LORD. (15) Then Hezekiah prayed before the LORD: “LORD God of Israel who is enthroned above the cherubim, You are God–You alone–of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. (16) Listen closely, LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, LORD, and see; hear the words that Sennacherib has sent to mock the living God. (17) LORD, it is true that the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands. (18) They have thrown their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but made by human hands–wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. (19) Now, LORD our God, please save us from his hand so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD God–You alone.”
Isaiah Prophesies Sennacherib’s Fall
“(20) Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “The LORD, the God of Israel says:
‘I have heard your prayer to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria.’ (21) This is the word the LORD has spoken against him:
The young woman, Daughter Zion, despises you and scorns you: Daughter Jerusalem shakes her head behind your back. (22) Who is it you mocked and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel! (23) You have mocked the Lord through your messengers. You have said: With my many chariots I have gone up to the heights of the mountains, to the far recesses of Lebanon. I cut down its tallest cedars, its choice cypress trees. I came to its farthest outpost, its densest forest. (24) I dug wells, and I drank foreign waters. I dried up all the streams of Egypt with the soles of my feet. (25)
Have you not heard? I designed it long ago; I planned it in days gone by. I have now brought it to pass, and you have crushed fortified cities into piles of rubble. (26) Their inhabitants have become powerless, dismayed, and ashamed. They are plants of the field, tender grass, grass on the rooftops, blasted by the east wind. (27) But I know your sitting down, your going out and your coming in, and your raging against Me. (28) Because your raging against Me and your arrogance have reached My ears, I will put My hook in your nose and My bit in your mouth; I will make you go back the way you came.
(29) This will be the sign for you: This year you will eat what grows on its own, and in the second year what grows from that. But in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. (30) The surviving remnant of the house of Israel will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. (31) For a remnant will go out from Jerusalem, and survivors from Mount Zion. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts will accomplish this. (32) Therefore, this is what the LORD says about the king of Assyria:
He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or build up an assault ramp against it. (33) He will go back on the road that he came and he will not enter this city, declares the LORD. (34) I will defend this city and rescue it for My sake and for the sake of My servant David.
(35) That night the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. When the people got up the next morning–there were all the dead bodies! (36) So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and left. He returned home and lived in Nineveh. (37) One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword and escaped to the land of Ararat. Then his son Esar-haddon became king in his place.”
This next segment is one of my favorite in scripture, because though we see events like this in other places in scripture – none so clearly account for the interactions between man’s repentance and God’s response quite like this one does!
Hezekiah’s Illness and Recovery
“(1) In those days Hezekiah became terminally ill.
The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came and said to him, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Put your affairs in order, for you are about to die; you will not recover.'”
(2) Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, (3) “Please LORD, remember how I have walked before You faithfully and wholeheartedly and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
(4) Isaiah had not yet gone out of the inner courtyard when the word of the LORD came to him: (5) “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of My people, ‘This is what the LORD God of your ancestor David says: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the LORD’s temple. (6) I will add 15 years to your life. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for My sake and for the sake of My servant David.'” (7) Then Isaiah said, “Bring a lump of pressed figs.” So they brought it and applied it to his infected skin, and he recovered. (8) Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, “What is the sign that the LORD will heal me and that I will go up to the LORD’s temple on the third day?” (9) Isaiah said, “This is the sign to you from the LORD that He will do what He has promised: Should the shadow go ahead 10 steps or go back 10 steps?” (10) Then Hezekiah answered, “It’s easy for the shadow to lengthen 10 steps. No, let the shadow go back 10 steps.” (11) So Isaiah the prophet called out to the LORD, and He brought the shadow back the 10 steps it had descended on Ahaz’s stairway.”
I want you to notice that terminally ill does not always mean fatal! God in His judgment can enforce justice and in His mercy He can be lenient.
I also want you to notice that any word of God is NOT always final!
In the American justice system there is room for appeals. However, appeals are never in the same court with the same presiding judge as the initial indictment and adjudication. God’s court however, is not only the first court – it is ALSO the court of appeals. We can be forever grateful…and should be, that our God and Judge has a tender heart Who loves to show mercy!
Notice however, that God’s judgment was NOT due to Hezekiah being found innocent – but rather humbled IN HIS GUILT!
Also, Hezekiah’s appeal was for God to please take into consideration all the days he had faithfully walked before Him in honor and obedience.
Does God consider such things? YES!!!
Prov. 24:12, “If you say, “But we didn’t know about this,” won’t He who weighs hearts consider it? Won’t He who protects your life know? Won’t He repay a person according to his work?”
Heb 6:10, “For God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you showed for His name when you served the saints–and you continue to serve them.”
Heb 8:12, “For I will be merciful to their wrongdoing, and I will never again remember their sins.”
Now I know that we are dealing with different covenants and so while God, under the Old Covenant may have shown mercy, He still required an account of sin and judgment for it. However, under the New Covenant, when we confess the Lord Jesus – our past is erased, and when as a child we sin, when we acknowledge the unfaithfulness of our ways, He not only forgives, He also refuses to ever remember our sins again. This is stated in direct contrast to the Old Covenant day of Atonement when ALL of the sins which had already been repented of and given sacrifice for – were recalled again and a national offering for guilt was made. Under the New Covenant, once sin has been addressed, it is NEVER recalled again!
“(24) In those days Hezekiah became sick to the point of death, so he prayed to the LORD, and He spoke to him and gave him a miraculous sign. (25) However, because his heart was proud, Hezekiah didn’t respond according to the benefit that had come to him. So there was wrath upon him, upon Judah, and upon Jerusalem.”
This is also an important thing to notice which we have covered before.
- Sin must ALWAYS be accounted for and judged.
- The people under the delegated authority of a ruler are subject to the judgments and blessings which result from their reign.
- God is able, to stave off judgment – stacking it up if you will – for a future time of judgment…but all WILL be judged!
“(26) Then Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart–he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem–so the LORD’s wrath didn’t come on them during Hezekiah’s lifetime.”
The Wealth and final days of Hezekiah, King of Judah
“(27) Hezekiah had abundant riches and glory, and he made himself treasuries for silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields, and every desirable item.
(28) He made warehouses for the harvest of grain, wine, and oil, and stalls for all kinds of cattle, and pens for flocks.
(29) He made cities for himself, and he acquired herds of sheep and cattle in abundance, for God gave him abundant possessions.
(30) This same Hezekiah blocked the outlet of the water of the Upper Gihon and channeled it smoothly downward and westward to the city of David.
Hezekiah succeeded in everything he did.
(31) When the ambassadors of Babylon’s rulers were sent to him to inquire about the miraculous sign that happened in the land, God left him to test him and discover what was in his heart.
(32) As for the rest of the events of Hezekiah’s reign and his deeds of faithful love, note that they are written about in the Visions of the Prophet Isaiah son of Amoz, and in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.
(33) Hezekiah rested with his fathers and was buried on the ascent to the tombs of David’s descendants.
All Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem paid him honor at his death. His son Manasseh became king in his place.”
“(12) At that time Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah since he heard that Hezekiah had been sick.
(13) Hezekiah gave them a hearing and showed them his whole treasure house–the silver, the gold, the spices, and the precious oil–and his armory, and everything that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his palace and in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them.
(14) Then the prophet Isaiah came to King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did these men say, and where did they come to you from?”
Hezekiah replied, “They came from a distant country, from Babylon.”
(15) Isaiah asked, “What have they seen in your palace?”
Hezekiah answered, “They have seen everything in my palace. There isn’t anything in my treasuries that I didn’t show them.”
(16) Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD: (17) ‘The time will certainly come when everything in your palace and all that your fathers have stored up until this day will be carried off to Babylon; nothing will be left,’ says the LORD.
(18) ‘Some of your descendants who come from you will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.'”
(19) Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD that you have spoken is good,” for he thought: Why not, if there will be peace and security during my lifetime?
(20) The rest of the events of Hezekiah’s reign, along with all his might and how he made the pool and the tunnel and brought water into the city, are written about in the Historical Record of Judah’s Kings. (21) Hezekiah rested with his fathers, and his son Manasseh became king in his place.”
Hezekiah’s son Manasseh begins his reign
“(1) Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king; he reigned 55 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah.
2) He did what was evil in the LORD’s sight, imitating the abominations of the nations that the LORD had dispossessed before the Israelites.
(3) He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed and reestablished the altars for Baal.
He made an Asherah, as King Ahab of Israel had done; he also worshiped the whole heavenly host and served them.
(4) He would build altars in the LORD’s temple, where the LORD had said, “Jerusalem is where I will put My name.”
(5) He built altars to the whole heavenly host in both courtyards of the LORD’s temple. (6) He made his son pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did a great amount of evil in the LORD’s sight, provoking Him.
(7) Manasseh set up the carved image of Asherah he made in the temple that the LORD had spoken about to David and his son Solomon, “I will establish My name forever in this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. (8) I will never again cause the feet of the Israelites to wander from the land I gave to their ancestors if only they will be careful to do all I have commanded them–the whole law that My servant Moses commanded them.”
(9) But they did not listen; Manasseh caused them to stray so that they did greater evil than the nations the LORD had destroyed before the Israelites.
(10) The LORD spoke through His servants the prophets, saying, (11) “Since Manasseh king of Judah has committed all these abominations–greater evil than the Amorites who preceded him had done–and by means of his idols has also caused Judah to sin, (12) this is what the LORD God of Israel says:
‘I am about to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that everyone who hears about it will shudder. (13) I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line used on Samaria and the mason’s level used on the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem clean as one wipes a bowl–wiping it and turning it upside down.
(14) I will abandon the remnant of My inheritance and hand them over to their enemies. They will become plunder and spoil to all their enemies, (15) because they have done what is evil in My sight and have provoked Me from the day their ancestors came out of Egypt until today.'”
(16) Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem with it from one end to another. This was in addition to his sin he caused Judah to commit so that they did what was evil in the LORD’s sight.
(17) The rest of the events of Manasseh’s reign, along with all his accomplishments and the sin that he committed, are written about in the Historical Record of Judah’s Kings.
(18) Manasseh rested with his fathers and was buried in the garden of his own house, the garden of Uzza. His son Amon became king in his place.”
“(1) Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king; he reigned 55 years in Jerusalem.
(2) He did what was evil in the LORD’s sight, imitating the detestable practices of the nations that the LORD had dispossessed before the Israelites.
(3) He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had torn down and reestablished the altars for the Baals.
He made Asherah poles, and he worshiped the whole heavenly host and served them.
(4) He built altars in the LORD’s temple, where the LORD had said: “Jerusalem is where My name will remain forever.”
(5) He built altars to the whole heavenly host in both courtyards of the LORD’s temple.
(6) He passed his sons through the fire in the Valley of Hinnom.
He practiced witchcraft, divination, and sorcery, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did a great deal of evil in the LORD’s sight, provoking Him.
(7) Manasseh set up a carved image of the idol he had made, in God’s temple, about which God had said to David and his son Solomon: “I will establish My name forever in this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. (8) I will never again remove the feet of the Israelites from upon the land where I stationed your ancestors, if only they will be careful to do all that I have commanded them through Moses–all the law, statutes, and judgments.”
(9) So Manasseh caused Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to stray so that they did worse evil than the nations the LORD had destroyed before the Israelites.”
God’s Judgment & Manasseh’s Repentance
“(10) The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they didn’t listen. (11) So He brought against them the military commanders of the king of Assyria. They captured Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze shackles, and took him to Babylon.
(12) When he was in distress, he sought the favor of the LORD his God and earnestly humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. (13) He prayed to Him, so He heard his petition and granted his request, and brought him back to Jerusalem, to his kingdom. So Manasseh came to know that the LORD is God.
(14) After this, he built the outer wall of the city of David from west of Gihon in the valley to the entrance of the Fish Gate; he brought it around the Ophel, and he heightened it considerably. He also placed military commanders in all the fortified cities of Judah.
(15) He removed the foreign gods and the idol from the LORD’s temple, along with all the altars that he had built on the mountain of the LORD’s temple and in Jerusalem, and he threw them outside the city.
(16) He built the altar of the LORD and offered fellowship and thank offerings on it. Then he told Judah to serve the LORD God of Israel.
(17) However, the people still sacrificed at the high places, but only to the LORD their God.
(18) The rest of the events of Manasseh’s reign, along with his prayer to his God and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of the LORD God of Israel, are written about in the Events of Israel’s Kings.
(19) His prayer and how God granted his request, and all his sin and unfaithfulness and the sites where he built high places and set up Asherah poles and carved images before he humbled himself, they are written about in the Records of Hozai.
(20) Manasseh rested with his fathers, and he was buried in his own house. His son Amon became king in his place.”
I’d LOVE to correlate these events with the books of Isaiah & Hosea the Prophets before continuing our trek through the remainder of 2Kings and 2Choronicles but the time it would take would be prohibitive.
I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
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