Too Hard? No Way!

Posted: January 27, 2011 in 2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 31-32, “Too Hard?  No Way!”

2 Chronicles 31 (NKJV)
1 Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah and broke the sacred pillars in pieces, cut down the wooden images, and threw down the high places and the altars—from all Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh—until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned to their own cities, every man to his possession.

  1. Recall that Hezekiah had already unbarred the temple doors & removed everything from within it that was profane.  He had also led Jerusalem in removing the pagan altars from within the city.  Now that the whole nation (Judah & as many as were left out of captivity from the north) had celebrated the Passover in extended worship – they were ready to take back some of the same reforms to the rest of the land.  Pagan altars & idolatrous images were torn down as revival continued in the hearts of the people.
    1. What are the sacred pillars in our own lives?  Cast them down!
  2. Keep this act in mind for later – the Assyrian king is going to use this to accuse Hezekiah of rebelling against God.  To the Assyrians (and the rest of the world) it may have appeared that Hezekiah & the rest of Judah were rejecting God by taking down all of these various places of worship.  What Hezekiah knew is that these places were places of false worship.  Hezekiah wasn’t rejecting God; he was rejecting false gods & the various perversions of true worship.
    1. Likewise the Church today needs to have discernment.  There are some things we ought to rightly reject – even if it looks “spiritual” or some group has attached the name of Jesus to it.  Is it still possible to attempt to worship the right God in the wrong way?  Certainly!  Jesus told us that the true worshippers of God worship Him in spirit & truth (Jn 4:23).  When pagan methods & other unbiblical practices get mixed in with the truth of the Scripture, what gets watered down isn’t the pagan; it’s the truth.  (Easily seen in Santeria…  Also often camouflaged in new-age meditation practices…)

2 And Hezekiah appointed the divisions of the priests and the Levites according to their divisions, each man according to his service, the priests and Levites for burnt offerings and peace offerings, to serve, to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the camp of the Lord. 3 The king also appointed a portion of his possessions for the burnt offerings: for the morning and evening burnt offerings, the burnt offerings for the Sabbaths and the New Moons and the set feasts, as it is written in the Law of the Lord.

  1. Hezekiah didn’t end the sacrifices with the Passover celebration; he continued by reinstating all of the daily sacrifices & annual feasts as designated in the Law (Torah).  Basically the revival that began with opening the temple doors for Passover carried over into everyday life – a sign that REAL revival had taken place.
  2. Often what takes place in modern “revivals” is a weeklong celebration in a local church in which almost all the repentance & rededication to the Lord ends a few days after the tent is folded up.  Not to downplay the intent of these events, but it’s not truly appropriate to call these things “revivals.”  A “revival” (by definition) is something that had died or faded coming back to vibrancy & life again.  That doesn’t end after a week; it’s continual… …  What the Church needs today is REAL revival; a seeking after the Lord that doesn’t end when the conference is over & the speakers go home, but continues day after day in the lives of God’s people. …

4 Moreover he commanded the people who dwelt in Jerusalem to contribute support for the priests and the Levites, that they might devote themselves to the Law of the Lord.

  1. Again, this is in accordance with the Law (Num 18:8). God had given an inheritance of land to every tribe in the nation of Israel with the exception of Levi.  The Levites’ inheritance was the Lord Himself & they were set apart to do service for Him; thus God had promised to provide for their daily needs through the work done at the tabernacle (and later temple).  Hezekiah is merely continuing with the reforms in the land, getting things back to the way that God had intended them to be for the kingdom.
  2. Obviously a similar principle exists for the NT Church, first demonstrated through the apostles’ desire to devote themselves to Scripture & prayer (Acts 6:4), which brought about the 1st deacons.  Paul later affirmed that those who labor over the Scriptures & teach well are worthy to receive honor (1 Tim 5:17) in relation to finances & daily needs.  Their needs are supplied by the Lord, but God uses His people in the process.

5 As soon as the commandment was circulated, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of grain and wine, oil and honey, and of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything. 6 And the children of Israel and Judah, who dwelt in the cities of Judah, brought the tithe of oxen and sheep; also the tithe of holy things which were consecrated to the Lord their God they laid in heaps. 7 In the third month they began laying them in heaps, and they finished in the seventh month. 8 And when Hezekiah and the leaders came and saw the heaps, they blessed the Lord and His people Israel.

  1. The people responded to the call in abundance!  As when the Hebrews gave the materials needed for the building of the tabernacle (Exo 36), they gave so much that they gave more than what was needed for the moment.  (The Hebrews at Mt. Sinai actually had to be restrained from giving any more!)  In this case, there were heaps upon heaps (piles) of tithes & 1st fruits & when the king saw it all, the leadership rejoiced & blessed God.  “Tithe” = “Tenth”…10% of all of their production.  Whether it was grain or honey (or whatever), what was produced 1st was given to the Lord (showing priority), and 10% of all was given (showing proportion).
  2. NT giving is based on similar principles.  We give cheerfully in thankfulness to God – we give out of our 1st income, not our left-overs (showing God’s priority in our lives) – and whatever amount we give, we give proportionally (declaring our trust in God’s provision).

9 Then Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps. 10 And Azariah the chief priest, from the house of Zadok, answered him and said, “Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the Lord, we have had enough to eat and have plenty left, for the Lord has blessed His people; and what is left is this great abundance.” 11 Now Hezekiah commanded them to prepare rooms in the house of the Lord, and they prepared them.

  1. How much was given?  So much that extra storage had to be built to contain it all.  THAT’s giving with a cheerful heart!

12 Then they faithfully brought in the offerings, the tithes, and the dedicated things; Cononiah the Levite had charge of them, and Shimei his brother was the next. 13 Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismachiah, Mahath, and Benaiah were overseers under the hand of Cononiah and Shimei his brother, at the commandment of Hezekiah the king and Azariah the ruler of the house of God. 14 Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, the keeper of the East Gate, was over the freewill offerings to God, to distribute the offerings of the Lord and the most holy things. 15 And under him were Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah, his faithful assistants in the cities of the priests, to distribute allotments to their brethren by divisions, to the great as well as the small.

  1. Listing of the names of those who assisted with the distribution of the offering to the Levites.
  2. Why is this included in our Bibles?  Does it matter who helped with the project?  Obviously it mattered to God. J  No ministry is too small or too mundane in the eyes of the Lord.  If it’s done for Him & His glory, it’s a wonderful offering. [] In addition, it underscores the fact that the distribution was done in an orderly fashion with proper accounting.  The gifts the people had given were given unto the Lord & they weren’t to be treated in a flippant manner or in wastefulness.  The Levites were accountable for what they had been entrusted with, which is illustrated in the names listed regarding who was responsible for giving out the distributions.

16 Besides those males from three years old and up who were written in the genealogy, they distributed to everyone who entered the house of the Lord his daily portion for the work of his service, by his division, 17 and to the priests who were written in the genealogy according to their father’s house, and to the Levites from twenty years old and up according to their work, by their divisions, 18 and to all who were written in the genealogy—their little ones and their wives, their sons and daughters, the whole company of them—for in their faithfulness they sanctified themselves in holiness. 19 Also for the sons of Aaron the priests, who were in the fields of the common-lands of their cities, in every single city, there were men who were designated by name to distribute portions to all the males among the priests and to all who were listed by genealogies among the Levites.

  1. Everyone received their portion of the distribution – from the young to old.  If they were a Levite sanctified unto the Lord, they were recipients of God’s provision for them through the tithes & firstfruits.
  2. Illustrates a principle in the NT Church.  As a whole, we are ALL a priesthood of believers in Christ Jesus.  Whether young in the faith or more experienced – whether entrusted with a visible ministry or a more subdued ministry, all of us partake of the blessings & provision of God.  We’ve all been sanctified (set apart for service) by the blood of the Lord Jesus; all of us have access to the same Holy Spirit, the same Scriptures, the same promises, and the same Savior.  We’ve been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph 1:3)…truly God has distributed to us our daily bread!

20 Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and true before the Lord his God. 21 And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered.

  1. Summary of Hezekiah’s reforms in the nation: (1) He did what was good & true… (2) He did it with all his heart (with passion)… (3) He experienced the prosperity of God.
  2. The same applies to each one of us.
    1. We are to do what is right & true – as Jesus said, we are His friends if we obey His commandments (Jn 15:14).  As we submit ourselves to Christ the Lord through His commands in the Bible, we’re doing what is “good and right and true.
    2. We’re to do His commands with passion; not drudging obligation.  The 1st and greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength…that ought to be the driving force behind everything we do for the Lord!
    3. When we do these things, we will also experience the prosperity & blessing of God.  Not in the TV preacher sort of way, but in the blessing of walking humbly with our God (Mic 6:8) as we grow in grace & the knowledge of our Savior.  What greater reward is there than to hear the words “Well done, good & faithful servant”?

2 Chronicles 32 (NKJV)
1 After these deeds of faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and entered Judah; he encamped against the fortified cities, thinking to win them over to himself.

  1. The 1st 5 words of this verse are so very striking.  We would expect the enemy to come against Hezekiah if the king was doing something evil.  We would expect war & trials if Hezekiah was doing everything wrong…but he wasn’t.  Hezekiah was doing everything right, and THAT was when the trouble came.
  2. Beware of falling into the trap of thinking that “If I obey God, then God is obligated to give me peace, riches, health, and other blessings.”  The principle is true that when we obey God, we will experience the blessing of God – but that blessing can take on many different forms (as Hezekiah will find out).  Remember that God is God & we’re not; we’re HIS servants & HE is our Lord & Master.  God is not obligated to anyone except Himself.  His promises in the Bible are not a license for us to attempt to manipulate God into anything. 
  3. Here’s the simple truth: sometimes the hardest trials come when we’re doing everything right.  Sometimes it’s when we’re walking humbly with Jesus that we get blindsided by some sort of trial or attack.  We need to remember it’s not because we’ve done anything wrong, or that God is trying to discipline us; it’s just because we life in a fallen world with an enemy that hates us & wants to see us dead.  It was Job that God had proclaimed righteous, and that’s when Satan wanted to attack him.  It was Lazarus who was a personal friend of Jesus, when he got suddenly sick & died within days.  Ultimately, we need to affirm that God allowed these things to happen – but did God make these things happen to punish either of these men?  Absolutely not; they occurred in order that God would be glorified in their lives, which was exactly the result for them & will be the result for Hezekiah.
    1. What is it in your own life that is getting blindsided through attack or trial?  Instead of looking at ourselves & wondering what we might have done to deserve this – or blaming God for everything that happened to us, the better reaction is to turn to God in trust & faith.  If there is indeed something wicked in us, we can ask God to reveal it & He will (Ps 139:24) – then we confess, repent & be done with it.  Otherwise, we trust God to glorify Himself THROUGH our trial.

2 And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come, and that his purpose was to make war against Jerusalem, 3 he consulted with his leaders and commanders to stop the water from the springs which were outside the city; and they helped him. 4 Thus many people gathered together who stopped all the springs and the brook that ran through the land, saying, “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find much water?” 5 And he strengthened himself, built up all the wall that was broken, raised it up to the towers, and built another wall outside; also he repaired the Millo in the City of David, and made weapons and shields in abundance.

  1. The strategies of Hezekiah.  First, he cut off the water supply that was outside the city gates, while redirecting it inside Jerusalem via an underground tunnel. [PIC.  Hezekiah’s tunnel discovered in 1838, 1750 feet long carved through solid rock.]  Second, he repaired & strengthened the city’s defenses.  Although Jerusalem is naturally well-defended, having steep grades on all sides, Hezekiah had extra walls built to make things tougher on the Assyrians.
  2. Note that these were very practical steps.  Hezekiah was obviously a man of deep faith in God (as will be made evident), but that didn’t prevent him from doing some very necessary practical things in wise preparation for the battle.  Did these preparations undermine his faith in God?  Absolutely not – but as much as God wants us to trust Him in faith, God has also given us a brain with which to think & hands to act.  The Bible tells us that wisdom dwells with prudence (Prov 8:12).  To take practical steps in wisdom is complementary to our faith in God’s provision; not contradictory.

6 Then he set military captains over the people, gathered them together to him in the open square of the city gate, and gave them encouragement, saying, 7 “Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. 8 With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

  1. Encouraged the people to have faith in God.  They obviously had a unfathomable trial to face, but they were to face it in courage & in faith.  God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love & a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7).  When we have faith in God, we need not fear the enemy.  We obviously don’t want to underestimate or ignore our enemy, but we don’t need to be afraid of him.  Why?  Because we’re the servants & children of God!  Romans 8 (31) What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? … (37) Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. []  Whether it’s the condemnation that our conscience brings because of our ongoing struggle against sin, or the lies & attacks of the enemy of our souls, those who are in Christ Jesus have marvelous promises!  God is with us, not against us – Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us.  We’ve been bought with the blood of Christ & because we belong (literally) to Almighty God as His very own people, He will personally rise up in our defense.
  2. Keep in mind that this wasn’t just any normal battle that Judah was about to face, along the same lines of the many other battles & wars they had engaged in throughout previous decades.  The army of Assyria, led by Sennacherib was truly powerful & vicious.  Assyria had already decimated Samaria & led most of the people off into captivity.  They were the dominant superpower in the world & had even destroyed the forces of Babylon (who would later regroup under the Chaldeans & Nebuchadnezzar).  For the small army that was stationed in Jerusalem to go against the forces of Sennacherib would have seemed like suicide.  These odds were virtually insurmountable…a perfect opportunity for God to work!  Insurmountable odds are the perfect time to trust God by faith.  God is still God in times of ease AND hardship.  Hezekiah had the faith to understand that the full might of Assyria was still no match for Almighty God.
  3. What do you face that seems insurmountable?  Hold fast to Christ your King!  He WILL show Himself to be faithful; trust Him no matter what the circumstances appear to be.  Remember the disciples in the storm on the lake – they thought they were perishing & that the Lord didn’t care because He was asleep the whole time…  Mark 4:39-40 (39) Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. (40) But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” []  Keep in mind to be in a tiny fishing boat in the middle of a raging storm on a lake isn’t exactly a peaceful situation…it’s no wonder why the disciples feared for their lives!  But the One who was in the boat with them was far bigger & more powerful than the storm around them.  Jesus may have been quiet for a time, but He rose at the perfect time to demonstrate His own glory.  Likewise with Hezekiah & the Jews…  Likewise with you & me…  Jesus is bigger & more powerful than ANY situation we may face.  It may look impossible for us, but it is utterly conquerable in Christ Jesus.

9 After this Sennacherib king of Assyria sent his servants to Jerusalem (but he and all the forces with him laid siege against Lachish), to Hezekiah king of Judah, and to all Judah who were in Jerusalem, saying,

  1. Lachish is an important historical footnote here.  Assyria had already been running rampant in the land of Judah, looking to crush Jerusalem in a final blow.  Sennacherib had already conquered Lachish & took many of the people into captivity. [PIC – relief from Senn’s palace]  The possibility of conquest wasn’t remote for Hezekiah, he was looking at a countdown of mere days until it might happen.  Truly things would have looked bad at this point.

 

10 “Thus says Sennacherib king of Assyria: ‘In what do you trust, that you remain under siege in Jerusalem? 11 Does not Hezekiah persuade you to give yourselves over to die by famine and by thirst, saying, “The Lord our God will deliver us from the hand of the king of Assyria”? 12 Has not the same Hezekiah taken away His high places and His altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, “You shall worship before one altar and burn incense on it”?

  1. Note the 1st thing Sennacherib (or his representative, Rabshekah – 2 Kings 18) tried to do was attack their faith in God.  First, he attacked God’s character & God’s word.  He basically said, “You can’t trust in God to save you…Hezekiah made your God angry by taking away all the altars around the land.”  Although Sennacherib may not have realized it, he was attacking the word of God by claiming that God approved of all of the false pagan altars all over the land of Judah.  Obviously God did NOT approve of those altars & He blessed Hezekiah for taking them down – but if Sennacherib could get the people to doubt the word of God, he could get people to doubt everything else.
  2. This is the oldest tactic of the enemy, stretching all the way back to the Garden of Eden.  Satan always tries to get us to doubt the word & promises of God.  “Has God indeed said…?” (Gen 3:1) …  As you hold fast to Christ, hold fast to His word – the Bible!

13 Do you not know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of other lands? Were the gods of the nations of those lands in any way able to deliver their lands out of my hand? 14 Who was there among all the gods of those nations that my fathers utterly destroyed that could deliver his people from my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you from my hand? 15 Now therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or persuade you like this, and do not believe him; for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people from my hand or the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you from my hand?’ ”

  1. Second, Sennacherib attacked God’s ability & power.  In addition to claiming that God was mad at Hezekiah (when God wasn’t), Sennacherib claimed that God couldn’t do anything about the onslaught if He wanted to.  To Sennacherib’s mind, he was already proven to be more powerful than the other gods of the other nations he faced, because he already conquered them.  Their gods were weak, so in his mind, the God of Israel would be no different.  Obviously Sennacherib has a big problem here: the other gods he faced weren’t really gods; but the God is Israel IS God!
  2. When the enemy can’t get us to doubt God’s word, he’ll try to get us to doubt God’s power.  “Oh, God can’t really do anything about THAT.  That’s just left up to pure luck…that’s just the way things are.”  We need to remember exactly Who it is that we serve!  We serve the Almighty God, Creator of the heavens & earth – the great I AM – the One who conquered death, hell, and sin through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Jeremiah 32:27  “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me? []  What can be too hard for the God that has power over life & the grave?  This God is OUR God – and we can go to Him through the blood of Christ as His own children, asking for Him to intercede & show His glory.

16 Furthermore, his servants spoke against the Lord God and against His servant Hezekiah. 17 He also wrote letters to revile the Lord God of Israel, and to speak against Him, saying, “As the gods of the nations of other lands have not delivered their people from my hand, so the God of Hezekiah will not deliver His people from my hand.”

  1. He just wouldn’t give up.  Sennacherib did everything he could to undermine the faith of Jerusalem.  Ultimately, he was boasting against the Lord – which is predictable, but not wise.  The Devil is going to learn the same lesson when Jesus returns in glory at the 2nd Coming!

18 Then they called out with a loud voice in Hebrew to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten them and trouble them, that they might take the city. 19 And they spoke against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the earth— the work of men’s hands.

  1. What was the whole purpose for attempting to get people to doubt God?  To frighten them.  The more frightened the people were, the easier it would be to overrun the city & conquer them. [] This is exactly what the Devil does in our own battles of spiritual warfare.  He prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pt 5:8).  He roars loud enough to try to frighten us out of faith.  Again, remember that God has not given you a spirit of fear.  Fear takes us away from the promises of God; faith helps us cling to the promises of God.

20 Now because of this King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, prayed and cried out to heaven. 21 Then the Lord sent an angel who cut down every mighty man of valor, leader, and captain in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned shamefaced to his own land. And when he had gone into the temple of his god, some of his own offspring struck him down with the sword there. 22 Thus the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all others, and guided them on every side.

  1. With all the other detail that the Chronicler has given us about life of Hezekiah, it’s actually pretty mysterious why this is all the author writes here.  We have a great amount of information about this battle – found in both Isaiah 37 & 2 Kings 19 (virtually identical word-for-word).  Perhaps the author thought that enough had been written about it elsewhere.
  2. What happened?  Hezekiah took the threats of Sennacherib & presented them before the Lord in the temple.  Isaiah received a response from the Lord & brought it back to Hezekiah promising victory – prophesying to the detail that the Assyrian army wouldn’t enter the city of Jerusalem, and in fact not a single arrow would be shot within the walls (Isa 37:33).  God Himself would defend the city & Sennacherib would return to his own land empty-handed, which is exactly what happened. (This is historically verified in Sennacherib’s wall relief.  He boasted of his victory over Lachish, but only of containing Jerusalem in its walls…subtly admitting he couldn’t conquer the city.)
  3. To say that “the Lord sent an angel who cut down every mighty man of valor” is true, but almost an understatement of what actually happened.  Isaiah & the author of 2 Kings tell us that the angel of the Lord killed 185,000 soldiers in one night.  The people of Jerusalem went to bed one night expecting an assault & they woke up the next morning to a field full of corpses.
    1. Can God show His power in the face of insurmountable odds?  YES!  That’s no less true today than it was in the days of Hezekiah.  You need look no further than your own salvation.  You were spiritually dead & doomed for an eternity in Hell, rightly deserved because of your sin.  There was absolutely nothing that could be done about it – it was a foregone conclusion.  That is, until the day Christ Jesus saved you by His grace & gave you life.  You were dead & are now alive.  If God can work THAT miracle, what else would be too hard for Him in our daily walk?

23 And many brought gifts to the Lord at Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations thereafter.

  1. The nations took notice (easy to see why!) & they humbled themselves before the king whose God was the Lord.  The same thing is going to happen in the Millennial kingdom when it’s so obvious that the Lord Jesus is truly the King of kings.  Every king of the earth will see the blessing of God upon Him & they will humble themselves before Christ as they proclaim Him to be Lord.

24 In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death, and he prayed to the Lord; and He spoke to him and gave him a sign. 25 But Hezekiah did not repay according to the favor shown him, for his heart was lifted up; therefore wrath was looming over him and over Judah and Jerusalem. 26 Then Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.

  1. As with the event with the Angel of the Lord, this is another instance where we have much more information given in 2 Kings 20 & Isaiah 38-39.  Hezekiah had almost died from his illness & he “wept bitterly” before the Lord asking for mercy & extended life.  God not only granted his request by giving him 15 more years, but gave a sign that he would be healed by having the sundial 10 degrees.  Within those 15 years, Hezekiah seemed to take things for granted as he let envoys from Babylon come in & basically take an inventory of all of the treasure that was in the temple & royal palace.  Babylon was of course the nation that would take the Jews into captivity, and they would deplete the treasuries in the process…knowing exactly what to take out because of Hezekiah’s foolishness.
  2. The Chronicler gets to the heart of the matter here.  Whereas Hezekiah was once humbly dependent upon the Lord, he eventually got to the place where he was full of pride (“his heart was lifted up”) & he needed to be humbled BY the Lord.  Of course that’s exactly what happened.  As Hezekiah received the word of God, he acknowledged that the Lord is good even in His judgment, and showed grace in delaying His judgment for a time.
    1. What was true of Hezekiah is often true of us as well.  There are times in which we are humble before the Lord…and then there are times in which we need to be humbled BY the Lord.  The former is a lot easier upon us than the latter!  When God acts in that way, it’s a demonstration of His love for us as sons & daughters – but at the same time, much chastening could be avoided if we simply continued in humility before our Lord & King.

27 Hezekiah had very great riches and honor. And he made himself treasuries for silver, for gold, for precious stones, for spices, for shields, and for all kinds of desirable items; 28 storehouses for the harvest of grain, wine, and oil; and stalls for all kinds of livestock, and folds for flocks. 29 Moreover he provided cities for himself, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance; for God had given him very much property. 30 This same Hezekiah also stopped the water outlet of Upper Gihon, and brought the water by tunnel to the west side of the City of David. Hezekiah prospered in all his works.

  1. Summary of his reign & the blessing of God upon him.  Like Solomon, God gave Hezekiah immense riches, herds, properties, and wisdom (as demonstrated through the tunnel for water during the siege).  The author isn’t just summing up Hezekiah as a good king, but as a king who recognized that everything he had proceeded from the hand of God.  (Every good & perfect gift… Jas 1:17)

31 However, regarding the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, whom they sent to him to inquire about the wonder that was done in the land, God withdrew from him, in order to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.

  1. The one time that God was not prospering Hezekiah?  When God tested him.  Even in the siege from Sennacherib, God was “with” Hezekiah & protecting him.  God only “withdrew” one time for this test with the Babylonians, which demonstrated the pride that was in Hezekiah’s heart.
  2. Did God make Hezekiah proud?  Did God set up Hezekiah to fail?  No.  The pride was already in Hezekiah’s heart; it took this test from God to reveal it.  It wasn’t that God didn’t already know – but Hezekiah’s pride was revealed to Hezekiah.  It’s when things are tested that we know what they’re really made of.  To test new cars, engineers put them through all sorts of crash tests in order to reveal their weaknesses.  It’s not that the weaknesses are there because of the tests; the tests merely show the weaknesses that already exist, in order that the engineers can fix what’s needed.  It’s similar with our relationship with God.  God knows what’s in our hearts already – but sometimes these things need to be revealed to us.  We have a hard time repenting from sin we don’t know exists…  Because God loves us, He sometimes allows us to be tested so that those weaknesses are revealed to us, and we go to Him for the solution…

32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, indeed they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 33 So Hezekiah rested with his fathers, and they buried him in the upper tombs of the sons of David; and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem honored him at his death. Then Manasseh his son reigned in his place.

  1. Hezekiah wasn’t a perfect king, but he was a good king!  He was given the highest honors in his burial, and written about by prophets & historians.  Yet even at his best, Hezekiah was merely a shadow of the very best King that was still to come: Christ Jesus. 
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s