2 Kings 20 Ė 21 part 13

 

Tonight we will finish up the reign of Hezekiah and then take a look at Manasseh and Amonís reign.

 

2 Kings 20:1  In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, "Thus says the LORD: 'Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.' "2 Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD, saying,3 "Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

 

These events in this chapter are also recorded in 2 Chr and Isaiah. Hezekiah was on his death bed and Isaiah confirmed that he was going to die. Without any hope of recovering from his illness he turns to God in prayer asking Him to remember His righteous deeds he had done for God. Hezekiah was not ready to die yet and the thought of dying made him weep bitterly.

 

2 Kings 20:4 And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying,5 "Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, 'Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: "I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD.6 "And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David." ' "

 

This a great example that shows that God does listen to our prayers. I love how it says that God saw his tears. Now you think about for a minute. Not only does God hear our prayers, He also can see us when we are hurting and can even see the tears that come from our eyes. Friends that should be a comforting thought to ever Christian to know that God is watching and listening to us that close. God answers Hezekiahís prayer and send Isaiah back to tell him that he is going to live for another 15 years.

 

This is also good example for us not give up praying for those who are sick and even those who the doctor says they have no chance of living. Because if it Godís will to answer our prayer and keep that person alive longer, then it will happen because nothing is to hard for God. Our text lets us know that this event happened before Senachrib lost those 185,000 because the Assyrians had not went back home yet.

 

2 Kings 20:7 Then Isaiah said, "Take a lump of figs." So they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.8 ∂ And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "What is the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the LORD the third day?"9 Then Isaiah said, "This is the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing which He has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees or go backward ten degrees?"10 And Hezekiah answered, "It is an easy thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees; no, but let the shadow go backward ten degrees."11 So Isaiah the prophet cried out to the LORD, and He brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down on the sundial of Ahaz.

 

First Isaiah has a lump of figs brought to put on a boil that Hezekiah had, this was common remedy for boils during that time. Next, Hezekiah wanted some proof that God would heal him and that he would be able to go to the house of the Lord in 3 days. Isaiah doesnít disappoint him as he gives him two options to choose from as a sign. Either the shadow on the sundial can go move forward 10 degrees or backwards 10 degrees. Of course Hezekiah choose what he thought would be hardest thing to accomplish, so he chose for it to backwards 10 degrees. But, what seems difficult or impossible to us is not hard for God to at all. Sure enough, God caused the shadow to move backwards on the sundial proving that Isaiah was speaking for the Lord.

 

This shows us that we should never underestimate what God can do for in our lives and it should also prove that all the promises God makes for us will come true even it we canít fully comprehend the concept of eternity or how he will give us a new body that will last forever.

 

Our next few verses is going to show us that Hezekiah allowed the success that God had blessed him with to go to his head and become prideful. We are going to start with Isaiah account as it gives us a few more details.

 

Isaiah 39:1 At that time Merodach-Baladan (mehr-oh-dack bal-ah-dahn) the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered.2 And Hezekiah was pleased with them, and showed them the house of his treasures -- the silver and gold, the spices and precious ointment, and all his armory -- all that was found among his treasures. There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.

 

These Babylonians were at the mercy of the Assyrians at this time as well, but when they heard about what God had done for Hezekiah they sent some letters and present to Hezekiah. It believed this was a political move on their part to possible join forces with Judah to fight against Assyria. We can see that this pleased Hezekiah and showed these messengers all the treasures that God had blessed him with. We find out that God was using this event to test Hezekiah in,

 

2 Chronicles 32:31 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.

 

As we read Hezekiah failed this test.

 

2 Kings 20:14 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah, and said to him, "What did these men say, and from where did they come to you?" So Hezekiah said, "They came from a far country, from Babylon."15 And he said, "What have they seen in your house?" So Hezekiah answered, "They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them."16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the LORD:17 'Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,' says the LORD.18 'And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.' "19 So Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "The word of the LORD which you have spoken is good!" For he said, "Will there not be peace and truth at least in my days?"

 

Isaiah informs Hezekiah that he has done a bad thing showing off all the treasures that he had because now the Babylonians know that they have all the riches that they can take from them later on and Isaiah let him know that these Babylonians will come in and take everything he has shown them and even take some of his sons and make them servants.

Hezekiahís puts a positive spin on this bad news by saying, ďwell, at least its not going to happen while I am still king.Ē

 

2 Kings 20:20 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah -- all his might, and how he made a pool and a tunnel and brought water into the city -- are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?21 So Hezekiah rested with his fathers. Then Manasseh his son reigned in his place.††

 

Hezekiah dies and his son Manasseh reigns in his place.

 

2 Kings 21:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hephzibah.2 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.3 For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; he raised up altars for Baal, and made a wooden image, as Ahab king of Israel had done; and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.4 He also built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, "In Jerusalem I will put My name."5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.6 Also he made his son pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger.7 He even set a carved image of Asherah that he had made, in the house of which the LORD had said to David and to Solomon his son, "In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever;8 "and I will not make the feet of Israel wander anymore from the land which I gave their fathers -- only if they are careful to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that My servant Moses commanded them."9 But they paid no attention, and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than the nations whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel.

 

Once again we see the same pattern with these kings. First, we have a really good king and then for whatever reason when the son takes over, he turns out to be a bad king. If your remember King Ahaz is usually described as the worst king of Judah, but Manassah isnít far behind him. He desecrated the house of God and practiced all of kind of evil including burning his children as a sacrifice to a false God. Our text says that he was doing more evil than those foreign nation that he had already destroyed.

 

2 Kings 21:10 And the LORD spoke by His servants the prophets, saying,11 "Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations (he has acted more wickedly than all the Amorites who were before him, and has also made Judah sin with his idols),12 "therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'Behold, I am bringing such calamity upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears will tingle.13 'And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab; I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.14 'So I will forsake the remnant of My inheritance and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become victims of plunder to all their enemies,15 'because they have done evil in My sight, and have provoked Me to anger since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day.' "16 Moreover Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides his sin by which he made Judah sin, in doing evil in the sight of the LORD.

 

Obviously God was not pleased with Manasseh and the prophets are told all these things that God is going to do to Manasseh. He going to strike him so hard that when other nations hear about it will cause their ears to tingle. In other words its going to be so bad that people are going cringe when they hear about it. God is going to wipe them out just like a person wipes off a dish. This destruction that is being spoken of here is when Judah would ultimately be destroyed by the Babylonians and held captive for 70 years. We also learn from this passage that Manasseh had been murdering many innocent people and he had led the rest of Judah down the same sinful path. Now, if we just stuck with 2 Kings account this all we would learn about Manasseh because the next few verses talk about his death.

 

However, fortunately for us 2 Chr. gives us more details and shows us some more important information about Him.

 

2 Chronicles 33:10 And the LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they would not listen.11 Therefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze fetters, and carried him off to Babylon.12 Now when he was in affliction, he implored the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers,13 and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God.

 

Just as God had promised the Assyrians came and drug Manasseh off to Babylon with hooks. He and his people had to endure this because of their evil ways. However, we can see that when Manasseh was under great affliction he realized that he only had one person he could turn to and it was the very person that he had rebelled against, which of course was God.

 

Even though Manasseh was rotten to the core and he did all those horrible things and killed many innocent people God was willing to hear his prayer and restore him because he humbled himself before God. However, we find out later that even though he was restored Judah would have to pay the consequences for his shedding of innocent blood (2 Kings 24:3-4) and not even if Moses or Samuel were alive could take away this consequence (Jer. 15:1ff).

 

Now this is a powerful lesson that every person need to learn in this life because it clearly shows that not matter how bad you may be or how many sick things you have done, if you will humble yourself before God and turn to him he will forgive you and accept you as a child of God. However, even when we are forgiven of a sin, we still have to face the consequences of that sin such as destroyed relationships or damage we do to our bodies. This shows how much love and mercy God has for all his creation and it should gives great confidence as Christians that if we continue to humble ourselves before God that he will also continue to forgive us of our sins when we mess from time to time.

 

2 Chronicles 33:14 After this he built a wall outside the City of David on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, as far as the entrance of the Fish Gate; and it enclosed Ophel, and he raised it to a very great height. Then he put military captains in all the fortified cities of Judah.15 He took away the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the LORD and in Jerusalem; and he cast them out of the city.16 He also repaired the altar of the LORD, sacrificed peace offerings and thank offerings on it, and commanded Judah to serve the LORD God of Israel.17 Nevertheless the people still sacrificed on the high places, but only to the LORD their God.

 

If we didnít have 2 Chr. account, we would have thought that Manasseh was bad king his entire reign, but now we can see that once he received his punishment for his rebellion that he turned over a new leaf. When God allowed him to go back to Jerusalem he started restoring things back like his father had it. He rebuilt walls, tore down the foreign Gods and idols he had desecrated the house of God with and he repaired the alter so they could offer sacrifices to God. Finally, he commanded the people serve God. Manasseh is showing us what true repentance is all about because he has changed his ways and he doing his best to serve God as we should do when we repent. Despite Manassehís best effort to get the people serving God many of them were still sacrificing on the high places, but at least they were offering them to God instead of false Gods. However, this still didnít make what they were doing right because their sacrifices were supposed to be done in the temple.

 

2 Chronicles 33:18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, his prayer to his God, and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of the LORD God of Israel, indeed they are written in the book of the kings of Israel.19 Also his prayer and how God received his entreaty, and all his sin and trespass, and the sites where he built high places and set up wooden images and carved images, before he was humbled, indeed they are written among the sayings of Hozai.20 So Manasseh rested with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house. Then his son Amon reigned in his place. †††

 

So, Manasseh is dead after his long 55 year reign and his son Amon reigns in his place.

 

2 Kings 21: 9 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Meshullemeth (meh-shuhl-uh-meth) the daughter of Haruz (hair-uz) of Jotbah. (jaht-buh)20 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, as his father Manasseh had done.21 So he walked in all the ways that his father had walked; and he served the idols that his father had served, and worshiped them.22 He forsook the LORD God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the LORD.23 Then the servants of Amon conspired against him, and killed the king in his own house.24 But the people of the land executed all those who had conspired against King Amon. Then the people of the land made his son Josiah king in his place.25 Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?26 And he was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza. Then Josiah his son reigned in his place.

 

We are not given much details about Amon short 2 year reign other than he followed after the bad things that his father did. His servants didnít like the way he was ruling so they killed him and then people of Judah killed those who had murdered him. Then we find out that our next king that we look at next week is King Josiah.

 

Lessons learned:

 

  1. God cares about us and can see our tears when we are hurting
  2. We must not allow God blessing to go to our head and cause to become prideful
  3. We learned that no matter how many bad things we have done in the past we can be restored back to God. However there can still be consequences that we will have to live with because of our sinful past.