Faithlife Sermons

2 Kings 20

Notes
Transcript

Verse 1

This is recorded in Isaiah 38 as well.
Those days - Timing - When the Assyrians were still invading Judah. When we look at verse 6 we see that the Assyrians are still a threat when all of this takes place.
So Hezekiah the greatest king Judah had since King David is fighting for his own life while Judah is fighting for its life as a country.
Hezekiah was 39 when this sickness hit him. In chapter 18 we learned...
2 Kings 18:2 ESV
He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah.
And in verse 6 we read
2 Kings 20:6 ESV
and I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city for my own sake and for my servant David’s sake.”
So when we do the math we find that Hezekiah is about 39 when this illness that he is told he is going to die from this illness.

Verses 2-3

He turned his face. It could be taken a couple different ways. Either Hezekiah was so sick that he just wanted some privacy or he was trying to spend uninterrupted time in prayer about his illness.
We may think that Hezekiah’s prayer seems a bit self righteous but it is not in the context of the old covenant.
In these days blessing and cursing was relative to obedience or disobedience as you might remember from when we studied the law and specifically Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28.

Verses 4-7

Hezekiah died in 686 BC so this took place in 701 BC although I’m sure you guys already knew that haha.
If you look at verse 6 it seems that God is telling Hezekiah that he can be assured God would deliver Jerusalem from the Assyrians by the fact that God would first heal Hezekiah.

Verses 8-11

Look at the grace of God here. Hezekiah is deathly sick, the nation he is king over is under attack from an enemy that they cannot possibly beat if it is a fight of army against army and when Hezekiah asked God for a sign, God gave him one!
That kinda blows my mind because God could have just said “I told you it will happen and that’s all you need”. But instead God graciously gives the hurting Hezekiah the sign he so desperately sought.
In fact the sign was such that only God could do it. No doubt this gave Hezekiah great hope, faith, and peace in such a difficult season of life.
So now the sign given is a reminder and picture of the grace of God. As the sun went backward allowing more time in the day it was confirmation that God would heal Hezekiah and spare Judah and now both Hezekiah and the nation would also have more time as well.
In Isaiah’s account of this event we learn that Hezekiah responded with this...
Isaiah 38:9–20 ESV
9 A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, after he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness: 10 I said, In the middle of my days I must depart; I am consigned to the gates of Sheol for the rest of my years. 11 I said, I shall not see the Lord, the Lord in the land of the living; I shall look on man no more among the inhabitants of the world. 12 My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me like a shepherd’s tent; like a weaver I have rolled up my life; he cuts me off from the loom; from day to night you bring me to an end; 13 I calmed myself until morning; like a lion he breaks all my bones; from day to night you bring me to an end. 14 Like a swallow or a crane I chirp; I moan like a dove. My eyes are weary with looking upward. O Lord, I am oppressed; be my pledge of safety! 15 What shall I say? For he has spoken to me, and he himself has done it. I walk slowly all my years because of the bitterness of my soul. 16 O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these is the life of my spirit. Oh restore me to health and make me live! 17 Behold, it was for my welfare that I had great bitterness; but in love you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back. 18 For Sheol does not thank you; death does not praise you; those who go down to the pit do not hope for your faithfulness. 19 The living, the living, he thanks you, as I do this day; the father makes known to the children your faithfulness. 20 The Lord will save me, and we will play my music on stringed instruments all the days of our lives, at the house of the Lord.
Now you might think that Hezekiah would have humbled himself before God and taken the gift of God for himself and his nation seriously and truly lived for the Lord but sadly we learn from the account in 2 Chronicles 32 that Hezekiah became proud for a season and that caused serious repercussions for the nation...
2 Chronicles 32:24–31 ESV
24 In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death, and he prayed to the Lord, and he answered him and gave him a sign. 25 But Hezekiah did not make return according to the benefit done to him, for his heart was proud. Therefore wrath came upon him and Judah and Jerusalem. 26 But Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah. 27 And Hezekiah had very great riches and honor, and he made for himself treasuries for silver, for gold, for precious stones, for spices, for shields, and for all kinds of costly vessels; 28 storehouses also for the yield of grain, wine, and oil; and stalls for all kinds of cattle, and sheepfolds. 29 He likewise provided cities for himself, and flocks and herds in abundance, for God had given him very great possessions. 30 This same Hezekiah closed the upper outlet of the waters of Gihon and directed them down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works. 31 And so in the matter of the envoys of the princes of Babylon, who had been sent to him to inquire about the sign that had been done in the land, God left him to himself, in order to test him and to know all that was in his heart.

Verses 12-13

At that time - after Hezekiah is healed by the Lord and the Assyrians have been sent away from Jerusalem.
That fact that the king of Babylon’s son Merodach-baladan came may indicate a political allegiance being offered to Judah with Babylon in an attempt for both nations to strengthen themselves against Assyria.
In those days Babylon was not yet a full blown superpower, but Assyria certainly was.
Josephus tells us that the Babylonians came to make political and military alliance with judah against Assyria...
The Works of Josephus: New Updated Edition Chapter 2: How Hezekiah Was Sick, and Ready to Die, and How God Bestowed upon Him Fifteen Years Longer Life (and Secured that Promise), by the Going Back of the Shadow Ten Degrees

2. (30) At this time it was that the dominion of the Assyrians was overthrown by the Medes; but of these things I shall treat elsewhere. But the king of Babylon, whose name was Baladan, sent ambassadors to Hezekiah with presents, and desired he would be his ally and his friend. (31) So he received the ambassadors gladly, and made them a feast, and showed them his treasures, and his armory, and the other wealth he was possessed of, in precious stones, and in gold, and gave them presents to be carried to Baladan, and sent them back to him.

Now look at verse 13 again and remember what we read from the account in 2 Chronicles...
2 Chronicles 32:27–28 ESV
27 And Hezekiah had very great riches and honor, and he made for himself treasuries for silver, for gold, for precious stones, for spices, for shields, and for all kinds of costly vessels; 28 storehouses also for the yield of grain, wine, and oil; and stalls for all kinds of cattle, and sheepfolds.
Please take note that the reason Hezekiah is showing all his riches is because he is showing off in a prideful way as we will see from what Isaiah will say in the next couple verses.
We already read that Hezekiah had become proud after God graciously spared his life and the nation of Judah, and here we see the results of that pride.
Notice what Hezekiah showed them..
all HIS treasure house…all that was found in HIS storehouses, his his his
Hezekiah was blinded by and fooled by his pride. It was all the Lord’s not Hezekiah’s.
But even more than that. This was a huge missed opportunity.
Hezekiah was so busy showing the Babylonians all of his stuff in his house but what he should have been doing was telling them about God’s riches of mercy, grace, healing, deliverance, favor, and power.
Hezekiah missed the opportunity to tell the Babylonians about the true and living God. He was too busy showing off what he thought he accomplished and gained forgetting that it was God who protected him and provided for him.

Verses 14-18

It would still be another hundred years or so before the Babylonians would come and carry off all the treasure of Judah, but they would indeed come and carry it away along with the people.

Verses 19-21

The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good - there are 2 schools of thought on this.
Either Hezekiah is selfish and takes this as good news since it won’t happen in his lifetime, or Hezekiah is humbled and is just grateful that God gave a word about the situation.
Hezekiah’s Tunnel - Was an incredible project! I have had the opportunity to walk through it with a small headlamp on.
Hezekiah built a tunnel to bring fresh water into the city of Jerusalem to keep the people and animals alive in case of a seige.
The tunnel is just over 650 yards long and was chiseled out of solid rock. What makes the project so amazing is that the builders started on opposite sides and met in the middle. All without any modern technology for the chiseling or navigation of the diggers. The tunnel fills the pool of Siloam.
2 Kings 3. Hezekiah’s Curious Reaction and the End of His Reign (19–21)

“An inscription in cursive Hebrew of the early eighth century B.C. details the work:” ‘When (the tunnel) was driven through while (the quarrymen were swinging their) axes, each man towards the other and, while there was still 3 cubits to be cut through (there was heard) the voice of a man calling to his fellow, for there was a crevice (?) on the right … and when the tunnel was (finally) driven through, the quarrymen hewed each towards the others, axe against axe. Then the waters flowed from the Spring to the Pool for 1,200 cubits and the height of the rock above the head(s) of the quarrymen was 100 cubits.’ ” (Wiseman)

Rested with his fathers -
Hezekiah started out well against all odds, but he didn’t finish well, and in fact his son Manasseh will turn out to be the most wicked king in the history of Judah up to that point in their history.
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