Wednesday, 3rd November 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Section V1-8 Walk in the Will of God
V1-2 ‘Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah.’ The grandfather of Hezekiah’s mother Abi was the king of Israel, who did evil in the eyes of God and only reigned for six months. But Abi did not follow her forefathers’ wicked ways when she was married to the kingdom of Judah, instead she changed her ways and followed God.
Children are the inheritance from God, and being a mother, her education for her children are very important. A mother, who fears the Lord, can teach her children to walk in the Will of God. We must believe that when we are willing to follow God, He will lead us; and if we trust Him, He will definitely make the impossible possible. V3-4 ‘And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done. He removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan.’ Hezekiah destroyed the things people relied on for many generations, because he knew it would please God.
V5 ‘He trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him.’ Despite of all the evil things his forefathers did, Hezekiah was determined to follow God, and God blessed him. We should not use our background or old experiences as excuses to not follow God, because no matter what kind of people we were in the past, if we are willing to turn back today, God will lead the way.
V6-7 ‘For he held fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses. The Lord was with him; he prospered wherever he went. And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.’ God can prosper us wherever we go, why do we still doubt? Through Hezekiah, we see how God can turn the environment around for people, who follow Him. Hezekiah did not want to be like his father, he did not want to live in slavery, and he did not want to be oppressed by the enemy. A lot of times we also say to ourselves that we don’t want to be like our parents or grandparents, but if we don’t rely on God then very easily, we will walk in the same way as them.
V8 ‘He subdued the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city.’ When God was with Hezekiah, he was able to defeat the Philistines, who has been an enemy of Judah for many generations. God is able to help us defeat our enemies of many years, maybe our old habits, maybe our past failures, maybe our previous experiences… when we walk in the Will of God, He can turn the situation around and take us to revival.
Section Two V9-12 Rebel from the Will of God
V9-10 ‘Now it came to pass in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it. And at the end of three years, they took it. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is, the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken.’ On the sixth year of Hezekiah’s reign, when he was 31 years old, he saw the defeat of the Kingdom of Israel. Assyria fought Israel for three years and at the end it took down Israel; it must have been a great shock for Hezekiah, as a young man, saw his own brothers destroyed by the enemy.
V11-12 ‘Then the king of Assyria carried Israel away captive to Assyria, and put them in Halah and by the Habor, the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, because they did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, but transgressed His covenant and all that Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded; and they would neither hear nor do them.’ The Israelites rebelled against God for many generations, God continued to give them opportunity to turn back, but at the end they still followed the wicked ways and finally the judgement came upon them. They were completely defeated.
Section Three V13-37 The Test Comes
At the sixth years of Hezekiah’s reign, he saw the defeat of the kingdom of Israel because they did not follow the laws of Moses. Therefore, he did a lot of things, trying to follow the laws of Moses because he did not want to walk in the same way as the Israelites. Hezekiah tried to please God, but he was in a ‘doing’ mode; he wanted to make himself a ‘holy king’ and from 31 to 39 years old, Hezekiah strived to do everything according to the laws of Moses.
V13 ‘And in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them.’ Hezekiah thought if he did everything God commanded, he would not walk in the same path as the Israelites. So, when Assyria came, Hezekiah must’ve felt disappointed, because he thought he had been doing so many things for God in the past years yet the enemy still came. Therefore, when the enemy came, Hezekiah used his own way to face him.
V14 ‘Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; turn away from me; whatever you impose on me I will pay.” And the king of Assyria assessed Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold.’ We are also like Hezekiah, a lot of times, we thought we are doing everything according to the teaching of God, we worked so hard for God, but bad things still came to us. We don’t realise that we are still walking in our own way, we think we are following God but in fact, we do not really seek God. At the end we give up on God and give in to the enemy.
V15-16 ‘So Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasuries of the king’s house. At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.’ Hezekiah ended up giving the king of Assyria the gold and silver from the Temple of God, his action showed that he had given up on following God and stopped trusting God. Do we do the things we do for something in return? Or do we really do it for God with our true being and a willing heart?
V17-18 ‘Then the king of Assyria sent the Tartan, the Rabsaris, and the Rabshakeh from Lachish, with a great army against Jerusalem, to King Hezekiah. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. When they had come up, they went and stood by the aqueduct from the upper pool, which was on the highway to the Fuller’s Field. And when they had called to the king, Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came out to them.’ The king of Assyria was proud, he sent people to come up to Jerusalem and tried to use words to slander him and insult the kingdom of Judah. So Hezekiah sent his trusted people, Eliakim, Shebna and Joah, who feared the Lord, to face the enemy.
V26 ‘Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; and do not speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.”’ The enemy used prideful and hurtful words to put Hezekiah down, and even when the men of Hezekiah asked him to speak in a language the people of Judah could not understand, Rabshakeh refused, because his whole purpose was to slander the king in front of his people. The devil wants to destroy our faith in God and in our leaders, they will use every way to lure us into their traps.
Rabshakeh continued to shout and told the people of Judah to rebel against Hezekiah, he offered them bribery to surrender to the king of Assyria. The world will entice us and lead us into destruction, we must see lightly of the world and see the abundant life of eternity. V36 ‘But the people held their peace and answered him not a word; for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.”’ The people stopped fighting back in their own way, they decided not to respond to the words of the enemy. Can we also stay silent in front of the enemy, stop fighting back on our own and let God avenge for us?
V37 ‘Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.’ They knew the words of the enemy were against God, therefore, they were willing to humble before God, they torn their clothes and surrendered to God. Their actions changed Hezekiah and woke him up to see the truth. It’s our choice, which determines if we will be revived or defeated. God’s Will for us is always good, He wants to give us peace and hope, but when the environment comes against us, do we still believe God is on our side?
列王纪下 18 – 复兴与败亡
V6 “耶和华所吩咐摩西的诫命”- 圣经提醒我们要顺服神给我们在地上的权柄。
V8 赶除非利士人是神长久以来对以色列人的心意，当人离开神的时候，这件事就一直没有成就，直到希西家，他明白神的旨意，就能靠神得胜，击败仇敌。复兴不是一个想法，而是一个行动。当我们愿意走在神的旨意中，过往那些我们的强敌 – 比如多年的坏习惯、曾经的失败经历等等，都能被打败。
V13-16 当我们说要走在神的旨意里时，考验就会来临，因为仇敌不会希望看见我们复兴，而地狱的门是敞开的，天堂的门是狭窄的。希西家看到自己母亲那边的国家因为没有遵守神的话就经历败亡，于是就发奋图强，做很多事情要跟妈妈的娘家那边划清界限（V4），想成为一个圣洁的王，得到神的保守，避免自己经历国破家亡。然而，在他当王第14年，亚述王竟然还是来攻取了犹大的坚固城。努力遵行摩西律法的希西家经历到跟以色列国类似的下场，此时他对神的信心一定是备受打击的。他可能会觉得自己的努力是没用的，用尽一切办法都无法达到神的标准，于是就“差人往拉吉去见亚述王，说：‘我有罪了。。。’”- 希西家没有向神认罪，没有倚靠神，没有去圣殿找祭司或先知，他走在一个自我控诉的光景里，因此到现在就疲惫了。希西家一直走在“doing”里面，他为神做的事都不是他的“being”。做了如此多遵行神律法的事最后还是落到跟自己父亲一样的后果，这份挫败一定让他对神很生气，甚至“把耶和华殿里和王宫府库里所有的银子…… 耶和华殿门上的金子和他自己包在柱上的金子都刮下来，给了亚述王”。
V17-18 亚述王差遣几个使者来跟希西家说话，而希西家派出了自己很信任的“希勒家的儿子家宰以利亚敬，并书记舍伯那和亚萨的儿子史官约亚”去迎接亚述来的使者。“以利亚敬”名字意思是“耶和华建立”， “约亚”的意思是“耶和华是我兄弟”，说明这两个人是很敬虔的人。
V36 我们不要凭自己的聪明去反击, 要单单倚靠神。