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II Kings 20 – A Fine Line Between Blessings and Curses 列王纪下 20 – 祸福一线之间

Friday, 5th November 2021

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon

Section One V1-11 Turning from Death to Life

Our decision often changes our lives and the lives of our generations, and our decisions often determine God’s blessings for us. In II Kings 20, we see how the decisions made by Hezekiah changed his life and the lives of his people. V1 ‘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.”’ We saw Hezekiah in the previous chapter tearing off his clothes and coming closer to God’s Heart, but in this chapter, Hezekiah was sick and near death.

A lot of times we would face the same situation. As the ones being called, we assume when we respond to God’s calling, our lives will be smooth, and everything will go well with us. But is this really what will happen? We must know that all the challenges and difficulties we face are not from God, God let them happen, but the causes are us and our sins! God never promised a smooth life, but He promises to be with us in the mountain and in the valley, do we believe in it?

V2-3 ‘Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, “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.’ Hezekiah did not bargain with the man of God, because he knew he could no longer rely on himself. Instead, he faced the wall, cried out in front of God. When he humbled himself, God spoke again through the prophet Isaiah. It would not be easy for Isaiah, who declared Hezekiah’s death and not long after, announced his healing.

V4-6 ‘And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 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. 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.”’

When we are praying, do we really pray from our hearts? Or do we pray for the sake of praying? When we pray out loud, it is not because God needs us to pray out loud so He will hear us, but it’s for us to hear ourselves and stir up our hearts to be truthful and completely open before God. We must have the right attitude when we come before God, and to try everything we can to express ourselves wholeheartedly before God. When we pray, do we seek to hear God? When we hear God, do we seek to hear God’s voice or God’s heartbeat?

V7 ‘Then Isaiah said, “Take a lump of figs.” So they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.’ God used a lump of figs to heal Hezekiah. God can use the simplest way to solve our problems, do not think our ‘doing’ can change anything, do not think all the ‘good things’ we have done can change anything, do not think we can earn salvation… God gives and takes away, He can do anything for us with just one finger, not because of how good we are, but because of His mercy and grace for His people!

V8-10 ‘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?” 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?” 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.”’ Hezekiah had no faith in God, he asked for an impossible sign because he did not believe God would do it for him. What is our faith for God and for our authority? Do we hear and believe, or do we ask for signs after signs but still not believe?

Hezekiah was going to die but because he sought God, God heard him, despite of his unbelief, God gave him another chance for the sake of David and for the sake of His people. Are we willing to turn back and seek God? It does not matter if we are ready or not, if we are willing to take this step forward, God will take His

Section Two V12-15 Failure in Foolishness

V12-13 ‘At that time Berodach-Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been sick. And Hezekiah was attentive to them and showed them all the house of his treasures—the silver and gold, the spices and precious ointment, and all his armoury—all that was found among his treasures. There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.’ Hezekiah did not realise that everything he had was from God, he was showing off his treasures and he was being prideful.

We can very easily fall into prideful-ness, to feel good about the things we do and the things we have, but this will lead to failures and destructions. We must humble ourselves in front of God and in front of men, everyone will make mistakes, and everyone will fail, but we should not hide our own sins, otherwise our sins will rule over us.

Section Three V16-21 God will have Mercy

V16-19 ‘Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: 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. 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.” 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?”’

Why would Hezekiah respond in such way after he heard the prophecy of Isaiah? In II Kings 21:1, we learn that the son of Hezekiah, Manasseh, was twelve years old when he became king. It means that when Hezekiah was sick, he had no son and therefore when Isaiah declared the destruction of the Hezekiah’s children, the king did not take it seriously, because at the time he had no children. But because of God’s promise for David, Hezekiah lived for 15 years more and had children.

Hezekiah did not use his 15 years wisely; he did not see God’s purpose for him and for his children. Hezekiah had been trying to control God all his life, he wanted God to repay him for his ‘good deeds’, he listened to the voices he wanted to hear and refused to listen to the voice he did not want to hear. We must be humble and simple before God, be like a child and only seek His Heart!

列王纪下 20 – 祸福一线之间        

2021年11月5日 星期五




V1 “那时”指的是亚述王攻击犹大的时候(王下19:35-36),就在这个一波未平一波又起的紧要关头,希西家王突然生疮,“病得要死”。先知以赛亚甚至来跟希西家说他需要立遗嘱。面对这样的光景,希西家会如何感受呢?我们人最想过的就是一帆风顺、心想事成的日子,包括我们蒙召的基督徒都会这么想。然而,生活中出状况,不是神的问题,因为生老病死是必然的,但无论高山低谷神都与我们同在,我们是否相信呢?

V2-3 希西家听了以赛亚的话,没有靠自己的方式去解决。他的“痛哭”表明自己专心倚靠神,将最脆弱的一面都呈现在神面前。

V4 神跟神人说什么神人就照做,不管这话有多难。以赛亚才讲完立遗嘱的话出来,就听到神跟他讲不一样的话,他顺服神的吩咐。

V5 神不仅听见希西家的祷告,也看见了他的眼泪。有时我们在祷告中认罪,但我们是否真的打从心里来呼求神,还是只是跟从流程?神不需要我们大声去祷告,而是我们需要让我们的声音叫醒里面冷漠的心。我们在集体敬拜、祷告的时候怀着什么心态?借着呼求、举手、唱歌我们表达出自己对神的爱。看到敬拜主领或主任牧者被圣灵感动而跪下时,我们是否无动于衷?求神帮助我们里面闭塞的管道能被打通,与神的连结是畅通无阻的。我们祈求的重点不只是听神的声音,也要听到神的心跳,让我们与神有心连心的关系。

V6a 为什么神在医治希西家王之后要加添他十五年的寿数?是否只是因为希西家痛哭?答案在本章最后揭晓。

V6b-7 神应许会“为自己和…仆人大卫的缘故”保护耶路撒冷,救犹大脱离亚述王的攻击。希西家在之前的祷告中讲了他曾经为神做的很多事(V3),想要神记住他的doing,以此交换神的拯救。然而,神医治希西家不是因为希西家本人有多好,而是为了神自己和他的众民。神可以用最普通的东西来解决不可能的难题,所以“一块无花果饼”就使王痊愈了。

V8 “上耶和华的殿”指的是到圣殿向神感恩,向众人作见证。希西家对神人的话信心不足,所以求“兆头”来印证。

V9 以赛亚说耶和华必成就他与大卫所立的约,同时又给希西家两个兆头来选择。

V10 希西家其实不相信神人之前说的话,特别选一个更难实现的兆头以确保这件事不会出错。在耶稣时代,有一个百夫长相信只要耶稣说一句话自己手下的兵就病得医治了,我们对我们权柄说的话又有怎样的信心呢?




V13 希西家将自己国家所有的都炫耀给巴比伦使者看。希西家因骄傲而愚昧,没有看到其实犹大国所积蓄的财富、能够四境平安,都是从神而来。我们是否看到我们的能力和得到的一切祝福不是因为自己多厉害,而是有从神而来的恩典?神要击打的就是骄傲的人。我们每一个人都会做错、跌倒,当我们意识到的时候,就要在神和人面前谦卑认罪、悔改。我们需要不断对付我们里面骄傲的根,让神带领我们。


V16 以赛亚一开始就提醒希西家“要听耶和华的话”。

V17-19 为什么希西家在听到他们国家的积蓄会“被掳到巴比伦去”,并且他自己的后代中有“被掳去,在巴比伦王宫里当太监的”这预言之后,竟然在神人面前说这话“岂不是好吗”?从列王纪下后面一章的记载我们知道希西家的儿子玛拿西在登基的时候才“十二岁”(21:1),而本章前面第5节讲到神会给希西家加增“十五年的寿数”,这说明玛拿西是在希西家被医治之后才出生。希西家之前是没有儿子的,所以希西家在听到以赛亚关于他的后代的预言时才会有这样的态度。