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!
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