Today’s tasting: 2 Kings 20-21
Chapter 20: 1In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”
2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
The Lord shows Isaiah how to save Hezekiah’s life. He is blessed with 15 more years of life.
After Hezekiah’s recovery, he receives an envoy from Babylon. As they visit, he shows them all of his riches and worldly wealth.
16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: 17 The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord. 18 And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”
19 “The word of the Lord you have spoken is good,” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?”
Chapter 21: Hezekiah’s son, Manasseh, becomes king at the age or twelve.
2 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lordhad driven out before the Israelites. 3 He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hostsand worshiped them. 4 He built altars in the temple of the Lord, of which theLord had said, “In Jerusalem I will put my Name.” 5 In the two courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts. 6 He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.
The Lord says that Judah and Jerusalem will see disaster from their disobedience.
Amon, Mannasseh’s son, becomes the king at the age of 22. He follows his fathers footsteps.
21 He followed completely the ways of his father, worshiping the idols his father had worshiped, and bowing down to them. 22 He forsook the Lord, the God of his ancestors, and did not walk in obedience to him.
Today’s Nourishment: I want to share the “NIV: Life Application Study Bible’s” summary of King Hezekiah. I think it perfectly sums up his accomplishments and weaknesses.
Accomplishments: “As a reformer, Hezekiah was most concerned with present obedience. Judah was filled with visual reminders of people’s lack of trust in God and Hezekiah boldly cleaned house … The temple in Jerusalem, whose doors had been nailed shut by his own father was cleaned out and reopened… there was revival in Judah.”
Weaknesses: “Although he had a natural inclination to respond to the present problems, Hezekiah’s life shows little evidence of concern about the future. He took few actions to preserve the effects of his sweeping reforms. … His successful efforts made him proud. His unwise display of wealth to the Babylonian delegation got Judah included on the Babylon’s “Nations to Conquer” list. When Isaiah informed Hezekiah of the foolishness of his act, the kings’ answer displayed his persistent lack of foresight – he was thankful that any evil consequences would be delayed until after he died.”
A great life lesson can be learned from these chapters – our obedience, faith and dedication to the Lord must be preserved and shared in our lives.
Hezekiah had an opportunity to praise God for his success. He had an opportunity to share his testimony and his faith in the Lord with the Babylonians and his family so that his legacy of a revived Judah could prevail.
I pray that we will give credit to God for our blessings and share that great truth when opportunities arise. He is the Protector, Provider and All-Loving Father. Let us share a community of gratitude and give credit where credit is due!
Salk Lake City, UT