Have you ever done something, then seconds later thought, “I shouldn’t have done that!”? Shortly thereafter, you witness the consequences of your actions. That’s really where wisdom should have stepped in and stopped you from making a mistake. But if you lack wisdom, you make foolish decisions.
In 2 Kings 19, we learned that King Hezekiah of Judah was a good and godly King. His loyalty to God saved the Kingdom of Judah from the invading Assyrians — the superpower of the day. Today we continue with King Hezekiah’s story. The first part is a positive one and the last, not so much. Let’s dig in…
2 Kings 20
About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill, and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to visit him. He gave the king this message: “This is what the Lord says: Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.”
2 When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 “Remember, O Lord, how I have always been faithful to you and have served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you.” Then he broke down and wept bitterly.
4 But before Isaiah had left the middle courtyard, this message came to him from the Lord: 5 “Go back to Hezekiah, the leader of my people. Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you, and three days from now you will get out of bed and go to the Temple of the Lord. 6 I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my own honor and for the sake of my servant David.’”
7 Then Isaiah said, “Make an ointment from figs.” So Hezekiah’s servants spread the ointment over the boil, and Hezekiah recovered!
8 Meanwhile, Hezekiah had said to Isaiah, “What sign will the Lord give to prove that he will heal me and that I will go to the Temple of the Lord three days from now?”
9 Isaiah replied, “This is the sign from the Lord to prove that he will do as he promised. Would you like the shadow on the sundial to go forward ten steps or backward ten steps?”
10 “The shadow always moves forward,” Hezekiah replied, “so that would be easy. Make it go ten steps backward instead.” 11 So Isaiah the prophet asked the Lord to do this, and he caused the shadow to move ten steps backward on the sundial of Ahaz!2 Kings 1-11 NLT
God Changed His Mind!
The Lord gave Hezekiah his death sentence. You’re sick and you will soon die. However, Hezekiah, humbled himself again and prayed sincerely. Which begs the question — can we change God’s mind?
Yes and no. God has some plans that are set in stone. Study Bible Prophecy and there are certain events that are going to happen and I really doubt anyone can change God’s mind on them. Yet, some of God’s plans are subject to our input. We don’t know which ones are unalterable and which are until we ask in sincere and humble prayer.
For instance, take the time that Jesus healed the leper….
Large crowds followed Jesus as he came down the mountainside. 2 Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. “Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”
3 Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared.Matthew 8:1-3 NLT
The leper asked, “If it is your will.” And that is what we need to ask whenever we pray for something.
Envoys from Babylon
12 Soon after this, Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent Hezekiah his best wishes and a gift, for he had heard that Hezekiah had been very sick. 13 Hezekiah received the Babylonian envoys and showed them everything in his treasure-houses—the silver, the gold, the spices, and the aromatic oils. He also took them to see his armory and showed them everything in his royal treasuries! There was nothing in his palace or kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.
14 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did those men want? Where were they from?”
Hezekiah replied, “They came from the distant land of Babylon.”
15 “What did they see in your palace?” Isaiah asked.
“They saw everything,” Hezekiah replied. “I showed them everything I own—all my royal treasuries.”
16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Listen to this message from the Lord: 17 The time is coming when everything in your palace—all the treasures stored up by your ancestors until now—will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord. 18 Some of your very own sons will be taken away into exile. They will become eunuchs who will serve in the palace of Babylon’s king.”
19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “This message you have given me from the Lord is good.” For the king was thinking, “At least there will be peace and security during my lifetime.”
20 The rest of the events in Hezekiah’s reign, including the extent of his power and how he built a pool and dug a tunnel to bring water into the city, are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. 21 Hezekiah died, and his son Manasseh became the next king.2 Kings 20: 12-21 NLT
What a selfish response! “At least there will be peace and security during my lifetime.” So, he gets 15 more years of living, which, yes, will be in peace, but he ruins everything for his descendants. This one act of pride and vanity triggered the destruction of Jerusalem and of Solomon’s temple by the Babylonians. The Babylonians were growing in power. They would eventually conquer the Assyrians and become the next superpower. They will conquer, sack and destroy Jerusalem and carry ALL her treasures to Babylon and that includes Daniel and his 3 friends! We’ll meet them down the line.
Remember what Jesus said at the Sermon on the Mount? He could have used Hezekiah as an example!
19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”Matthew 6:19-20 NLT
Where is YOUR treasure?
Do you put God first in everything you do? What are you motives? God IS the God of Miracles! Furthermore, God wants a RELATIONSHIP with YOU! Yes, you!
What are you waiting for?!