2 Kings 18, finally a good king: Hezekiah
Verse 1- 4 tell us that he, "did what was right in the eyes of the Lord," and that he "broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made..." It is the bronze snake that Moses made that I would like to speak about now. Do you remember the story? All that looked on the pole of the snake would be SAVED (see Numbers 21:9) in the story with Moses. It's origin was to HELP people, but guess what people did.
Verse 4 tells us that the Israelites had been burning incense to it, and given it a name? Nehushtan (also verse 4) My personal comprehension of this would be that they attributed it as worthy of some kind of worship. I assume this is why the good king Hezekiah smashed it.
Now verse 5-9 give every indication that Hezekiah had it all together before the Lord. From my friend biblegateway.com:
A Big Uh-oh !!
But remember, no one is perfect. Uh-oh, seems some trouble brewed even in the good king Hezekiah's politics. To be somewhat specific, verse 14 tells of the king of Assyria basically squeezing Hezekiah for pay off money and, double, triple, infinity terrible, Hezekiah robs even the temple of the Lord as well as the treasuries of the royal palace, like to the tune of taking off the gold which covered the doors and the doorposts of the temple, to give it to the king of Assyria.
Not surprising, this does not even fix the state of affairs. In fact it just seems to get worse with the king of Assyria basically coming back for more and ridiculing and discrediting the king and their God. He seems to poke fun of their relationship with Egypt and outright insult their faith in the one true Holy God. (2 Kings 18: 17-35)
Interestingly after the king of Assyria insulted their faith, their king, and just about everything about their life, their land, THEN he went on to paint a pretty picture of how wonderful their life would be if they would follow him!! (v. 31-32)
Unbelievable, huh? or not. How typical is this of people who are power hungry?
Another very sad report is in verse 36:
"But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply..."
Will Solution Come?
No one knew a solution. No one spoke faith or wisdom. This Assyrian king walked all over them with his ranting and ridicule. The chapter ends as a cliff hanger with King Hezekiah's advisors and representatives reporting back to him in dispair and worry torn clothes (v.37). What will come next? Stacey will be covering the next chapters. Will you read with us, and join the discussion?
What lessons do you see in these recent chapters?
Do you surmise that the worshipful behavior towards the bronze snake, evolved slowly? How do you guess it may have happened?
Do you think the focus on the bronze snake (which was originally meant for good) became a stumbling stone in people's relationship with God?
Are there things in our own life that were intended for good but which can be perverted or over-emphasized, and become a stumbling block on our walk with God?
I wonder why no one rose and spoke FAITH and strength in this political crisis? Does it make a difference what people SAY if they are NOT linked to God?
Oh Father, I am just in awe of the history you have preserved for us. So much to learn from. May we hear from your Holy Spirit, and recognize our path in your perfect will. Use us each to do YOUR Will, Your way. Let us speak words from you, and NOT pervert and make bad, something intended for good. To You we give all glory and honor, and it is in our savior's name, our Redeemer's name that we pray, in Christ Jesus, Amen