Oh visuals….how I missed you!!
So this reading is going to be VERY familiar…we read it in Isaiah 37 so we can read it in 2 Kings and recall where we are in History.
Hezekiah is king. He restored the Temple. Consecrated the furniture. Cerebrated the Passover Feast….Life is Good!! God blesses Judah’s faithfulness with riches.
Well, life is good for the southern nation, Judah. Israel has been taken captive and the capital has been taken over by Assyria.
Hezekiah, the king of Judah is given a message that he will die. It is time for Judah to begin their Judgement as prophesied in Isaiah. We know Babylon will take them captive. However, a sign was given that the sun’s shadow will go back 15 steps as a sign that he will also push back time for Judgement. The diplomats of Babylon come and visit Hezekiah (after his battle victories, Babylon was probably seeking an ally against Assyria (totally game of thrones going on here) and Hezekiah shows him all they were blessed with…(was he showing off God or his wealth?)
and then the Lord says:
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.”
(a Eunuch as a man that has been castrated so that he can be a slave or employed to work in the the palace without fear of having a “date night” with the ladies in the palace). If you think about it symbolically, God was making “Judah a Eunuch” by cutting them off from the Land they were to prosper and populate.
Chapter 21: Hezekiah’s son becomes King…Manasseh
Oh the apple fell far from the tree!! He goes down in History as one of the WORST kings! How can you remember this?? Manasseh!
- Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king
- He did evil in the eyes of the Lord
- 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 hosts and worshiped them.
- He built altars in the temple of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem I will put my Name.”
- 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.
- Manasseh led the people astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites.
12 Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. 13 I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line used against Samaria and the plumb line used against the house of Ahab. I will wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14 I will forsake the remnant of my inheritance and give them into the hands of enemies. They will be looted and plundered by all their enemies; 15 they have done evil in my eyes and have aroused my anger from the day their ancestors came out of Egypt until this day.”
And then we have Ammon…like father like son….