Series: Guest Preachers

All the Treasure in Israel

June 23, 2024

Passage: 2 Kings 20:1-13

ALL SERMONS IN SERIES

Summary 

Are we in the habit of praying to the Lord and recognizing his answers to our prayers?  It was an amazing time in the history of the Southern Kingdom of Judah.  Hezekiah was a good king.  Isaiah was prophesying – one of the best kings ever – one of the greatest prophets ever.  There was also one of the worst adversaries ever - the Assyrian Empire. 

            In those days this Hezekiah became proud.  In those days this Hezekiah became very sick and was at the point of death.  Hezekiah prayed to the Lord and he answered his prayer and gave Hezekiah restoration of health.  Hezekiah asked for a sign that this would happen and the Lord caused the shadow to return ten steps on the stairs his father Ahaz had built.  This was a global event as the princes of Babylon sent envoys to inquire about it.  Hezekiah misslead them about the true treasure of Israel.  He showed them all of his wealth!  He did not point them towards Isaiah the prophet or toward the proper worship of the Living God in the temple. 

            Is our hope the same as the hope of everyone else in the world?  Or are we living in such a way that others can see that our hope is in the Lord.

 

Transcript   

Almost 5 months later…  On one level, this text is about TIME.  God made time go back. 

How many times is this recoded in Scripture?  It is unusual – three times.  2 Kings (primary history – written before the exile) 2 Chronicles (Retelling of the history, written after the exile) and the Book of Isaiah.

Hezekiah was a very good king.  He did what was right according to all that David his father had done.  His father, Ahaz, was very wicked.  He even burned his son as a burnt  offering on an altar to an idol.  Hezekiah removed the altars to the idols.  He cleansed the temple and restored temple worship.  He organized the celebration of Passover.  We are told that since the time of Solomon there had not been anything like this Passover Celebration. 

            It was an amazing time in the history of the Southern Kingdom of Judah.  Isaiah was prophesying – one of the Best Kings ever – one of the Greatest Prophets ever.  Worst Adversary - the Assyrian Empire. 

            But even greater salvation when God answered Hezekiah’s prayer and the angel of the Lord struck down 185,000 of the Assyrians who were attacking them. 

            In those days this Hezekiah became proud.

            In those days this Hezekiah became very sick and was at the point of death.

This morning we are going to look at Hezekiah’s Health, we’re going to look at the Sign he Received and we are going to consider the True Treasure in Israel.

I would like to propose that: Jesus Christ is the True Treasure in Israel:  The prophetic word was Hezekiah’s treasure… 

Hezekiah’s Health – He had a terminal case of pride??? 

Great pride goes before a great fall.

Hezekiah was mostly dead

             The valley of the Shadow of Death

In the middle of his life he was being cut down.  He was only 39 and had only reigned 14 years so far.  There was such a great work to do and he was so zealous for the work!!

But he was cut down – he was at the “point of death” when God sent Isaiah to tell him to put his house in order…  You will not recover!

Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord.

            Was this like going into his closet to pray – a good thing.  Or was it like sulking in a corner – a sign of a bad attitude?  We’re not sure.  But he wept bitterly and he PRAYED.  He had a history and a habit of praying.  And God had a history of answering his prayer.

>> Do you have a habit of prayer?  A history of finding God answers prayer?

            Like our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane – Hezekiah prayed with tears.  God answered immediately – before Isaiah gone out of the middle court the Lord told him to return to Hezekiah. 

            Two kings of Israel, Jeroboam and Ahaziah, were told by the Lord that they were about to die.  Both of them were wicked.  Both of them died. 

            Did God change his mind?  God knew ahead of time that Hezekiah was going to turn to him in prayer.  The Holy Spirit inclined him to do it!  God ordained that turning Hezekiah to prayer would be used to bring healing.  God uses whatever means he wants .

And Isaiah would be used to bring healing.  And a cake of figs would be used to bring healing.  And Jesus spit on the ground and made some mud and the mud was used to bring sight to the blind. 

>> The Lord uses means…  But all healing if from the Lord.

            A few weeks ago:  Time is a creature – a servant of the Lord.  Diseases are servants of the Lord.  They come when he calls.  They leave when he orders them to leave.

Hezekiah was in the valley of the shadow of death and

             The miraculous recovery

The Lord God of David told the Leader of his people:   I have HEARD, and I have SEEN.

I have heard your prayers and seen your tears.  I will HEAL you.  On the third day you will go up to the temple – complete healing – ready to join the throng of worshipers.      And… I will add 15 more years to your life.  Doubling the time he reigned as king.

            And… I will deliver uou and this city from the Assyrians for my own sake and for my servant David’s sake read for Jesus Christ’s sake.  For the sake of MY coming King.

“Hezekiah, you will recover!”

He received a sign

             Show me a Sign!                  Hezekiah ASKED for a Sign          

Was this sign of unbelief?  I don’t think so.  God has often been glorified by giving signs when he was about to do something amazing.  Hezekiah remembered how displeased God was with his father for refusing to ask for a sign. 

Isaiah 7.  Through Isaiah the Lord told Ahaz that he would deliver him from Syria and the Northern Kingdom of Israel who had joined together to fight against Judah. (Isaiah had been the prophet for his Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather) 

7:10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz: 11 “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.” 13 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Hezekiah ASKED for a Sign          

>> “Lord, give me a SIGN!” 

                        This is not the application.  Rather; Believe the Lord.  Do not disregard the Lord or his word to you.  “What is the Lord’s word to me?”  “Take it up and read!

            Ahaz, his father had built stairs probably with the purpose of marking time. 

            Picture Hezekiah lying by his window watching the shadow lengthening on the stairs his father had built – The sun was inexorably going down.  Hezekiah was sinking down into darkness – into death. 

20:9 And Isaiah said, “This shall be the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that he has promised: shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?”

             The shadow went back       on the steps his Father made.

Make the Shadow go back up the steps!!!  I don’t want it to get dark now!  The shadow is lengthening in my life!  I’m dying.  It would be easy for the shadow to keep lengthening.  Make it go back!  God gave him a sign in heaven as well as on earth. 

            The shadow went back 10 steps.  Maybe the steps measured 30 minutes?  Matthew Henry “Maybe it was noon.  Shall the sun go back to its place at 7:00 am or advance to its place at 5:00 in the evening?”

            Hezekiah saw it through his window.  It seems that it was observed on all other sun dials as well as the King of Babylon sent envoys with letters and a present. They heard he had recovered from his Death experience.  And that this was associated with the recent sign in the heavens.  2 Chron says they came to find out about the sign.  They were Sun worshippers.  Their God honored Hezekiah???

            God intervened in the normal processes of the world.

>> How big is your God?  How big is your Jesus? 

            How big of a treasure is his word??

He miss-identified his treasure

             He was proud of his wealth

He would be able to continue in his Solomon-like existence for 15 more years.

2 Chron 32:23 And many brought gifts to the LORD to Jerusalem and precious things to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations from that time onward.

2 Chron 32:27 And Hezekiah had very great riches and honor, and he made for himself  treasuries for silver, for gold, for precious stones, for spices, for shields, and for all kinds of costly vessels; 28 storehouses also for the yield of grain, wine, and oil; and stalls for all kinds of cattle, and sheepfolds. 29 He likewise provided cities for himself, and flocks and herds in abundance, for God had given him very great possessions. 30 This same Hezekiah closed the upper outlet of the waters of Gihon and directed them down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works. 31 And so in the matter of the envoys of the princes of Babylon, who had been sent to him to inquire about the sign that had been done in the land, God left him to himself, in order to test him and to know all that was in his heart.

            Isaiah asked, 20:16 “What have they seen in your house?” And Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.”

16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD: 17 Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the LORD. 18 And some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” 19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “Why not, if there will be peace and security in my days?”

2 Chron 32:25 But Hezekiah did not make return according to the benefit done to him,

for his heart was proud.

                        Did Hezekiah, show them the temple, the book of the law, and how we worship.  He didn’t take them to Isaiah who was no doubt the greatest treasure he had in his kingdom. 

            Did his treasures heal him?

It was Isaiah’s prayers for him that brought his healing – brought the shadow back up the steps. 

>> Pride is insidious.   Hezekiah’s achievements were considerable.  Besides his religious reforms he is one of the few kings of that era to oppose Assyria and live to urle another day.  He prepared for the siege by bringing water into the city through an underground channel.  Probably his main failure was his inability to prepare Manasseh his son to be a King like himself. 

Hezekiah miss-identified his treasure He was proud of his wealth

Discounted the true treasure of Israel:

            The REAL treasure              He minimized the Gospel of Christ

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.  It had been 46 years since the year that Uziah died.  Isaiah had been the prophet for Hezekiah’s father, his grandfather and his great-grandfather. 

** John Piper – Why don't people ask us about our hope? The answer is probably that we look as if we hope in the same things they do. 

>> Is your treasure/hope in you 401k? 

            Is your treasure/hope in your health and good looks?

Time and disease are his servants.

The preached word and the Gospel lived out

            Our hope is in the living God who builds up valleys, knocks down that mountain, straightens what is crooked in your life and Brings Back the Shadow. Who did not withhold his only Son.

 

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Series Information

When Pastor Peter is away Second City Church is blessed to hear other men God has gifted to preach.

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