2Kings 16-18

Sunday Evening Bible Study

September 8, 2002


We are nearing the time when the northern kingdom of Israel will fall to the Assyrians.  Every king has been bad and it’s getting close to the time of judgment.

The southern kingdom of Judah had been ruled for a long time by Uzziah and then his son Jotham.  It’s time for the next king of Judah.

2Kings 16

:1-4 Ahaz reigns in Judah

:1  Ahaz

Ahaz = “he has grasped”

His parents might have given him his name when he reached out and grasped one of their fingers.

But it can kind of apply to his life, as he was always grasping for things, always the wrong things.

:2  did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD his God,

Ahaz was a BAD king, one of the worst in the southern kingdom.

:3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel

He has followed in the footsteps of the ungodly kings of the northern kingdom of Israel.

Possibly speaking of the golden calves that Jeroboam set up in Dan and Bethel as a substitute for temple worship in Jerusalem.

:3  and made his son to pass through the fire,

This is talking about the worship of Molech, the god of the Ammonites.

The worship of Molech involved using a bronze statue of the god, who had his arms stretched outward.

The little bronze statue was heated in a fire until the metal was red hot.

Then while the chanting grew louder and louder, and the drums grew stronger and stronger, a little baby was placed alive on the red hot arms, and allowed to burn to death.

Actually, the worship of Molech was rather practical.

The people also worshipped other gods, like Baal and Ashtoreth, which often involved sexual immorality in the worship.

And when you've got a loose lifestyle, you end up with extra  unwanted babies.

And Molech worship took care of that.

God did not think highly of Molech worship.

(Lev 20:2-5 KJV)  Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. {3} And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. {4} And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not: {5} Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.

:3  whom the LORD cast out

A reminder that these were the kinds of things that God brought judgment upon the Canaanites for when God gave the land to Israel through Joshua’s conquest.

:4  ... under every green tree.

In other words, he worshipped anything and everything.

He was a “worship gourmet”, or a “religion connoisseur”


Someone once asked Elvis why he wore so many gold religious emblems around his neck.  He had a star of David, a cross, a crescent, etc.
He replied, “I'm not taking any chances, uh-huh, uh-huh”


There is only one way.

The problem is this flies in the face of what the Bible teaches.
(Exo 20:3 KJV)  Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
(John 14:6 KJV)  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
If you’re looking to anything in addition to Jesus Christ, then you’re not trusting in Jesus Christ.


Be different

God wants us to be different from the world.
There are things that the world wants us to be a part of, things that are bringing the judgment of God upon the earth.
(Eph 5:1-8 KJV)  Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; {2} And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. {3} But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; {4} Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. {5} For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. {6} Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. {7} Be not ye therefore partakers with them. {8} For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

:5-9 Ahaz buys help from Assyria

:5 Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to war: and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome him.

Two kings in the north ally together to come against Ahaz.

We have a little more of this story in Isaiah 7.

(Isa 7:1-2 KJV)  And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it. {2} And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.
The people of Judah were terrified by the invading armies.
Their reason for coming against Jerusalem was to take Ahaz out of the picture and set up their own king instead (Is. 7:6).
Though they did not remove Ahaz as they intended, they did cause great damage to Ahaz.

In 2Chronicles 28:6-8, we are told that 120,000 men of Judah were killed, and 200,000 women and children were taken captive to Samaria.

:6  Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria

Elath is the little coastal town 150 miles south of Jerusalem, on the Gulf of Aqaba.

Uzziah had built the city up, after having retaken it from the Edomites (2Ki 14:22)

:7  Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglathpileser

Tiglathpileser – This is the same king of Assyria that came against the northern kingdom in 2Ki.15:19 (known as “Pul”) and took 1,000 talents from Menachem, and then came against the northern kingdom again in 2Ki.15:29, taking many of the northern and eastern cities away from Israel.

It wasn't just because of his troubles with Israel and Syria that he called for help.

In fact, Ahaz had troubles all around him because of his rebellion against the Lord.

(2 Chr 28:16-19 KJV)  At that time did king Ahaz send unto the kings of Assyria to help him. {17} For again the Edomites had come and smitten Judah, and carried away captives. {18} The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the low country, and of the south of Judah, and had taken Bethshemesh, and Ajalon, and Gederoth, and Shocho with the villages thereof, and Timnah with the villages thereof, Gimzo also and the villages thereof: and they dwelt there. {19} For the LORD brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the LORD.
:19  for he made Judah naked – It's not a literal "nakedness", but carries the idea of lack of restraint.

The point?

Ahaz, as the king of Judah, had opened the door to all kinds of idolatry because of his own bad example.
And as a result, the people went downhill fast, and God's judgment came quicker.


Set a good example

A bad example is likely to spread to others.
(1 Cor 5:6 KJV)  Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

If others see you doing some bad thing, and then get away with it, they're likely to say, "Gosh, maybe it's okay to do this ..."

Ahaz’s bad example became the pace-car for the nation’s race downhill.

:9  carried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin.

Kir – Shortened form of Kir Hareseth

A city in Moab, 45 miles southeast of Jerusalem, on the other side of the Dead Sea.

This was one of the policies of the Assyrian Empire. Whenever they conquered a nation, they would take the people away to a foreign land, mixing the nations up, and thus keeping rebellion down, since people were too busy learning to live in a new country.

This was actually a fulfillment of a prophecy given by Amos:

(Amos 1:3-5 KJV)  Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron: {4} But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad. {5} I will break also the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden: and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith the LORD.

:9  the king of Assyria hearkened unto him

It sounds as if everything came out okay, right???

Look again:

(2 Chr 28:20-21 KJV)  And Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria came unto him, and distressed him, but strengthened him not. {21} For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of the LORD, and out of the house of the king, and of the princes, and gave it unto the king of Assyria: but he helped him not.

All Ahaz got out of it was a little false relief.
He actually got distress - he ended up with a huge tax burden from the Assyrians, they never restored any of his cities to him, and in the removal of Syria, there was now nothing standing in the way of Assyria coming down and wiping out the rest of Israel and Judah.


Fleshly help is deceitful.

Ahaz was doing that old thing again, trusting in the flesh instead of trusting in the Lord.
It kind of looked as if it worked, kind of.
But in the end, it hurt him more than helping him.
The worker who starts taking speed to keep up with the load at work.

Sure, he gets through the week, but not only does he wipe out when he comes down, he ends up getting hooked.

The wife who’s going to convert her husband, or straighten him up by nagging at him all the time.

She ends up driving him further from the Lord.

God’s desire is for her to win him with her manner of life, not her mouth (1Pe.3)

It’s handling people with anger, slander, criticism, rather than with prayer, love, grace, and patience

:10-16 Ahaz’ new altar

:10  And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser king of Assyria,

After Tiglathpileser conquered the Syrians and captured the capitol city of Damascus, Ahaz went up to meet the guy that had helped him out.

He meets with the conquering king of Assyria, in the conquered capitol of Syria.

Damascus is north east of Jerusalem, about 140 miles away, as the bird flies.

:10  saw an altar that was at Damascus:

While sight-seeing in Damascus, Ahaz (name means “grasper”), our connoisseur of fine religions came across this awesome looking piece of religious art, a great big altar for making sacrifices to the gods of the Syrians.

We get a little more background on this in the parallel passage:

(2 Chr 28:22-23 KJV)  And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD: this is that king Ahaz. {23} For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel.

:22  in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD


When you’re struggling, don’t make things worse!

Ahaz had been struggling because God had brought the Syrians and Israelites against him because of his idolatry.
But rather than respond in the manner that God desired, which was repentance, he responded by making things worse.
When you take lifesaving classes, one of the things they teach you is to be very careful when you rescue a drowning person.
The tendency of a non-swimmer is to flail their arms around wildly, and what can happen is that they can grab on and actually drown the person trying to rescue them.
Lifeguards are taught (at least I was) if necessary to knock you out if you’re struggling too much, so you dont’ end up drowning them while they’re trying to rescue you.

Instead of fighting God’s work, give in, and it goes much easier!

:23 Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them

It’s kind of interesting to peek inside of Ahaz’s mind.
He’s referring to how when the Syrians came against him (Ahaz), they raked him over the coals.
But he’s also conveniently forgetting that these gods of the Syrians didn’t help them much against Tiglathpileser.

:23  therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me

His way of thinking was, “I’ll try anything that gets the job done!”
His way of testing things was by looking at the results, well, at least the immediate results.


God is more concerned with how things are done, than the immediate results.

There’s lots of times that we fall into the trap of just looking for something that works for now, rather than being concerned with the actual manner in which we do things.
But the dangerous thing is that while some things work for now, they’re dangerous for the long haul.

Parents developing intimacy with kids -

We want to have close relationships with our kids, we want them to like us.

And one thing that works is buying them things.

But I think God would rather have us build intimacy with our kids by spending time doing things with them, reading to them, going places with them, rather than just buying them stuff.

It’s a sad thing in the long run when kids only look to their parents for what their parents can give them.

Developing your business -

There’s lots of ways of cutting corners to just get things done in business.

Not reporting cash transactions or paying taxes - it works for awhile, but it will cause you nothing but trouble!

But the Bible says:

(Rom 13:7 NASB)  Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

:10  and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar,

He sent a copy of the blueprints and specs home to Urijah the priest.

This Urijah is thought to be the high priest.

:11  so Urijah the priest made it against king Ahaz came from Damascus

against - or, “before”

Apparently both Ahaz and now Urijah were in a great hurry to get this altar made.

Ahaz couldn’t wait until he got home to give the priest the plans, and Urijah hurried to get the altar built before Ahaz got back.

:12 And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon.

:12  the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon

It’s probable that one of the priests may have actually offered the sacrifices, since it would have been illegal for anyone but a priest to directly offer a sacrifice.  The priest would be offering the sacrifice for Ahaz.

:13  he burnt his burnt offering ...

(2 Ki 16:13 NLT)  The king presented a burnt offering and a grain offering, poured a drink offering over it, and sprinkled the blood of peace offerings on it.

These were normal kinds of offerings according to the Mosaic law.

It’s just that they’re being done now on the new altar, instead of Solomon’s altar.

:14  he brought also the brasen altar ...

Apparently Urijah the priest had set up the new altar in front of the old altar that Solomon had made. Ahaz didn’t seem to like this arrangement, so he kind of moved the furniture around. He took Solomon’s altar and moved it off to the side on the left, which was the north side of the new altar.

:15  Upon the great altar burn ...

Now Ahaz gives instructions to Urijah on how to be using this new altar.

Note:  The new altar is called “the great altar”, and so it’s either greater in size, or greater in importance to Ahaz, or both.

All the regular sacrifices that would have normally been done on the old altar, are now moved to this newer, “improved” altar.

The daily burnt offerings, the king’s offerings, even all the people’s offerings were now moved to this new altar.

:15  the brazen altar shall be for me to enquire by

The king was now reserving the old altar for his own private use.

to enquire bybaqar - to seek, enquire, consider; look for; reflect

It’s a little unclear as to what he means here. Possibly he was looking for omens, or else he would just use it for his own prayers or something.

:16  Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that king Ahaz commanded.

God had been the original designer of the tabernacle and the temple:

God said to Moses at the building of the tabernacle:

(Exo 27:1 KJV)  And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits.

Even when Solomon built the temple, it was done according to blueprint, God’s blueprint:

(1 Chr 28:11-12 KJV)  Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat, {12} And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things:
(1 Chr 28:19 KJV)  All this, said David, the LORD made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.

Why was it so important to follow God’s design?

Because God’s design had a purpose, to show us what heaven is like:
(Heb 8:5 KJV)  Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.
When we start messing with what God has said about worship, we may be making things look prettier, but we’ve probably messed up the deeper message at the same time.
Moses was not allowed to go into the promised land because he got angry - but there was more, he had blown the picture!

Jesus, our Rock, was struck once, and then all we have to do is speak and out comes living water!


Be careful where you learn to worship from.

Ahaz, the connoisseur learned it from watching the pagans in Damascus.
Urijah learned it from listening to Ahaz.


Falling in love with the world

Ahaz has become enamored with the worldly things of Damascus.
He’s even decided to bring it home with him.
(1 John 2:15-17 KJV)  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. {16} For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. {17} And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.


The true altar

In a sense, God has one altar for our lives, the cross of Jesus.
We should always be careful to keep Jesus front and center in our lives, in “center court” instead of pushing Him off to the side.

:17-18 More Temple changes

:17  Ahaz cut off the borders of the bases

In the temple there were ten lavers for the priests to wash in, and each of these lavers were placed upon bases that had wheels and designs.

:17  took down the sea from off the brasen oxen

Solomon had made a huge brass pool of water, a “sea”, that sat upon the backs of twelve oxen.


Don’t take away from the Word

Ahaz was adding to the Word when he added another altar.
But here he’s cutting things off from God’s design.
We can tend to get so narrow in our vision that we lose sight of all that God has for us.
Stay reading the WHOLE Bible, not just your favorite verses.

:18  the covert for the sabbath ...

(2 Ki 16:18 NLT)  In deference to the king of Assyria, he also removed the canopy that had been constructed inside the palace for use on the Sabbath day, as well as the king's outer entrance to the Temple of the LORD.

Apparently there was some kind of covering erected in the courtyard to shade the king and his retinue when they visited the temple, and this was removed.

Josephus, the Jewish historian records:

“Now this king was so sottish and thoughtless of what was for his own good, that he would not leave off worshipping the Syrian gods when he was beaten by them, but he went on in worshipping them, as though they would procure him the victory; and when he was beaten again he began to honour the gods of the Assyrians; and he seemed more desirous to honour any other gods than his own paternal and true God, whose anger was the cause of his defeat ...” (pg.210)

Whether or not he actually started worshipping the Assyrian gods as well we’re not sure.

But just the same, apparently it was because of the Assyrian king that his own worship was ruined.


What example do you set?

Ahaz is making a statement to the nation by his actions.
He’s saying that it’s not that important that the king would honor Yahweh on the Sabbath.
Do others see you set an example that it is important to read the Bible?  To pray?  To serve the Lord?

:19-20 Ahaz dies

:20  was buried with his fathers in the city of David

Actually, though he was buried in the same city as his fathers, Jerusalem, he was not buried in the place where most of the kings were buried.

(2 Chr 28:27 KJV)  And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, even in Jerusalem: but they brought him not into the sepulchres of the kings of Israel: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.

Apparently there was still some sense of decency among the people in not burying this wicked king in a place of honor.

Extra credit:

Another prophesy of Isaiah is given at the time of Ahaz’ death.  In Isaiah 14:28-32, the Philistines are warned not to get too self-confident with Ahaz’ death.  The next king, Hezekiah, would be tough on the Philistines (2Ki. 18:8).

2Kings 17

:1-6 Israel falls

:1  In the twelfth year of Ahaz

There are some apparent difficulties reconciling this with:

(2 Ki 15:30 KJV)  And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah.

This from Bible Knowledge Commentary:

Ahaz’s reign, which began in 744, included 9 years as vice-regent (744-735), 4 years as coregent with his father Jotham (735-732), and 16 years as principal king (732-715). (Cf. comments on 16:1-2a.) Hoshea began his reign of 9 years in the 20th year of Jotham (15:30), which was 732 b.c. Jotham’s 20 years (750-732) included his 16-year reign (750-735) and 4 years as coregent with Ahaz (735-732). Jotham’s reign from 750 to 732 appears to be 18 or 19 years, but it was considered 20 years because he reigned 18 full years and parts of two other years [1]

:1  Hoshea

I think it’s interesting to look at the name of the guy that’s king when the big judgment finally comes:

Hosea or Hoshea or Oshea = “salvation”

It’s the same name as the guy who brought them into the promised land, Joshua. (Num. 13:16)

Joshua or Jehoshua = “Jehovah is salvation”
It seems Israel’s time in the land started with Joshua, and ended with Hoshea.

It’s also the same as the prophet who wrote the book Hosea. (Hos. 1:1)

Hosea was one of the prophets that foretold the end of the northern kingdom due to their idolatry.

:2  but not as the kings of Israel that were before him.

Though Hoshea was “evil”, he wasn’t as bad as the other guys before him.

He apparently did not worship Baal as some of the kings had done.

He also could not worship the calves of Jeroboam since they had already been carried away by the Assyrians when they came against his predecessor, Pekah (2Ki.15:29).

The Jews also say that he removed the guards that were traditionally stationed on the roads to Jerusalem to keep the Israelites from going to the temple to worship.

:3  Shalmaneser king of Assyria … gave him presents

Also known as Shalmaneser V (727-722 b.c.)

He was the son of Tiglath-pileser, the guy who had been causing so much trouble for Israel, Syria, and Judah.

presentsminchah – gift, tribute, offering, present, oblation, sacrifice, meat offering

Hoshea becomes a “vassal” of Assyria, giving him taxes.

By this time, the northern kingdom was pretty much limited to the area surrounding the city of Samaria.

:4  the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea … to So king of Egypt

Hoshea decided to try and get away with not paying his taxes. Hoshea was trying to get the Egyptians to help him out, but they weren’t much help.

So – Also known as Osorkon IV, (727-716 b.c.).  He was a “so-so” king.  So what?

Hoshea became the prisoner of Shalmaneser.

:6  placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes

Halah, Habor, and Gozan are roughly 400 miles north and east from Samaria, not exactly a move across town.

The area of the Medes were another 350 miles beyond that to the east, past the capitol city of Nineveh.

This was the practice that the Assyrians had developed to help keep their conquered kingdoms from rising up in revolt against them.

Once they captured a nation, they would scatter the people to various other parts of the empire and try to get them to intermarry with other nationalities, destroying any remaining nationalism.

:7-23  Reasons for Israel’s captivity

:7 For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God

This is the reason for the captivity.  God had warned the people that if they ever turned away from Him, that they would eventually be allowed to be captured by another nation and taken away.

(Lev 26:32-33 KJV)  And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. {33} And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.

That was 700 years earlier that God had given that warning.  Now it is coming to pass.

:9  did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God

There are times when we know what is right and wrong, but because we plan on doing it anyway, we do it in secret.

We don’t want anyone to know.

I think we even get the idea that maybe God won’t know either.

(Isa 29:15 KJV)  Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?

Ezekiel had a vision where he took a trip into the imagination of the elders back in Jerusalem.

(Ezek 8:12 KJV)  Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.


Be careful about “secret” things.

If you’re involved in something that you feel you need to keep a secret from those close to you, there’s a good chance it’s wrong.
One of Satan’s best tricks is to isolate us by making us keep things secret.
And once we become enslaved to certain sins, but feel we need to keep it secret, then we become slaves for life.
The answer?
Bring it out into the light.
There’s no need to be in bondage any longer.
I’ve been amazed at how many people in the church are coming out of their closets with certain sins, and experiencing victory and freedom.

:13  the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets

For the 700 years that they had come into the land, God had faithfully and continually sent prophets to warn the people.


God always sends plenty of warning.

You can take this chapter by itself and think, “Gosh, God sure is tough on His people”.
But keep in mind that it took God over 700 years to get to this point.
It took God sending many, many prophets warning the people before the judgment came.


Pay attention to God’s warnings.

God is only concerned for you.

:16  two calves

These were the two calves that Jeroboam had set up when the nation went through their civil war.

:17  used divination and enchantments

divination – actually better translated “witchcraft”.

enchantments – better translated “divination”, which is the practice of trying to discern direction from things like signs, omens, looking at animal livers, etc.; or through contacting evil spirits.

Deut.18:10-11  There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11  Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

:18 none left but the tribe of Judah only.

The Northern Kingdom was completely dismantled.  Only the Southern Kingdom remained.

Actually there were several other tribes that were considered a part of Judah.

Benjamin was considered a part of Judah.

Simeon had their portion inside the tribe of Judah.

Much of the tribe of Levi had also migrated south to be included among Judah as well.

:22 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them;

As we’ve seen, every king of the northern kingdom continued with the worship of the golden calves that Jeroboam had set up.

In the end, it becomes one of the major reasons for why God judges them.

:23  Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day

Unto the day that 2Kings was written, not September of 2002.

:23  Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight

This is one major “time out”.

But it did not have to last.


God’s goal is restoration, not destruction

As we look at chapters like this, we can be consumed with the idea of judgment about sin.
But God has been so patient with the people.
And He provided a way of cutting the judgment short.
God promised that if the people would humble themselves and come back to God, that He would remember them and restore them.
(Lev 26:39-42 KJV)  And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them. {40} If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; {41} And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: {42} Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.

:24-41  Foreign nations brought in

:24  men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim,

Part of the grand Assyrian plan to mix the nations up to keep nationalistic fervor down.

As these people mix in with the few remaining Israelites, the result was the race known as the Samaritans.

:25  the LORD sent lions among them

I kind of like this actually.


God can take care of Himself.

We so often feel like we have to try and help God out and defend Him.
And there is a proper time to defend our faith in the Lord.
But God is quite able all by Himself to get His point across.
We saw it when the Israelites faced the Philistines.
1Sam.4 - Israel thought if they had their favorite “good luck charm” with them, maybe they’d beat the Philistines for once.

So they took the Ark of the Covenant into battle with them.

God is not about to let us treat Him like a “good luck charm”, so He allowed the Israelites to lose, even losing the Ark to the Philistines.

1Sam.5 - the Philistines thought they’d put the Ark into the temple of their god, Dagon, to show who was really boss.

But when they got up in the morning, their god had fallen over in front of the Ark.

So they put their god back up on his seat again.

God can take care of Himself just fine, thank you.
Though God may choose to use you some times, sometimes it’s really best if we just stay out of His way!

:26  know not the manner of the God of the land:

They figured that this “god” of the land must need to be appeased some way, and so they figured they’d have to secure the proper good luck charms to be safe in the land.

:28  one of the priests ... dwelt in Bethel ...

They bring back one of the Israelite priests to teach them the tricks of the land, and how to relate to this god, Yahweh.

If this priest was originally from Bethel (and it’s a good bet he was, since that’s where he settles), it’s more than likely that he was one of the priests over the golden calf worship that Jeroboam had set up, one of which was located in Bethel.

:30 And the men of Babylon made Succothbenoth

We aren’t real sure just who or what some of these gods were.  But everyone brought their favorite god with them.

:32  made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high places

They did just as Jeroboam had done (1Ki. 12:31)

This is a common misunderstanding of ministry.

Somehow people get the idea that ministry is something you should consider if you can’t do anything else.

Yes, God does use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.

But those in ministry ought to be the ones setting an example for others to follow.

They ought to be the ones ahead of the pack when it comes to following after God.

:41  So these nations feared the LORD, and served their graven images

So these pagan nations that were brought in mixed together both the worship of Yahweh, along with the worship of all their other gods.


All or nothing

These people were trying to have the best of both worlds, yet in reality they had none of either.
They wanted to keep all their old gods.
They also wanted to just “add” this new god, Yahweh.
Some of the most miserable people in the world are those who want to follow the Lord, but aren’t willing to do it completely.
When Thomas Aquinas visited Rome, and was shown the gorgeousness of the papal palace, the pope, it is said, remarked to him, “Well, Thomas, the church in our day can not say, Silver and gold have I none. “
“No,” replied Aquinas, “neither can she say, In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” 

2Kings 18

:1-6  Hezekiah’s reforms

:1  Hezekiah the son of Ahaz

Hezekiah = “Jehovah is my strength”

:4  he removed the high places …

Hezekiah brought about a lot of reforms in the nation of Judah.

You get a full list of the things he did in 2Chronicles 29-30

He cleaned, repaired, and refurbished the Temple.
He reinstituted the ritual sacrifices.
He brought the Priests and Levites back to work.
He gathered the people together to celebrate a Passover.  It hadn’t been celebrated as fully as this since the time of Solomon (2Chr. 30:26).

In addition to the restoration of the proper worship of Yahweh, Hezekiah destroyed all idolatry and even destroyed the “high places”, some of which may have been for the worship of Yahweh, but of which God had wanted destroyed.  God only wanted to be worshipped at the Temple in Jerusalem (Deut. 12).

:4 brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made…and he called it Nehushtan.

In Numbers 21 we have a story where the people had been complaining about their food and water and God responded by sending “fiery serpents” to bite the people.  People began to die.  When the people cried to Moses for help, God told Moses to make a brass serpent, put it up on a pole, and if the people would look to the brass serpent after being bitten, they would not die.

This in itself was to be a lesson of faith.

Jesus used this as an illustration of how He would be lifted up on a cross, and people would need to look up and believe in Him in order to be saved:
(John 3:14-15 KJV)  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: {15} That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Yet as time wore on, the brass serpent became another “good luck charm” that the people began to worship.

Hezekiah had a true relationship with the Lord and he could tell that the people were way off in worshipping this “thing of brass”.  So he destroyed it.


Rabbit’s feet or God

God will use things to touch us.
Sometimes it’s a “thing of brass”.  Sometimes it’s a person.
But if we’re not careful, we can allow that thing or that person to be our “lucky rabbit’s foot”.
Don’t get confused and think that the “thing of brass” is anything special.

God is special.  He is the one we look to.

I think that sometimes God will work in our lives to remove the things we get sentimental about in order to get us back on track and focus on Him.
I remember how God used to work at Calvary Costa Mesa in the Saturday night concerts.  Hundreds of people got saved every week.  But there came a time when Pastor Chuck stopped the concerts.  God wasn’t working through them like He used to.  I remember feeling upset, like something important had been taken away.  It was just “a thing of brass”.

:5  so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah

Hezekiah becomes the pinnacle of the kings of Judah.

Probably not including David, who was king over all Israel, and not just Judah.

Though some see Hezekiah as even greater than David since he did not commit adultery or murder.

:6  he clave to the LORD

clavedabaq - to cling, stick, stay close, cleave, keep close, stick to, stick with, follow closely, join to, overtake, catch

:6  and departed not from following him


Stick to the Lord

We’re going to see Hezekiah facing some of the hardest trials that anyone’s ever had to face.
Yet in all his hard times, he never stopped following the Lord.
He didn’t stop and say, “Well, what could a little astrological forecast hurt ...”
Even when it seems like “it’s not working”, we need to keep going back to the Lord and doing it His way.
Somehow we get this idea that if we follow the Lord, that all our problems will instantly vanish.

And then when they don’t, we start looking for other “gods” to solve our problems.

It may be the “god” of the bottle.

Or the “god” of drugs.

Or the “god” of self-help books.

David wrote,
Ps 34:4  I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. (AV)

:7-8  Hezekiah’s first victories

:7  the LORD was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth

Don’t think that this means that Hezekiah became rich and wealthy because God was with him.

prospered - sakal (hiphil) - to be prudent, be circumspect, wisely understand, prosper; (Hiphil) - to look at or upon, have insight; have comprehension; to prosper, have success

2Ki 18:7 (NIV)  And the LORD was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.

The implication is that this “prosperity”, or this wisdom and success that Hezekiah had was because of the fact that “the LORD was with him”.

:7  he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not.

In contrast, his father, Ahaz, had become a servant of the Assyrians, giving them huge sums of money to buy protection against northern Israel and Syria.

But instead of finding freedom, he just got more problems.

He ended up as a “servant”, or, a “slave” or Assyria.

And now Hezekiah breaks the bondage

:8  He smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza

He had the same “ministry” that David had, fighting the Philistines.

Gaza is a city in the southern, coastal part of Israel, about 50 miles south west of Jerusalem.

The same area today is part of the land that is under Palestinian control.

:9-12  The northern kingdom falls

:9  Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it

As we’ve seen.

:12  because they obeyed not

Again, the reason for the northern kingdom falling was God’s discipline of them for their continued disobedience.

:13-16  Assyria’s initial attack

:13  in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah

(extra notes, don’t bore the saints with this ...)

There are different starting dates from which to count in Hezekiah’s reign:

According to BKC, Hezekiah reigned as a coregent with his father Ahaz for 14 years (729-715 b.c.)
He took over solely on the throne in 715 b.c.
He then reigned by himself for 18 years (715-697 b.c.)
Then reigned as a coregent with his son, Manasseh for 11 years (715-686 b.c.)

Back in vs.9 - Hezekiah’s fourth year is from his vice-regency with his father, and hence is 725 b.c., and three years later, the fall of Samaria takes place in 722 b.c.

The fourteenth year in this verse is from Hezekiah’s sole reign (which started in 715 b.c.), and hence the Assyrian invasion against Judah took place in 701 b.c.

:13  Sennacherib king of Assyria

Sennacherib (705-681 b.c.)

The son of Sargon, he’s the one now attacking Israel. He was not considered as strong a leader as his father Sargon II. Apparently, according to the secular histories of the Assyrians themselves, it was against Sennacherib that Hezekiah revolted.

There was some kind of an alliance between Judah and its neighbors to rebel against Assyria.

On the way to deal with Judah, Sennacherib defeated the rebels in Phoenicia, which made some of the other members of the alliance withdraw.

Then Sennacherib marched down the coast where his armies brought the Philistines back into line.

Then he came up against Judah.

:13  come up against all the fenced cities of Judah

Sennacherib’s records indicate that he captured 46 “strong cities” belonging to Hezekiah, plus many villages.

But this doesn’t seem fair!

Hezekiah has been walking in obedience!


Tough times come to good people

Just because we see that the “Lord was with him” doesn’t mean that he isn’t going to have any troubles.
The real test of whether or not your relationship with the Lord is worth anything is how you do in the tough times.
It’s in the tough times that we learn to really trust in the Lord.
A verse that has really encouraged me is:
(Psa 56:3 KJV)  What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

From time to time I get beaten up with my fears.  I’m learning once again that I need to put my trust in Jesus.  Lean on Jesus.

:14   sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish

One of the cities which Sennacherib besieged was Lachish. Inscriptions of this siege have been found in the king’s palace at Nineveh.

He then set up Lachish as a sort of temporary field headquarters.

Lachish is 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem, part of Hezekiah’s land, Judah.

:14  I have offended; return from me

Hezekiah wants to see if he can negotiate with Sennacherib.

He wants him to go home.

:14  three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold

Or, 11 tons of silver and 1 ton of gold.  We’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars.

In the inscriptions in Nineveh, Sennacherib claims that the tribute also included precious stones, inlaid couches and chairs, elephant hides, and even Hezekiah’s own daughters, women of the palace, and musicians.

:15  Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king’s house

I think the implication is that Hezekiah didn’t have 300 talents of silver.

So he came up with all that he had.

:16  Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD, and from the pillars

pillars - better, “doorposts”

When Solomon had originally built the temple, the doors and doorposts had been overlaid with gold.

But either through being worn off, or perhaps Ahaz might have stripped off the gold, apparently Hezekiah had covered them back in gold in his restoration of the temple.

Hezekiah now strips them back down to the bare wood.

But that’s not all …

Hezekiah didn’t just send Sennacherib a bunch of money.  He also prepared for war.

In 2Chronicles 32, we find that Hezekiah also cut off all access to local water supplies surrounding Jerusalem so Sennacherib’s armies wouldn’t have water if they laid siege to the city.  At the same time, he had a famous tunnel dug through 600 feet of solid rock to connect a spring with a pool in the city.
He also strengthened the city walls, built towers, and equipped an army with shields and weapons.

:17-27  The enemy’s taunt to the leaders

:17  Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh

It is thought that these are men’s titles, rather than their names.

Tartan - field marshal, general, or commander

Rabsaris - chief eunuch

Rabshakeh - chief cupbearer, chief of the officers; This was the main guy in charge.

:17  stood by the conduit of the upper pool…the highway of the fuller’s field

A busy place, just outside the walls of the city, where the people went to wash their clothes.

:18  Eliakim the son of HilkiahShebna ..Joah

Instead of the king coming out, Hezekiah sends three of his own top officials to talk to the Assyrian officials.

Hezekiah isn’t going to appear to be a lowly, powerless king, who only gets to talk to the servants of the great Assyrian king. Instead he matches Sennacherib person for person by sending out three of his own officials.

:19  What confidence is this wherein thou trustest?

The first part of the message from Sennacherib is aimed at showing the king and the people that they aren’t trusting in things that can be counted on.

:21  thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed…Egypt

When Hezekiah had initially rebelled against the Assyrians, he joined an alliance of rebel nations, including the some of the nations to the north, Phoenicians, the Philistines, and the Egyptians.

Egypt is now the only remaining member of the alliance, beside Judah, which has not been conquered.

:21  on which if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it

Egypt is characterized as a fragile stick that can’t support a person’s weight.

If you lean too much on it, it will only break underneath you and end up stabbing you in the hand.

Rabshakeh is correct.

At this time, Egypt was not a strong nation, and would be an undependable ally.

If you are trusting in people, you will be hurt.

If you are expecting your friends to always come through for you, you will be disappointed.
If you are expecting people whom you admire to always be there for you or to come up with the help you need, you will be disappointed.

But he’s distorting the truth.

The truth is that though Egypt is an ally, Judah is not trusting in Egypt to deliver them.



The enemy will distort the truth.
We get the feeling that the only things that Satan speaks are lies. He is the “father of lies”.
But much of what Satan uses is the truth, and that’s what’s so difficult in our warfare.
But what he does is to hide a pint of poison in that lake of truth you’ve just swallowed. And the poison is strong enough to kill you.
The enemy will try to discourage you with condemnation:

“You dirty, rotten sinner.  Now God can never use you again.”

The truth:  You are a dirty, rotten sinner.

The lie:  God can’t use you.

The truth is, God forgives sinners.  The truth is, the only people God uses are sinners.

Just because there is some truth in what someone says doesn’t make it right.

:22 is not that he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away

Rabshakeh is saying that Yahweh must be pretty upset because Hezekiah has torn down all the extra altars in the high places.  And that means that Yahweh isn’t going to help the people.

It is true that Hezekiah has torn down the high places.  But this is exactly what God had wanted Hezekiah to do (Deut. 12). 

Hezekiah is the first king to come along since the building of the temple to actually do the very thing that God had wanted, to remove all the extra stuff and keep the worship pure and directed by God.

Yet for those people who weren’t grounded in God’s Word, and didn’t realize that instead of being disobedient, Hezekiah was actually pleasing God, this could sound like a good argument.


The best protection against a lie is the truth.

Stay in God’s Word.
There are all sorts of funny ideas going on out there in the world, and the only way you’re going to be able to sort out the truth from the lies is to keep yourself grounded in the truth.
When you’re a bank teller, you take all kinds of classes, like how to spot counterfeit bills.

You can be taught just what to look for in a genuine $100 bill.

But the best way is for a teller to just get lots of experience handling the real thing.

Whenever we had a question, we’d call the “vault teller”, the person in the bank who handles the most currency.

You can get to the point where you can just tell by the feel of a bill whether it’s real or not.

Spend time being familiar with the real thing, with God’s truth, and you’ll be able to spot the fakes.

:23  I will deliver thee two thousand horses …

He’s taunting the people of Judah saying that even if the king of Assyria GAVE them horses to fight from, they probably wouldn’t have enough trained riders to even ride them.

:25 Am I now come up without the LORD

or, “Do you think I came up against Jerusalem without Yahweh’s blessing?”

:25 The LORD said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.

Now he’s really playing dirty.

He’s trying to say that Yahweh, the God of Judah, actually wanted the Assyrians to come up and fight against Judah.

What makes it really difficult is that it possibly could be true.

After all, God has just had the Assyrian army wipe out the northern kingdom as a judgment against their sins. Why not Judah?



God doesn’t always say what people think He says.
“Impressionists” – we have these old answer machine tapes that have famous people answering the phone – but they’re only impressionists, not the real people.
Just because a person says, “God told me …” doesn’t mean it’s true.
Yes, I do believe that God can speak today to us, personally.
But we are to “test the spirits” to see if they be from God (1John 4:1)

1Co 14:29  And let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. (NAS)

If a person wants to claim that God has spoken to them, then they MUST also allow others to “judge” the prophecy, to tell whether or not they agree with it.

Sometimes people use the “God told me” phrase just to get you to stop questioning what they’re doing or saying.  Sometimes they want you to go along with their program, like Rabshakeh.
How do we test prophecy?
The best tool we have is the Word of God, the Bible.  It is the One Source where we know God has spoken.
God will not contradict Himself with what He’s already revealed in Scripture.

(2 Tim 3:16-17 KJV)  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: {17} That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

:26  Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the Syrian language ...

The Assyrian delegation had been speaking in Hebrew so everyone on the wall of Jerusalem could hear. Hezekiah’s delegation asks them to change to Aramaic, the language of the Syrians, so that the common people wouldn’t understand.

:27  to the men which sit on the wall ...

Rabshakeh wants the common people to hear this threat.

(2 Chr 32:18 NLT)  The Assyrian officials who brought the letters shouted this in the Hebrew language to the people gathered on the walls of the city, trying to terrify them so it would be easier to capture the city.

He’s hoping that the frightened people will pressure the king into surrendering.



The enemy’s greatest weapon is fear.
His greatest tactic to keep us from doing the right thing is to make us afraid.
That’s why the Scripture says:
1Pe 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (AV)

A lion roars and terrorizes its prey into freezing.

Carl Wallenda was one of the greatest tightrope aerialists who ever lived. He once wrote, “For me, to live is being on a tightrope. All the rest is waiting.” In 1968, he commented that the most important thing about walking a tightrope is to be confident you can do it and never to think about failure.
In 1978, Wallenda fell to his death from a tightrope that was seventy-five feet up in the air above the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. His wife, who is also an aerialist, reported that, for three months prior to attempting the most dangerous feat he’d ever tried, all he talked about was falling. She said that never before in all their career together had Carl ever given a thought to falling. She noted further that he spent all of his time prior to that fatal walk putting up the wire (which he had never bothered with before). He worried about the guide wires and spent endless hours calculating the wind, which he had also never done before. After his death, she said, “I believe the reason Carl fell was because he spent all of his time preparing not to fall, instead of spending time preparing to walk the rope.”

-- H. Edwin Young, "Building Blocks," Southern Baptist Preaching        Today, ed. Allen and Gregory, p. 457.

I think that one of the worst by-products of last September 11 was the fear and anxiety that can paralyze us.  That’s why they call the bad guys “terrorists”.  They create “terror”.
This week will be a week where some of us will again get stirred into thoughts of fear and terror.
The enemy would love to keep us there to keep us from “preparing to walk the rope”
I heard a report on the radio that Laura Bush is encouraging families to have their own memorial times, but to stay away from the TV this week.
I think you could think about spending extra time with the kids.


Answers to fear

God has two words to answer our fears.
1.  Trust
God’s answer to fear is trust.
The Scripture says:

(Isa 12:2 KJV)  Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

God wants you to learn to put your life in His hands.  You are safe in His hands.  No matter what happens.

2.  Love
God’s other answer to fear is love.

(1 John 4:18 KJV)  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

We have nothing to be afraid of because God loves us.  If you are afraid, run to Jesus.  Let Him love you.

:28-37  The enemy’s taunt to the people

:29  he shall not be able to deliver you out of his hand

Again, this is a correct statement. Hezekiah is not able to deliver the people.  But God is.

:30  Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD



The enemy doesn’t want you to trust the Lord

Blondin the tightrope walker.
Jean Francois Gravelet was born February 28, 1824 in Hesdin, France.  When he was five years old he was sent to the École de Gymnase at Lyon, and after six months' training as an acrobat he made his first public appearance as "the Little Wonder."  He developed his skills under the guidance of P.T. Barnum (of Barnum & Bailey Circus).  He became known as the Great Blondin.
In 1859 he announced that he would do the most amazing of all feats, he would cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope 1,100 feet (335 m) long, 160 feet above the water.
On June 30, 1859 the rope was in position and at five o'clock in the afternoon Blondin started the trip that was to make history. Incredulous watchers saw him lower a rope to the Maid of the Mist, pull up a bottle and sit down while he refreshed himself. He began his ascent toward the Canadian shore, paused, steadied the balancing pole and suddenly executed a back somersault. The crowd 'screamed', women 'fainted', those near the rope 'cried' and begged him to come in. When he finally stepped off the rope, he was grabbed by a delirious mob of well wishers who whisked him away to a champagne celebration.
He crossed the Falls several times, each time making it more difficult.  In all, he crossed the rope on a bicycle, walking blindfolded, pushing a wheelbarrow, stopping to cook an omelet in the center, and making the trip with his hands and feet manacled.
His most daring crossing came when he announced that he would carry a man across on his back.  Frankly, only one man trusted him enough to do it.  It would be his manager, Harry Colcord. According to Colcord, the trip was a nightmare. In the un-guyed center section, the pair swayed violently. Blondin was fighting for his life. He broke into a desperate run to reach the first guy rope. When he reached it and steadied himself, the guy broke. Once more the pair swayed alarmingly as Blondin again ran for the next guy. When they reached it Blondin gasped for Colcord to get down. Six times in all Colcord had to dismount while Blondin struggled to gather his strength. In the end Blondin had to charge the crowd on the brink to prevent the press of people forcing them back in the precipice.
He performed privately for both the Prince of Wales and King Edward VII, he repeated the stunt of 'carrying a man on his back' and offered to carry the prince, but he declined.
You don't have to be a tightrope walker to get across the falls of life.  You just need to trust Jesus enough to get on His shoulders.  Getting through life is all about learning to climb up on Jesus’ shoulders.  He will not drop you.

:31  Make an agreement with me by a present ...

If the people would just surrender, then the Assyrians will go away, and life will go on like normal.


Giving in doesn’t make life easier

The enemy has long been in the business of promising rewards if we just surrender to him:
Matthew 4:8-10  Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9  And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10  Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
It’s kind of like when Satan whispers in your ear, “Just give in to this temptation, and everything will go back to being normal again...”
Yes, the pressure may be off for awhile, at least until he shows up to tempt you again.

:31  drink ye every one the waters of his cistern

Rabshakeh thinks that there’s a very limited source of water in the city of Jerusalem.

According to his scouting reports, Jerusalem has to depend on cisterns to collect rain water to supply their water.

With the people shut up inside the city, they’re going to run out of water quick.

What he doesn’t know is that Hezekiah has built a special, secret tunnel, through 600 feet of solid rock, bringing fresh water from the spring of Gihon straight into the city at the pool of Siloam.


Don’t settle for a cistern, get a river!

Your spiritual life can be like a cistern.
We collect spiritual refreshment from others, going to church, listening to KWVE, etc.
And then we can survive off of what we collect.
But God has promised us a well of water springing up inside us if we want it!
(John 7:37-39 KJV)  In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. {38} He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. {39} (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
If we’ll just come to God and ask, He’ll let the Holy Spirit be a well of water springing up inside us, and He’ll be able to nourish us and sustain us, even during times when we can’t receive from others.

All we have to do is be thirsty.

And then ask.

:33 Has the god of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria?

He’s going to give quite a convincing argument.

To this point there is not one single country that has been able to stand up against the Assyrians!



One of the enemy’s greatest weapons is to make us think that nobody has ever broken this thing.
“Nobody has ever conquered the sin you’re struggling with.”
“You can never get out of your hopeless situation”
The truth is, all struggles are common
(1 Cor 10:13 KJV)  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

It really isn’t a new thing.

Lots of people have struggled with it before you ever did.

And God is able to deliver you.  Trust Him.

:36  the people remained silent

Hezekiah had instructed the people not to answer back to the enemy.


Sometimes it’s better to be silent, than to answer.

(Prov 26:4 KJV)  Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

[1]Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (2 Ki 17:1). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.