Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: 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. 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.”The word of the Lord you have spoken is good,” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?” As for the other events of Hezekiah’s reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool and the tunnel by which he brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? Hezekiah rested with his ancestors. And Manasseh his son succeeded him as king. 2 Kings 20:16-21
Here at the end of Hezekiah’s life the end gets a little strange. Just prior to this passage Hezekiah took representatives from Babylon on a tour of his palace and treasures. I am not sure why Hezekiah felt the need to do this, but one of the results seems to be that the Babylonians will return and pillage Jerusalem.
What is really weird is Hezekiah’s response when Isaiah shares the word of the Lord….that everything will be carried away to Babylon and even his own descendants will become “eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon”. Hezekiah, seemingly oblivious to what Isaiah just told him responds that the word is good. It certainly does not sound so good to me, but perhaps I am unable to put myself in Hezekiah’s place.
It seems that Hezekiah values “peace and security within his lifetime” more than he values everything in the palace and even his own descendants. I admit I am confused. Why would this man of God, who has boldly held steadfast in the face of armies and kings, now essentially “throw in the towel”. This is certainly one strange “crossing over“.
The final part of the passage contains the water reference. Hezekiah is the one who “brought water into the city” by building a tunnel and pools for storage. I think despite Hezekiah’s odd exit he did restore faith in God and turned people back from their path of following idols and other gods. He connected them to living water — the great cistern and the one river, in addition to building a tunnel to provide water when the city was under siege. Hezekiah provided a conduit from the spring (God) to the people. I think that is one of the most important things we can do as Christians too…provide living water for others when they feel they are “under siege” by connecting them to the spring.
Sometimes connecting people to “the spring” can be really hard, just like it was probably hard for Hezekiah to dig a tunnel through solid rock under the city to access the spring. In my experience people often have elaborate defenses they have built up to prevent them from accessing the “spring”. I know in college I had erected sizable walls which God eventually was able to break down. In my case God worked through friends and Christians He placed in my life. I am very thankful that these people were willing to do the hard work of “digging a tunnel” for me.
Prayer: God thank You that You provide us with living water during times in our life when we feel “under siege”. Help us to share this water with others who need it.