2 Kings 18:1-37
Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.…
I. A STRIKING REFORMATION (vers. 3-8).
1. The perverting tendency of sin. The brazen serpent was a beneficent ordinance of God to heal those in the wilderness who had been bitten by the fiery serpent. But this Divine ordinance, designed for a good purpose, and which had accomplished good, was now, through the forces of human depravity, become a great evil. See how this perverting power acts in relation to such Divine blessings, as
(5) governments; and
(6) religious institutions.
2. The true attributes of a reformer. Here we observe(1) Spiritual insight. Hezekiah saw in this serpent which appeared like a God to the people, nothing but a piece of brass — "Nehushtan."(2) Invincible honesty. He not only saw that it was brass, but said so, — thundered it into the ears of the people.
(3) Practical courage. "He brake in pieces the brasen serpent."
3. The true soul of a reformer. What is that which gave him the true insight and attributes of a reformer, which in truth was the soul of the whole?
(1) Entire consecration to the right.
(2) Invincible antagonism to the wrong.
II. A RUTHLESS DESPOTISM. There are two despots mentioned in this chapter — Shalmaneser and Sennacherib, both kings of Assyria.
1. He had already invaded a country in which he had no right.
2. He had received from the king most humble submission and large contributions to leave his country alone. Mark his humiliating appeal.
III. AN UNPRINCIPLED DIPLOMACY,
1. He represents his master, the King of Assyria, to be far greater than he is.
2. He seeks to terrify them with a sense of their utter inability to resist the invading army.
(David Thomas, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.