Finishing Well

2 Kings 20:20-21

Hezekiah’s Achievements. The end of the narrative of Hezekiah merely mentions his other achievements that are historically recorded (in what the people of those days knew as “The Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah”). And indeed, we can still witness his work up to this very moment. The pool and the tunnel which are spoken here in verse 20 can still be found in modern Jerusalem, known as Hezekiah’s Tunnel or the Siloam Tunnel. It is a water channel that was built underground, leading from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam; and it could have served to withhold water from attacking forces. The description of “all of Hezekiah’s achievements” is a testament to Hezekiah’s initial appraisal, that “The LORD was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook.” (2 Kings 18:7). This means that the book is ending the way it began, by giving an appraisal of Hezekiah’s faithful reign.

The LORD was with Him. But by now, I think it becomes much clearer that Hezekiah’s faithfulness was not a faultless one but one that was sustained by God. His successes were due to the fact that God was with him. His repentance was due to the fact that God has given him an opportunity to return to Him. His achievements were because the Lord was with him consistently. The Week IV video & study will venture more into this topic.

And Hezekiah Rested. “And Hezekiah rested with his ancestors.” These words are short, but are pregnant with theological meaning. All those who die in the Lord are repeatedly described as being “asleep” (eg. 1 Thessalonians 4:14). The implication of this is that they will one day be resurrected to be united to Jesus Christ in the consummation of our faith (continue reading to 1 Thessalonians 4:15). Hezekiah rested with his ancestors, waiting for that final trumpet call when they will all be resurrected in Christ.

But there is another implication. Those who die in the Lord also rest in Him as He also rested from His work of creation (Genesis 2:2). Hezekiah’s work is done, and he has been faithful. He now rests in the Lord as Hebrews 4 describes:

“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by their example of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:9-12)

Many of us are weary and tired; especially during this period of pandemic. Our work becomes so much more complicated to even just survive; and we hear of tragedies left and right. It is therefore important for us to hold this kind of eschatological view that we will finally enter that rest in Christ. But for this moment, let us labour in Him; and persevere in hope.

Jesus said, “As long as it is day, we must do the works of Him who sent Me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:4-5)