Summary: Part 5 "Lord, please don’t let me die"
THE PRAYER FOR PRESERVATION
“Lord, please don’t let me die”
Text: 2 Kings 20:1-11
As I have said each week, these are very obscure prayers. Sometimes hidden in the midst or a story or an unusual event in the Bible we do find these people of God crying out to Him in prayer.
Hezekiah was king of Judah for 29 years 716-687 BC. More space is devoted to Hezekiah in Scripture than to almost any other king since the time of Solomon. The parallel accounts in 2 Chronicles29-32 & Isaiah 36-39 should also be read to better understand the spiritual & political victories that this king gained through his faith in God.
King Hezekiah faced four “Crises” in his reign
1. He faced the crises of choice.
Early in his kingship he chose to forsake the idols of his fathers. He tore down the idols & rebuilt the city of God.
2. He faced the crisis of invasion. The Assyrians came right to the walls of Jerusalem & threatened to enter the city & destroy it. Had it not been for the power of prayer it might have been conquered.
3. He faced the crisis of prosperity. Foolishly, he displayed all his personal wealth & treasures of the kingdom.
4. Finally, he faced the most personal crisis of all: the crisis of death.
WHAT MESSAGE OF ENCOURAGEMENT CAN WE FIND FROM THE WAY HE FACED DEATH???
I. Message of the Prophet (v. 1)
A. Isaiah the prophet tells him “thus says the Lord”. You don’t need another opinion.
B. Note the severity of the announcement. No hope, No comfort. There seems to be no way out.
C. The second part of the message comes ,”Set your house in order”
D. You are going to die get ready, take care of anything you need to take care of.
E. Not many of us get this notice.
F. The bible tells us “it is appointed unto man once to die & after that the judgment.”
Now let’s look at the…
II. Motive of the Prayer (vv. 2-3)
A. Notice the words, “he turned his face to the wall and prayed.”
B. So many of us in times of trouble, we turn to other things. Many times we blame God.
C. Hezekiah wanted to live. There are a number of reasons he might have wanted to live so badly. His family, his son was too young to inherit the throne, his riches, might have been because he was probably only 39 years old at the time.
D. But Hezekiah didn’t use any of these reasons. He said “I’m too good to die. I have walked in truth & have done what is good in your sight.”
E. Some say he said this because he did not have assurance of eternal life.
F. Whatever the reason his prayer was answered and he lived to bear a son who would become the most evil ruler in Judah’s history.
Now let’s see the…
III. Miracle of the Poultice (vv. 4-11)
A. Hezekiah based his plea on his past goodness; God based his answer on Hezekiah’s prayer & tears.
B. The miracle & healing was the work of God. And with the healing came the assurance that, even as God who was with Moses, so He was with Hezekiah.
C. God was “Elohim” meaning the God of might & majesty, “Yahweh” the one who was , who is & will be.
D. With God all things are possible. God sees, God hears & God acts.
IV. Meaning of the Postponement (v.6)
A. Men confronted with death often have a greater understanding of life.
B. The reason God changed His mind is the same reason God does anything. FOR HIS GLORY!!!
C. Nothing is too hard for God. Do we believe that???
What should be the response of a man that God has given 15 more years of life. HE SHOULD PRAISE HIM!!!!!!
You can tell a man priorities when he faces a crises. It is said that on his death bed P. T Barnum of the circus fame said, “What was the days receipts.” You don’t have to wonder where his priorities were.
Someone has said the wise man prepares for the inevitable, Death is the inevitable!!!!!!
Jesus is the right preparation