Summary: Death’s inevitable reality demands the need for each of us to make sure that we have set things in order.
SETTING THINGS IN ORDER
INTRODUCTION: King Hezekiah was a great ruler who sought to faithfully follow God. Judea prospered under Hezekiah’s reign. Concerning Hezekiah, 2 Kings 18:5 states, “He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.” In the fourteenth year of his reign, the prophet Isaiah comes to Hezekiah and brings a message that Hezekiah is going to die and accordingly needs to make the necessary preparations. This account speaks to each of us about death’s inevitable reality and the need for each of us to make sure that we have set things in order.
I. The Brevity of Life and the Inevitability of Death
A. 2 Kings 20:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, thus says the LORD, Set your house in order; FOR YOU SHALL DIE, AND NOT LIVE.
B. Hezekiah at the age of 39 was stricken with a terminally malignant ulcer from which there was no cure.
C. The prophet Isaiah comes to Hezekiah and states bluntly, “You’re going to die”.
D. The announcement of his death is unconditional and absolute. Literally the Hebrew states, ‘for thou art dead’ (îú me¯th), that is, ‘you are a dead man.’
E. At 39 years old death was the last thing on Hezekiah’s mind.
F. Hezekiah was still a relatively young man, but death does not respect time or age.
G. Hezekiah was the king, but death does not respect status or circumstance.
H. The reality is that death is no respecter of age, wealth, beauty, intelligence, race, or gender.
I. Hezekiah was not expecting death, but death doesn’t run on our timetable.
J. More than 5400 people die every hour of every day, 365 days a year.
K. Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
L. Deuteronomy 32:29 Oh that they were wise, that they understood this that they would consider their latter end!
II. The Solemn Command to Set Things in Order
A. 2 Kings 20:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, thus says the LORD, SET YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER; for you shall die, and not live.
B. “Make known your last will to your family”, in other words “Make sure that you have prepared your house for what is inevitably going to happen”
C. Preparation is good stewardship.
D. Prepare your house financially – 1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
1. 1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
2. There is a duty of love, which is plain. We are to do what we can to set our financial affairs in order so as to not lay any greater burden on our families or the church than is absolutely necessary.
3. Have a will
a. At one time or another, most people think about making a will. Individual circumstances are different, but every person -- no matter what other estate planning tools exist -- should have a will.
b. If you have not prepared your will, your state of residency at death will distribute your estate according to its laws. Your estate will be divided according to a formula, without taking into account any special needs of your family or your personal wishes. Without a will, you lose the power to control the disposition of your property. Furthermore, your state has no charitable intent.
c. Only through a will that you can
· ...distribute your property as you choose;
· ...appoint your own executor;
· ...minimize certain estate costs;
· ...suggest a guardian for any surviving minor children;
· ...provide for trusts;
· ...exercise testamentary powers of appointment;
· ...provide for your church.
d. Some has said, “Whether our estate is large or small, it is good stewardship to have a Christ-honoring will. It is the final witness to your Christian faith.”
4. Avoid unmanaged debt that others might have handle when you die.
5. Provide for your wife so the children won’t have to.
6. Teach the entire family that money really doesn’t buy happiness -- and trying to do so will only leave a family broke and disillusioned.
E. Prepare your house emotionally
1. Make sure that you both tell and demonstrate love to your family.
a. Tell them you love them by saying those magical words, “I love you,”
b. Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.