Summary: Our Father abhors our sin but is drawn by our brokenness. He alone is the reader of our hearts to which in return we receive His mercy and grace!
Time For Tears
It is indeed a blessing to be in the house of the Lord on the last Sabbath of 2017. Call it what you will, tradition, custom, reflection, but at each and every year’s end, I do some soul searching. I grade my life as I lived it in the passing year, and I have to tell you if I had to give myself a grade it would be a “D-“ borderline failure. I believe this is what the Apostle Paul meant when he said,
5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 6 But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. 2 Corinthians 13:5, 6
You’re sitting out there right now wondering why he would give himself a “D-“? But with all due respect, you should be asking yourself what grade you would give your own spiritual life in 2017. Yes “D-!” I’m not a reprobate at least I don’t think that I am. I’m here! That is the only reason why I didn’t give myself an “F.” For you see most people who have given themselves “F’s” are not here. They just quit! Quit coming to Church, stop reading their Bibles, stop talking about the love of God, stop giving to the cause of God, stop encouraging others, put aside holiness for worldliness, succumbed to a carnal mind as oppose to a spiritual one. Somehow Satan has convinced them that the regurgitated mistakes of past experiences and the cesspool of living a life of sin is better than hanging with a group of overly self-assessed pious and self-righteous people and that hanging with a straight-up sinner is better than hanging with a hypocrite.
Also I give attention to time. To what everybody? I’m not getting any younger. We are all living that dash? Somebody said dash? Yes, dash! Every tombstone has one. The year that we come into this world is engraved and right next to it is the year of our expiration. And smack dab in between the two is the punctuation mark called an en dash. And my brother asked the question once, how will you live your dash? Time is short and how can we not think of time. I remember the psalmist,
9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. 10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. 11 Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. 12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:9-12
And Job adds his perspective,
1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. Job 14:1
And I would be remiss if I did not allow James to give us the brevity and fragility of life.
13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. James 4:13-15
Such is the disposition of the king in our story today. King Hezekiah is deathly ill, and he is lying in his bed. He feels the company of death, and as if this was not bad enough the man of God, Isaiah comes with some discouraging news. Let’s look to our Scripture reading,
1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live. 2 Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, 3 And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. 4 Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying, 5 Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. 6 And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city. 7 And this shall be a sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he hath spoken; 8 Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down. Isaiah 38:1-8