Summary: A biographical study of King Hezeziah
Annual Sermons Volume 1 (Part 1)
WHO WANTS TO DIE AT 39?
Most New Years cards wish us all sunshine and joy.” Secretly, we wish the same. Nervously we wonder if bad things might happen. But I remind you on this first Sunday of the New Year that “all sunshine will make a desert” and our dark pages can turn out to be the best pages. Luther once said, “Tears have been my best teachers”. Henry Ward Beecher said, “Tears are telescopes by which we see into heaven”. T. DeWitt Talmedge said, “I never had a set-back but it turned out to be a set forward.” We see this in the life of one of God’s greatest servants- Hezekiah, the King of Judah during the latter part of the Eighth and the early part of the Seventh Century before Christ. And the Bible says that of all the Kings who descended from David, he was the greatest. We read in II Kings 18: 5-7a, “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. For he stayed with the Lord and departed not from following him. He kept the commandments, which the Lord commanded to Moses. And the Lord was with him; and he prospered wherever he went.”
1. The Amazing Person. Hezekiah was great in many respects. He was a great political leader who delivered Judah from the chaos of the reign of his father Ahaz. He was a great builder and his aqueduct which brought water to Jerusalem can be seen today. He was a great man of letters, having gathered together much of the sacred writings in Books like Psalms and Proverbs. But most of all he was a great religious reformer, a mighty man of God. He had the courage to destroy the serpent Moses made because the people made an idol of it. He opened the doors of the House of God, closed by his wicked father. He reinstituted the long neglected feast of Passover. He destroyed the high places where pagan idols were worshiped.
2. The Awful Plight. At the very height of his power, when he was only thirty-nine years old, when his nation, surrounded by the armies of Assyria, needed his leadership the most, God sent him the he was lying on a sickbed with a severely infected boil. 3. The Anguished Praying and Awful Prediction. Knowing human nature, we know Hezekiah and his people, especially at this dangerous time, were praying for his recovery. But God sent his Pastor to him with bad news. We read, “In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, came to him and said, ‘This is what the Lord says,’ Set your house in order; you are going to die, you will not recover.’” (Is. 38:1)
4. The Alarming Protest. Hezekiah did not fold his hands and say, “Thy will be done!” as we Christians are taught to pray (2 Cor. 12, Matt. 6). He turned his face to the wall and said, “Lord, remember how I have served you faithfully and wholeheartedly and have done what is right in your eyes.” And then, the Bible says, “Hezekiah wept bitterly.” (2 Kings 20:2)5.