Summary: Prophets ought to be encouraging but Isaiah said, "You are going to die." Hezekiah was hesitant about dying. He didn’t want to die. He wanted to live. After all, who wants to die? He was a good king, by comparing him with others. He got rid of the Baal
Did you know that some people live too long! Have you ever known anybody like that? Hezekiah did. He lived too long. As the years go by, you ought to get sweeter but some folk get sour and rotten. I’d like you to look at this. Come over here to second book of Hezekiah 2:1.... Are some of you heading for that?
Well, actually, 2 Kings 20. Let’s try that. You knew there was no book of Hezekiah, didn’t you.. This is our scripture reading. You can see that Hezekiah was very sick and he was going to die. V1 read: “…Put your house in order, because you are going to die..."
So often when we are at the pinnacle of success in our life, suddenly the bottom falls out. Was Hezekiah a good king or a bad king? He was good, one of the better kings they ever had other than David. Hezekiah suddenly got deathly sick. His sickness was so bad the prophet came by to see him. And when the prophet comes to see you, it’s pretty serious. Prophets ought to be encouraging but Isaiah said, "You are going to die." Hezekiah was hesitant about dying. He didn’t want to die. He wanted to live. After all, who wants to die?
He had a tremendous reputation. He got rid of the Baal worship. He was a good king. He cleaned up the kingdom and was a welcome change from his wicked father Ahaz. And now was he gong to die? God was making a mistake here. You know, when you get somebody good, you need to keep him.
If you were to suddenly be diagnosed with cancer and told that it surrounded every organ and it is untreatable,
- How would you feel?
- What would you do?
- Would you need to set your house in order?
- Would there be some spiritual changes you would need to make?
- When the relatives came in to clean up and dispose of your things, what would they find under the bed and in the corner? As they sat looking over your check book would they be startled at your giving records to the Church and charities?
How long does it take to put your house in order? I don’t know. I suppose there’s a death-bed conversion and it wouldn’t take too long.
ILL If you will have the opportunity to visit William Miller’s farm in Hampton, New York, you can see a chapel and behind it is a place called "Ascension Rock." Think about the saints who stood there on October 22, 1844. You know, those saints were ready to ascend to heaven. But do you know what happened on October 23? Those saints that were ready for translation the day before were arguing and bickering and fighting and they were mad at each other. They were mad at the Lord. Ready for translation one day and not the next.
Let’s follow the four "H" in Hezekiah’s journey (after D.Getty’s idea):
1 - HESITANT HEZEKIAH. Hezekiah was hesitant. He did not want to die. "I want to live." Maybe he should have submitted to God’s will. Isaiah 38:2,3 (read). He didn’t want to die. He did not want to accept God’s pronouncement upon him.
I imagine the people around wept as well. They didn’t want to see their good king die. Why would God let the best king in many, many years suddenly die? Obviously premature. Hezekiah was so good. Why him?
ILL. You’ve probably noticed; when two people get in a wreck, a drunk and a Christian, who lives? Who walks away from that wreck? It’s the drunk! And what happens to the Christian? Is he instantly killed or languishes in a nursing home for years? Whys is this? Among all other kids in my home town, my boy became sick and died. Good kid. Smart, obedient… And the bullies and the sickos still around… Why does the Lord make all these mistakes? Why did God let Hezekiah go like that? Does God know what He is doing?
Hezekiah didn’t want to go. He did not submit to God’s will. He was a righteous man and he prayed fervently and when a righteous person prays fervently, what happens? Doe prayer work? Yes!
ILL. We heard of a family; a tragedy happened in their life. Their son was just an upstanding young Christian man. He was looking forward to great things. He attended the church and was an exceptional Christian youth, a model young man.
One day he was on the roof, fixing a lick when... bam! he fall down. His life was in the balance and the doctor came to his parents and said, "I don’t think your son is going to make it." They went home and they called on the elders of the church and everybody banded together and they prayed earnestly, demanding that God would heal the boy.