Reading through the Bible together
“In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death…” is startling news after we have just seen God work such a mighty victory for Jerusalem. The Bible doesn’t tell us why Hezekiah was sick. Perhaps he was sick before Assyria even surrounded Jerusalem. However, it is interesting to note that the command King Hezekiah was given from the Lord was to set his house in order. This implies that although he may have walked before the Lord with a perfect heart (vs. 3), something in his house/kingdom needed to be set in order before he died.
In response to this news, rather than curling up in a ball of despair, Hezekiah again turns to God, pleading for mercy with weeping and humility. It’s amazing to see in this passage that the Lord is willing to be negotiated with and when He sees true humility of heart and a change of course, even He is willing to change the judgment or stop it all together.
Hezekiah humbles himself and God answers by giving him 15 additional years of life. Not only that, but He brings the sun back ten degrees as a sign that He will not only prolong the life of King Hezekiah, but also deliver Jerusalem from Assyria. This leads one to think that maybe this sickness was occurring at the same time as the invasion.
In response to God’s mercy, Hezekiah sings a song of praise, a song that teaches us much about the state of humanity. It’s also a song that all those God has rescued can sing today. “My years were cut off, but you have recovered me and made me to live. I had great bitterness, but you loved my soul and delivered me from my pit of sin. You have cast my sins behind your back. And for this I praise you. We cannot praise you in death. Those that die cannot praise you. It is the living that praise You, God. Thank you that I can remain longer among the living.” (My paraphrase of verses 10, 16-19.)
The lessons we can learn from this chapter are quite significant, especially in this day and age. We live in a world where the great controversy is raging, and we all suffer the casualties of that battle between good and evil. But God has not forsaken us, and He is willing to be entreated.
2 Chron. 7:14 encourages us, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Some of us need physical healing, but we all need spiritual healing. Let us not waste another moment, but set our houses and hearts in order and humble ourselves and pray. Let us pray both personally and unitedly as a church, that God would extend our days, and give us more time to praise His name and bring others to His truth for He’s coming soon and He doesn’t want to see one of His flock lost.
Melodious Echo Mason
ARME Bible Camp Ministries