2 Kings 20 – The Life and Times of Hezekiah the King: One Life to Live!
I’ve looked at Hezekiah’s life as developed in 2 Kings as a three-part story. Part one of his days is learning how to reign. He’s bold, filled with initiative for God, and discovers that being such can get you into trouble. Here’s where, in my mind, he makes the awful mistake of giving the riches of the House of God to the king of Assyria to pacify him. The second part of Hezekiah’s life is the discovery God is faithful and to be relied on in trouble. We’re told he learns the value of trusting God like no other king before or after him would.
Now we come to part three of the life and times of Hezekiah the king. This will define a special benefit the king received. While at the pinnacle of his career, very possibly only 39 years of age, he receives bad news about his health. Somehow Hezekiah becomes ill and his sickness is a troublesome burden to this great king. Isaiah the prophet arrives with a word from the Lord to confirm what he may have feared:
NIV 1 The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”
Now, when I read this I think, what’s the big deal Godly king Hezekiah; to be absent from the body is to be home with the Lord, right? At least, that’s what the Apostle Paul thought about death. But, you know, death is never quite that simple—especially at 39 years old. It would be great to say we can look in the face of death and laugh our silly heads off. But life is not that trivial, it is complex with things we wish we’d accomplished and things we want to resolve.
Just because we weep when faced with mortality doesn’t make us less spiritual, it means we’re human! Death is extremely final and unnatural in a lot of ways. The human spirit and soul are designed for eternity, not extermination. We naturally want to live, not die! Life, or a life, is not to be undervalued. The Lord asks, “What can a man give in exchange for his soul?” for a reason. Living is what we do, we are designed by God to live, and a preoccupation with an obsession for death is only the delight of the truly macabre.
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J. Robert Hanson