Monday after the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Posted on September 30, 2019 byunder
Scripture: 2 Kings 20:1-21 (NKJV)
20:1 In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.’”
2 Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, 3 “Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4 And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 5 “Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. 6 And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David.”’”
7 Then Isaiah said, “Take a lump of figs.” So they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.
8 And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What is the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord the third day?”
9 Then Isaiah said, “This is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing which He has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees or go backward ten degrees?”
10 And Hezekiah answered, “It is an easy thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees; no, but let the shadow go backward ten degrees.”
11 So Isaiah the prophet cried out to the Lord, and He brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down on the sundial of Ahaz.
12 At that time Berodach-Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been sick. 13 And Hezekiah was attentive to them, and showed them all the house of his treasures—the silver and gold, the spices and precious ointment, and all his armory—all that was found among his treasures. There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.
14 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say, and from where did they come to you?”
So Hezekiah said, “They came from a far country, from Babylon.”
15 And he said, “What have they seen in your house?”
So Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.”
16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: 17 ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the Lord. 18 ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’”
19 So Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good!” For he said, “Will there not be peace and truth at least in my days?”
20 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah—all his might, and how he made a pool and a tunnel and brought water into the city—are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 21 So Hezekiah rested with his fathers. Then Manasseh his son reigned in his place.
The Lord allowed sickness to come upon His servant Hezekiah to the point that he was near death. Every sickness is a harbinger of death, a reminder that our bodies will one day fail altogether. The Lord confirms this through the prophet Isaiah. This sickness not only points to future death. This very sickness leads to death. Hezekiah prays that God would remember him in mercy. The Lord answers his prayer, giving him fifteen more years of life. The Lord sends seasons of sadness, as well as days of gladness.
Hezekiah then shows off all Judah’s treasures to the Babylonian envoy. The Lord tempers Hezekiah’s joy with the news that one day all this treasure would belong to Babylon and his descendants would be servants in Babylon. At this news Hezekiah gives thanks to God that it won’t happen in his lifetime.
Hezekiah’s life demonstrates the truth of Paul Gerhardt’s words, “God oft gives me days of gladness; shall I grieve if He give seasons, too, of sadness. God is good and tempers ever all my ill, and He will wholly leave me never” (TLH 523:3). In this life gladness seems to last days, while sadness lasts for seasons. Nevertheless, in days of gladness and joy give thanks to the Lord and enjoy the good He sends. In seasons of sadness and grief, remember the Lord’s promise that your heavenly Father knows your needs and will provide what is best for your eternal good.
We pray: O Lord, we beseech Thee, let Thy continual pity cleanse and defend Thy Church; and because it cannot continue in safety without Thy succor, preserve it evermore by Thy help and goodness; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.