So something caught my eye today as I read the Word. Once again I’ve got to tell you, I’ve never seen this before, but today it jumped right off of the page at me. I was reading 2 Kings 20 and 21.
In 2 Kings 20 we read about the prophet Isaiah being sent to King Hezekiah with a word from the Lord. The word: “Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.” (2 Kings 20:1) I’m not sure how you’d respond to that, but King Hezekiah wasn’t very fond of this new information.
Here’s what we know… Hezekiah had a severe boil and so you know, in the days before antibiotics and/or surgery to drain the boil, this was usually the outcome. God was right up front with Hezekiah and told him he was going to die.
But if you remember the account, Hezekiah wept and cried for God to change His plan. And even before Isaiah left the area, God had given him word to tell Hezekiah he was going to live another 15 years.
Sometime after he was all healed up, a delegation from Babylon came to congratulate him on his recovery, and he showed off the wealth of his treasury instead of giving God the glory. He even admitted it to Isaiah when confronted. Because of what he did, he was told by Isaiah that his sons and future generations will be carried in captivity into Babylon. And here’s what the king said…
“‘The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good.’ For he thought, ‘Is it not so, if there shall be peace and truth in my days?’” 2 Kings 20:19
And at the end of those 15 years he died, leaving the kingship to his son Manasseh.
Now, here’s what I noticed. We’re told in 2 Kings 18:2, Hezekiah “was 25 years old when he became king, and he reigned 29 years.” So do the math. 14 years into his kingship he was told he was going to die. He was only 39 years old. 39 year olds, generally, are strong and productive. Of course he wanted to live. Nobody expects to die of a infected boil at the age of 39. So God grants him another 15 years, which would make him 54 when he died. And here’s the staggering outcome. “Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king…” 2 Kings 21:1 Of all the bad kings that Judah ever had, Manasseh was the worst. He was probably the most vile king that ruled Judah and he reigned 55 years. He was born in those last 15 years that God had granted his father.
Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: It’s from Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your mind in Christ Jesus.”
Thank You for the gift of life today. Help me live it for you. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.
Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen