9 A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, after he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness:
10 I said, In the middle of my days
I must depart;
I am consigned to the gates of Sheol
for the rest of my years.
11 I said, I shall not see the LORD,
the LORD in the land of the living;
I shall look on man no more
among the inhabitants of the world.
12 My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me
like a shepherd’s tent;
like a weaver I have rolled up my life;
he cuts me off from the loom;
from day to night you bring me to an end;
13 I calmed myself until morning;
like a lion he breaks all my bones;
from day to night you bring me to an end.
Journal: Obviously, King Hezekiah did not want to die. Yet, it also appears obvious that he was quite close to death. He is healthy as he now reflects, and his reflection is back on his time of physical faltering and helplessness. [Isaiah 38:11-12 -- "I said, In the middle of my days I must depart . . . I said, I shall not see the LORD, the LORD in the land of the living; I shall look on man no more among the inhabitants of the world."] It is a scary thing to think of our healthy body becoming frail [Isaiah 38:13 - I calmed myself until morning . . .], and yet it is this inevitable march toward physical mortality that we all share in common.
King Hezekiah certainly knew that he would be blessed beyond death, and yet he wept bitterly at the thought of dying. I have heard of elderly people wishing for death so that they could be with their Lord. This is not the common emotion, however, of the young and healthy. Death is always thought to be casting its shadow on a distant horizon. This is why it is so shocking to face the darkness of death's shadow as we round an unexpected bend in the road. The shock went even further for this king, for he had no heir to his throne [His son was 12 when he took the throne after King Hezekiah's later death, which would have meant he was born three years after this earlier near death experience].
One thing we can definitely learn from King Hezekiah is the wonder that is evoked if the propensity is one toward prayer. Here, God had even revealed that he would die [through His prophet Isaiah]. Yet, we are seeing both the public revelation of God and the secret proclamation of God [Deut. 29:29 -- "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law."] It is no wonder that God gave us the gift of prayer to discuss these things with Him on an intimate basis. He will reveal to us those things that we need to enable us to give Him His great glory. Yet, it is only through prayer and meditation on His Word that the revelation is captured.
Heard 'Round the House:
This is the latest offering from Vera [age 8, down syndrome] on her vigilant quest for sleeping on a pallet in our room. I recently led a Bible Study and had written my notes on a yellow pad. She came into the bathroom with pad in hand and commences to begin "reading" it. She mumbles for a couple of sentences as she is "reading" it, flips the page, emphatically points to the new page, looks up, and says "see Daddy, pallet for Vera." [perhaps this is one of those secret revelations from God that she has uncovered like we talked about in today's lesson . . .]