He Should Have Quit While He Was Ahead

Today’s Reading – 2 Kings 20 – 22 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Luke 21 – 22Psalms 11 – 15Proverbs 3)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song –  Joshua 1:8

Read the “0503 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a previous post from this passage – “Have You Found the Book

“In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.” (2 Kings 20:1)

1 Kings 20 tells us a very interesting story of the prophet Isaiah coming to King Hezekiah and announcing to him that he was about to die. Hezekiah is naturally distraught when he hears the news that his sickness will lead to his death. After all, he was only 39 years old. Who wants to die at 39? He then goes to the Lord and asks him to spare his life, and the Lord graciously adds to him another fifteen years; but I am not sure whether it was good for Hezekiah to spend that additional time on the earth. It may have been better for him, and for the nation had he gone home to Heaven when the Lord first called for him.

Consider three events that happened in the last fifteen years of Hezekiah’s life that would have not happened had he died at 39:

1  He had a son, named Manasseh, in the last 15 years of his life that turned out to be the most wicked king in Judah’s history.

“Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem: But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. … So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen, whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel.” (2 Chronicles 33:1-2, 9)

2  He allowed the ambassadors from Babylon to come into Jerusalem, and he showed them all of the kingdom. Babylon would be the nation that would destroy Jerusalem later on, and they would take everything.

3  His heart became lifted up with pride:

“But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem.” (2 Chronicles 32:25)

To be fair, I must point out that the Bible tells us that Hezekiah did humble himself after this, which would postpone the wrath that God had promised, but even though the judgment was postponed, it would still come, but not until after Hezekiah’s death.

Hezekiah was one of the greatest kings that Israel had in all of the history, but he would have been the greatest by far had his life ended at 39. The kingdom went downhill in the last 15 years.

I do not know how many years I have left, but I pray that I will be yielded to the will of the Lord for the remainder of my life. I want to finish my course by keeping the faith. I am not in a hurry to leave this earth, but when He calls for me, I want to be willing to go. I don’t want to go out fighting his will.

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