2 Kings 20:1-19
In those days was Hezekiah sick to death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, Thus said the LORD…
A Christian man of intense business enterprise and activity was laid aside by sickness. He who never would intermit his labours was compelled to a dead halt. His restless limbs were stretched motionless on the bed. He was so weak that he could scarcely lift his hand. Speaking to a friend of the contrast between his condition now and when he had been driving his immense business he said, "Now I am growing. I have been running my soul thin by my activity. Now I am growing in the knowledge of myself and of some things which most intimately concern me." Blessed, then, is sickness, or sorrow, or any experience that compels us to stop, that takes the work out of our hands for a little season, that empties our hearts of their thousand cares, and turns them toward God to be taught of Him. Death: — The account leads us to consider death in three aspects.
I. AS CONSCIOUSLY APPROACHING. Mark here three things —
1. When he became conscious of its approach.
2. How he become conscious of its approach. It needs no Isaiah, or any other prophet, to deliver this message to man. It comes to him from all history, from every graveyard, from every funeral procession, as well as from the inexorable law of decay working ever in his constitution.
(1) Men have much to do in this life. The "house" is out of order.
(2) Unless the work is done here it will not be done yonder.
3. How he felt in the consciousness of its approach.
(1) He seems to have been overwhelmingly distressed. "He wept sore."(2) He cried earnestly to heaven. In his prayer we note the cry of nature. All men, even those who are atheistic in theory, are urged by the law of their spiritual nature to cry to heaven in great and conscious danger. In his prayer, we also note the breath of self-righteousness.
II. AS TEMPORARILY ARRESTED. Five things are to be observed here —
1. The primary Author of its arrest.
2. The secondary means of its arrest.
3. The extraordinary sign of its arrest.
4. The exact extension of its arrest.
5. The mental inefficiency of its arrest.What spiritual good did these additional fifteen years accomplish for the king? They might have done much, they ought to have done much.
III. AS ULTIMATELY TRIUMPHANT. "And Hezekiah slept with his fathers." The end of the fifteen years came, and he meets with the common destiny of all. The unconquered conqueror is not to be defrauded of his prey, however long delayed.
(David Thomas, D. D.).
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.