Friday, May 22, 2020
The Vision (5.22.20): Set thine house in order
Image: Rhododendron, North Garden, Virginia, May 2020
Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on 2 Kings 20.
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).
Notice the ominous beginning: “In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death” (v. 1a). We are told later that he had a boil (v. 7). An abscess or infection could, no doubt, be lethal in those days.
There is a sense, however, in which all of us have a sickness unto death. The old saying is that there are only two things certain in life, death and taxes. The mortality rate for healing evangelists is 100%. The great faith healer Oral Roberts, the “godfather of the charismatic movement” died on December 15, 2009. The apostle Paul said, “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb 9:27).
The Lord’s minister, the prophet Isaiah, came to the king and said to him, “Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die and not live” (v. 1b). This was God’s word, and it is always fulfilled. Many have their lives taken swiftly from them. They leave the house one day and never return. There is an accident or the heart fails and their deaths come unexpectedly. I remember years ago a minister acquaintance then the “ancient” age, from my 30 something perspective, of 52 years of age, thin as a rail and seemingly healthy as a horse, went out for a run on Sunday morning before church and died of a massive heart attack. Others have time to anticipate that which is to come. I remember my father being told by the cancer doctor he had four months to live and, sure enough, nearly four months to the day he passed from this life to the next. It is interesting to ponder which way we’d prefer, but we have no say in the matter. Isaiah’s word came not from doctors, who are not always right (as they had happened to be in the case of my father), but from the LORD.
Whatever prospects we face in life and the circumstances, God’s word to Hezekiah could well be his word to us: “Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.” This is what God is saying through his word today to each one of us today.
What is out of order? What needs to be corrected? What needs to be removed? What needs to be added? What must happen for you to set your house in order?
Then, having set our house in order, let us live, without worry of death, for Christ, the one who had a truly “perfect heart” (cf. 2 Kings 20:3), who lived a sinless life for us, who died on the cross for sinners, and who was raised for our justification.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle