You Shall Die and Not Live
Hezekiah had truly been one of the greatest kings of the Jews. After the vast army of Assyria overthrew the northern kingdom of Israel and scattered those ten tribes among all the nation, they then surrounded Jerusalem. The faith of Hezekiah and the record of his amazing prayer and what he did with the letter demanding immediate surrender is found in Second Kings chapter nineteen. Without a single arrow being shot, there were 185,000 Assyrian soldiers killed in one night. If you do not know this story, take time to read it and have your faith in God’s providence overwhelming increased.
Some time later, the prophet Isaiah came to Hezekiah and delivered this message from God. “Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live” (2 Kings 20:1). Hezekiah’s response to this message is found in the rest of this chapter. It is at times like this that we can focus on the really important matters of life and death.
What would you do if you knew that you had just a few days, perhaps just a few hours, to live? What would you do if a doctor you trusted told you to call in Hospice for he had done all he could for you? What would you do if you knew that within a week’s time your life would end?
A failure to think about the certainty of death causes many to be like that rich farmer Jesus told us about. The farmer foolishly said, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink and be merry” (Luke 12:19). What he did not know was that he would die the same night he said these words. What would he have done differently had he known he was within hours of death? Had you been in his place, what would have done?
The truth is that while we have not heard the words of a prophet or even the message from a doctor, this could be the last day we would ever live. If this were true, how would you spend today?
Are there words you would say to others? Are there apologies you would make? Would you want to make sure that you had told your mate how precious they are to you? Are there messages you would give to your children to prepare them for what lies ahead? Are there incidences in your life where your angry words and harsh behavior demand apologies right now? Are there words of appreciation you would want to say to anyone? Are there prayers to God about sins in your life that you would pray?
What would you do if you absolutely knew this would be your last day to live? There is no way to know this, but whatever you might do in such a situation is what you ought to do today. Think about it. Someday will be your last day!