II Kin. 20:1-21; II Chron. 32:24-33; Is. 38:1-39:8
“Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.” Life is a terminal condition. An infant is in the womb and the expectant parents anticipate many great accomplishments from the life of that child. However, there are no promises of the number of days of one’s life. It may end as a stillbirth or extend for more than a century, BUT the words that God spoke to King Hezekiah through the mouth of Isaiah have been true for mankind throughout the ages.
Upon learning that he would not recover from his illness, Hezekiah prayed for healing. God answers all of the prayers of His children. It may be, “Yes;” “No;” “Wait awhile;” or “I have something better.” The answer to the king’s prayer was a fifteen-year extension of his life. The sun reversed its descent by ten degrees as a sign that God had indeed made that promise.
When one becomes of the age to make life’s decisions, he should be as Hezekiah. He stated after receiving God’s promise of an extended life, “I shall walk carefully all my years…” Man’s purpose in life is to fear God and keep His commandments. As one walks life’s pathway, he should always keep in mind that he may not have another fifteen years to set his house in order. Death may come at the end of the next heartbeat or many years in the future, but it is inevitable that it will come unless the Lord comes first. Therefore, “Set your house in order” and KEEP it that way, “for you shall die, and not live.”
“What have they seen in your house?” Hezekiah had been promised an extension of fifteen years to his life. That pleased him greatly. What would we do if while on our deathbed, God would promise us an additional fifteen years? The king continued to serve God, but as his ancestors before him and those of us who have followed him, he made an unfortunate blunder.
Having heard that Hezekiah had been sick, the son of Babylon’s king sent “get-well” letters and a gift to Judah’s king. God had richly blessed Hezekiah with many possessions. The content of those letters is not known. In the days of building alliances, it is likely that the Babylonians were attempting to urge Judah to join them against the mighty kingdom of Assyria. However, they resulted in Hezekiah showing off all of his many treasures to the Babylonians. They had seen what was in his house. If we were to show off the contents of our spiritual house today, what would they see? Would it be the fruits of the world or the fruits of the Spirit?
God sent Isaiah to deliver a somber message to Judah’s king. “Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left…” Those words were spoken more than a hundred years before the event actually occurred. Hezekiah accepted the words of the Lord and continued to serve faithfully until his death. He was followed to the throne by his son, Manasseh.