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The Hezekiah Dilemma

Posted by Job on March 1, 2007

Deuteronomy 6:5 – And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

When Hezekiah was told by the prophet Isaiah that his death was imminent, he prayed for God to extend his life, and God granted his request. I have always wondered about that decision. Hezekiah had lived a good life for the Lord. Why not die and go straight to Heaven to your reward? Further, why not accept death now while you are right with God rather than take the chance of falling into sin later in life, dying in that state, and going to the lake of fire for eternity? At first blush, that would seem to be the eminently reasonable thing to do, as Hezekiah did in fact sin with his added time on Earth (although according to his own words God spared his soul).

But then you might wonder if that is being selfish. I recall the many Psalms where the writer would beseech of God “If you allow me to die, who will praise you?” Indeed, would it not be better to ask God to extend your life so that you would have more time to please him, more time to do his will, more time to help people by bringing them to Christ and counseling existing Christians in their faith? Would that not be better to ask? This would have been especially true of Hezekiah, who could have used his added time on Earth to continue leading the children of Israel to righteousness.

It is a dilemma that Hezekiah and others in his shoes have faced (including, for instance, death row inmates and those fighting terminal illnesses that have to decide whether to keep fighting or to succumb). Do you take care of your own soul and go to meet God while you are ready and do so at the first chance you get? Or do you hang on out of a desire to do God’s will and take a risk with your soul? Which would please God more? And is asking for more time accepting the will of God or seeking his favor?I suppose that such is a question that should only be answered on a case – by – case basis between someone and their God, and furthermore such a thing should not be long considered – if considered at all – except by someone actually facing the situation. But we can reasonably determine this: even though Hezekiah’s soul by the only available account (his own) was spared, it definitely seems that Hezekiah did not want to extend his life so that he could have more time to serve and please God. Rather, it seems that Hezekiah wanted an extension just because he liked living!

There are two things that demonstrate this in my mind. 1. Hezekiah sinned, and in one of the most senseless and grotesque manners possible, immediately after his life was spared. The very first thing that he did was allow the enemies of God to desecrate the temple in return for their flattering his ego. So was living longer to serve God more and better on his mind? 2. Upon being told that because of his sin, the temple would be looted, his people go into captivity, and his sons would become eunuchs in the castle of a foreign king, Hezekiah did not entreat God for God’s temple, his people, or his sons. Contrast this with David, a man after God’s own heart, who when he offended God by numbering Israel and God began to punish Israel, David asked that the punishment be directed at him instead! Rather, Hezekiah rejoiced that his own personal fate was still good … to die in peace and go to Heaven.

Of course, I will not judge Hezekiah, a great king for Israel who loved God and by the only available account was rewarded in Heaven. Further, for all I know, trying to turn the judgment and wrath of the One Righteous God might have provoked even more anger! Still, in this instance, did Hezekiah attain or give the appearance of attaining the commandment to love thy neighbor as thyself and to love God above all with all they heart and soul?

Rather than trying to answer that question – I suggest that you do not – one could instead wonder what Hezekiah could have done differently. Accepting God’s original will and dying would have been an act of submission for one. It would have been acknowledging that God’s Heaven far surpasses anything on Earth. It would have been an example for future generations to not seek long life, riches, power, or pleasures on Earth but rather the will and reward of God. The other way would have been to obey the will of God and not allow the Babylonians into the temple after his life had been extended. It would have demonstrated that we show gratitude to God by obeying and respecting him, and also would have been an example of forgoing the personal glorification that Hezekiah accepted in order to glorify only God.

God loves us. God wants us to obey him because obedience is how we show him that we love him back. God wants us to love him so that he can protect and take care of us, on Earth and in Heaven. That is what it is all about. So let the Hezekiah dilemma be a reminder to you to always pray that when faced with not only a choice or situation like Hezekiah did, or for that matter ANY choice or situation, that you would always choose the will of God out of love for God, and continue to do so after the choice has been made and the situation has passed. After all, it most likely will not be the ultimate life – or – death decisions that you make that determine whether God is pleased with you and will allow you into Heaven, but the ones that you make leading up to then, especially the ones that seem pretty small with harmless consequences when no one, or at least no human, is looking. That is why Jesus Christ said that when he comes again, it will be as a thief in the night! The vast majority of folks will not have the advantages of knowing when like Hezekiah did (before he prayed) and various others in exceptional circumstances. But make no mistake, God is coming for your soul one day. On that day the heart will be tried, and the result will determine the eternal fate of your soul. So my answer to the Hezekiah dilemma is to GET RIGHT AND CONTINUALLY PETITION GOD SO THAT YOU STAY THAT WAY!

Prayer:Father God in the name of Jesus Christ, give me a heart that loves thee above all else and seeks only to do thy will.

Self – Deliverance:In the name of Jesus Christ, I rebuke you, vanity. In the name of Jesus Christ, I command vanity to leave me and I bind vanity from returning or entering into any other member of the Body of Christ.

Direct Deliverance (for yourself, for your spouse or child, or for anyone else who requests through you):

In the name of Jesus Christ, I rebuke you, vanity. In the name of Jesus Christ, I command vanity to loose the will of and mind of _ so that _ may have free will. Father God in the name of Jesus Christ, now that I have bound vanity from the will and mind of _, may _ seek deliverance from vanity from whoever you lead _ to seek it from. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Intercession:

In the name of Jesus Christ, I rebuke you, vanity. In the name of Jesus Christ, I command vanity to loose the will of and mind of the Body of Christ so that its individual members may have free will. Father God in the name of Jesus Christ, now that I have bound vanity from the will and mind of individual members of the Body of Christ, may individual members of the Body of Christ seek deliverance from vanity from whoever you lead the to seek it from. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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