Isaiah 38-39 is one of the saddest stories in the Bible. Until this point King Hezekiah comes across as a rather ordinary soul who finds his strength in God. However, when faced with death, instead of thanking God for a good life, he reminds the Lord what he has done for God. So God gives him his life, and Hezekiah shows off his treasure to his enemies.
What is the worst of it? That is how Hezekiah reacts when the Prophet Isaiah tells him of his foolishness.
Isaiah 39:3-8 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say, and from where did they come to you?”
So Hezekiah said, “They came to me from a far country, from Babylon.”
4 And he said, “What have they seen in your house?”
So Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.”
5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: 6 ‘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,’ says the Lord. 7 ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’ ”
8 So Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good!” For he said, “At least there will be peace and truth in my days.”
Contemplate what Hezekiah said to Isaiah: “At least there will be peace and truth in my days.” The fate of Israel and his sons did not matter to Hezekiah? I doubt Hezekiah truly felt that way. I expect he just understood he could not take back what he had done.
The moving finger writes; and, having writ, moves on: nor all thy piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all thy tears wash out a word of it. — Omar Khayyam (from here)
All Hezekiah could do is be thankful he would not live to see the consequence of his foolishness.
Yesterday Rush Limbaugh announced he has lung cancer (see Rush Shares His Cancer Diagnosis, Feb 3, 2020). Many, like myself, have listened to Limbaugh for decades. Because we have seen him endure difficult struggles well, many, like myself, have grown more fond of Limbaugh over the decades.
Is it possible to accurately judge a radio personality? Can we judge anyone? No. All I can do is observe that Rush Limbaugh seems to have grown wiser and more humble with age. In spite of the vitriol Limbaugh has endured from his opponents, over time he has actually grown less and less angry. Therefore, over time his show has become more and more pleasant, a good place to review the issues of the day with an old friend.
Of course, we all (his fans, at least) want to see Limbaugh well, able to stay with us. Still, we should remember the story of Hezekiah’s encounter with a severe illness. There are worse things than dying. Instead of asking for his life, we should pray for Limbaugh’s soul, that in this time of testing he remembers to love, thank and obey our Lord.
Consider Psalm 90, especially this part.
Psalm 90:7-12 New King James Version (NKJV)
7 For we have been consumed by Your anger,
And by Your wrath we are terrified.
8 You have set our iniquities before You,
Our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.
9 For all our days have passed away in Your wrath;
We finish our years like a sigh.
10 The days of our lives are seventy years;
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
11 Who knows the power of Your anger?
For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
12 So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.