2 Kings 20* Hezekiah's sickness, His recovery in answer to prayer. (1-11)Hezekiah shows his treasures to the ambassadors from Babylon,His death. (12-21)1-11 Hezekiah was sick unto death, in the same year in whichthe king of Assyria besieged Jerusalem. A warning to prepare fordeath was brought to Hezekiah by Isaiah. Prayer is one of thebest preparations for death, because by it we fetch in strengthand grace from God, to enable us to finish well. He wept sorely:some gather from hence that he was unwilling to die; it is inthe nature of man to dread the separation of soul and body.There was also something peculiar in Hezekiah's case; he was nowin the midst of his usefulness. Let Hezekiah's prayer, see #Isa38|. interpret his tears; in that is nothing which is like hishaving been under that fear of death, which has bondage ortorment. Hezekiah's piety made his sick-bed easy. "O Lord,remember now;" he does not speak as if God needed to be put inmind of any thing by us; nor, as if the reward might be demandedas due; it is Christ's righteousness only that is the purchaseof mercy and grace. Hezekiah does not pray, Lord, spare me; but,Lord, remember me; whether I live or die, let me be thine. Godalways hears the prayers of the broken in heart, and will givehealth, length of days, and temporal deliverances, as much andas long as is truly good for them. Means were to be used forHezekiah's recovery; yet, considering to what a height thedisease was come, and how suddenly it was checked, the cure wasmiraculous. It is our duty, when sick, to use such means as areproper to help nature, else we do not trust God, but tempt him.For the confirmation of his faith, the shadow of the sun wascarried back, and the light was continued longer than usual, ina miraculous manner. This work of wonder shows the power of Godin heaven as well as on earth, the great notice he takes ofprayer, and the great favour he bears to his chosen. 12-21 The king of Babylon was at this time independent of theking of Assyria, though shortly after subdued by him. Hezekiahshowed his treasures and armour, and other proofs of his wealthand power. This was the effect of pride and ostentation, anddeparting from simple reliance on God. He also seems to havemissed the opportunity of speaking to the Chaldeans, about Himwho had wrought the miracles which excited their attention, andof pointing out to them the absurdity and evil of idolatry. Whatis more common than to show our friends our houses andpossessions? But if we do this in the pride of ours hearts, togain applause from men, not giving praise to God, it becomes sinin us, as it did in Hezekiah. We may expect vexation from everyobject with which we are unduly pleased. Isaiah, who had oftenbeen Hezekiah's comforter, is now is reprover. The blessedSpirit is both, #Joh 16:7,8|. Ministers must be both, as thereis occasion. Hezekiah allowed the justice of the sentence, andGod's goodness in the respite. Yet the prospect respecting hisfamily and nation must have given him many painful feelings.Hezekiah was indeed humbled for the pride of his heart. Andblessed are the dead who die in the Lord; for they rest fromtheir labours, and their works do follow them.
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