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June 18, 2020 8:00 am
Today on the Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. I gotta be honest or someone I love. As a serious disease or terminal illness, thinking about the brain. I'm not thinking about the world am I thinking about how it all plays out a thing about one thing, I want that person. See that's what I want to do is see the big picture you joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor know your part. Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie when Pastor Bill Gebhart now is once again he shows us how God's word. Our world according to the federal centers for disease control approximately 596,000 of us will die of heart disease. This year, 577,000 of us will die of cancer hundred and 43,000 of us will die of lower respiratory failure hundred and 30,000 of us will die stroke 85,000 of us will die from Alzheimer's.
74,000 of us will die diabetes and 54,000 of us will die from influenza and pneumonia. You might be asking yourself, and I got up early for this is a just hearing the statistics seem scary, doesn't it, and yet just about all of us will spend a portion of our lives, sick and dying. Our response to disease is revulsion dread. We do everything we can to overcome our contempt for its own. The word disease. This means not in ease is easy. The root of the word disease is not easy nowadays spend over 2 1/2 trillion dollars a year in America the fight disease. We fight it with massive pharmaceutical drugs. Usually on television there advertised by watching these really healthy and really happy people giving monitoring tribute to a particular drug that they use only to be followed by the disclaimer of the side effects with the speed of an auctioneer on steroids. One nothing to do with disease, we jog we try to eat right. We work out, but we still get disease and we still die for the believer we should be getting comfort. After all, and Isaiah 4113 God said, for I am your God, who uphold your right hand, who says to you, do not fear I will help you and yet we all fear disease because we realize that sooner or later one disease or moral catch up with us. It's no surprise that the Bible says so much about disease and sickness.
Paul's thorn in the flesh.
Job sitting on the ashy covered with boils the woman with the issue of blood in Mark five Naaman and his leprosy and second Kings King Asa Henn's foot disease. King Gen. Ron and is disease and test times.
Aphrodite's Paul said was sick almost to death and Dorcas who felt so sick that she died only to be raising the dead completed by Peter this morning. I want to do with the issue of being afraid. The last time the first message in this series was our fear of uncertainty and it kinda relates to this, but I want to deal with our fear of serious illness and disease and once again I want to use Hezekiah so would you open your Bibles to Isaiah chapter 38 Isaiah chapter 38 dear member Hezekiah is one of the great kings of Judah, a great young king. He became king when he was only 25 years of age he was really special. In fact the Scripture say of him. He did what was good and right and true, before the Lord is God. And so the very first verse of 38 gives us the dreaded prognosis in those days.
Hezekiah became mortally ill and Isaiah the prophet, the son of a most came to him and said to him, thus says the Lord. Set your house in order for you shall die and not live. Now that's a prognosis by the way, is there any point a second opinion here men of God says you're going to die pretty much a unit I at least with medical people can always get the second or third opinion but he gets that is his prognosis and you can imagine his response to such a thing. Just as ours is in fact removing the prognosis to the prayer and then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and he prayed to the Lord, he said, remember now, oh Lord, I beseech you how I have walked before you and truth and with a whole heart and have done what is good in your sight.
And Hezekiah wept bitterly shocked.
Just like we are is an amazing thing that no matter how many times you hear the statistics of the major diseases that we contract as Americans and and die from them when one of us contracts that were shocked. We understand that this is the kind of thing. It happens a lot of lots of people we know that, but not us. And whenever does happen to us.
We just do what he did in fact he takes it a step further, he says, Lord, don't you know how great a pin for you.
Like upturned is holding around.
I got all of the pagan altar side of Judah. I got people worshiping you again. I've done my part. I'm too young to die.
We feel the same way. So often, by the way that the show you how human he was in.
Hezekiah wept bitterly but cough is the word for weeping. It been sobbing, but the word bitterly probably should be translated bitterly. It's it's the word control and it's translated bitterly one time in the Old Testament. Writer but it's translated greatly or grade 402 times.
What does that mean he wept greatly. He balled his eyes out he cried. He sobbed. Sometimes news of a fatal disease affects us like that and Hezekiah is crying and he is praying that we only see a little bit of his prayer. There and then in reflection, we see the rest of it begins in verse 10, and from verse 10, the first 15 this is what I would call his supplication. In other words, if you remember in Philippians 4. Last time I said that we were told to be anxious for nothing, but in everything with prayer and supplication letter request, with thanksgiving, the name made known to God. This is the supplication he's just emoting. He's just giving his heart, and you can follow if you want in your translation 10 to 15 but I want to read and you can just listen if you like Eugene Peterson's paraphrase from the message because I think it's so much clear to us. Here's what Isaiah was praying in the very prime of life.
I have to leave. Whatever time I have left is spent in this waiting room no more glimpses of God in the land of the living. No more meetings with my neighbors. No more rubbing shoulders of my friends. This body I inhabit is taken down and packed away like a camper's tent like a weaver.
I pulled up the carpet of my life as God cuts me free from the loom and at days end, he sweeps up the scraps and pieces. My cry for help until morning. Like a lion, God pummels impounds me relentlessly finishing me off. I squawked like a doomed hand moan like a dog. My eyes ache from looking up for help master I'm in trouble.
Get me out of this. What's the use God himself gave me the word. He's done it to me. I can't sleep I'm that upset on the troubled. That's his heart, you get that prognosis in your life and if you had already you know exactly how he feels it's in, and then he moves in that to his petition and that starts in verse 16 we just look in the regular translation, he says, oh Lord, by these things men live in and all he says he said in all these is the life of my spirit is my request a restore to me. My health, let me live hello. He said for my own well for I had great bitterness.
It is you who is My soul from the pit of nothingness for you have cast. He says all my sins behind her back. I'm forgiven I am redeemed I am a relationship with you for shield meaning the grave cannot thank you death cannot praise you.
Those who go down into the pit. He says cannot hope for your faithfulness. It is the living. He says who give thanks to you as I do today.
Father tells his sons about your faithfulness. The Lord will shortly save me and so he will play my songs on stringed instruments all the days of my life with the House of Lords, he says, Lord restored. I have a relationship with you.
He prays exactly what it is that he wishes that we all, you're given a prognosis in its terminal illness. How you pray. I think we follow Hezekiah's example will restore me know.
We do understand. I think clearly that even if you win this battle though be one down the road. That's kind of what we like disease and death is and it always down the road but that's what he prayed, and so we move innocent from the prognosis to the prayer and then once this promise verse four and then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, saying, go and say to Hezekiah and thus says the Lord, the God of your father David. I have heard your prayer.
I have seen your tears.
Behold, I will add 15 years to your life and I will deliver you from the city from the hand of the king of Assyria and I would defend the city while, by the way you if you notice last time he did defend the city, but those chapters were earlier than this Isaiah is not writing in chronological order. He's writing thematically. This actually occurs before the angel of the Lord because I hundred 85,000 Assyrians that we looked at last time, but notice what God says yes I give you 15 years.
How many people you think that know Jesus Christ. The last 2000 years of pray for 15 years. Just 15 more. You see, I think sometimes when you look at this and you don't really understand it, you keep thinking I must be something wrong with me.
I pray for people in it and pray for 15 years, but I pray for more time beside just the healing and get more time and I know there's a whole movement out there.
It says the only reason is is because shooters really don't have enough faith as malarkey. That's a lie for people of great faith who don't get 15 more years.
Think of Isaiah when he writes here about Hezekiah. There's no question one of the reasons that God answered his prayer. He said I have seen your tears, but by the way, when either you or someone you love Getzen terminal illness. He sees archers as well. It's not just the tears there something else afoot here. There's another reason there always is. And the reason is simply this, when God moves in your life. He never moves only in your life. God always moves on the basis of the entire picture the whole thing.
In fact, he says I know the end from the beginning. I am the Alpha and Omega. God doesn't operate the we we operate.
God always has bigger fish to fry.
God always is seeing the whole and if you didn't really look at this one. Understand what's going on here. It's all in one little phrase in in verse five. Thus says the Lord. And then there's the phrase, the God of your father David.
That's why the prayer was answered using weight what yeah the God of your father David. You see, Hezekiah is in error. David's is a well so what's kind of important mission how important it is hold you place your and go with me to Matthew chapter 1 Matthew chapter 1 first verse first chapter of the New Testament.
You see, prophetically, God has made covenants committee Abraham a covenant with Abraham and he said Abraham your seed is going to be the solution for everything and Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and we only know that and Paul in the book of Galatians is the seed is Christ, but he also made a covenant with David second.
Sam, a seven week call, the Davidic covenant and he says the David, the Messiah comes for you see, that's the Messiah comes for you, the hope of mankind, the Savior of the world is all that is going to come through you, David. Now look at Matthew one verse one the record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah. And then this phrase, the son of David, Maceo, what's going on whether something you might not of known when Hezekiah got the moral illness he had no sons. None.
In fact, three years after he gets 15 years.
He has a little boy named Manasseh who was born. He becomes the year the watch in Matthew verse nine you Zion was the father of Jonathan and Joe from the father of Ahaz and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah and Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh, Manasseh, the father and mine, and it works. It's all the way down to verse 16, Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, now you know why he was healed. Now you know why had 15 more years. You see, no Manasseh, no Messiah, he has to come through. David so God sees the big picture and answers yes 15 years and we go back Isaiah, and that's the way God always operates. He always sees it. You see, we can see the future beyond the end of her nose, and when we pray, I gotta be honest, if I if I'm or someone I love has a serious disease or terminal illness.
I'm not thinking about the grand picture. I'm not thinking about the world am I thinking about how it all plays out on thing about one thing, I want that person to be restored to health. See that's what I want to do, but God says you have to trust me, I see the big picture and so yeah he got 15 more years and yes got a compassion because he was so upset by it.
There was something else involved. So we see the prognosis in the prayer and the promise and then God actually gives him the prescription verse 21 of chapter 38 now I he says. Isaiah had said let them take a cake of figs and apply it to the boil, that he may recover and then Hezekiah had said, what is a sign that I should walk to the house of the Lord, and he gets a sign that it's not that important right now. Notice how this was miracle took place. Let them take a cake of figs. It's not really a cake poultice as the word means paste so you take. Paste the figs and apparently he has inextricably infected boil and is getting sicker and sicker as time goes on.
That's what God told was terminal.
So what does he apply when it broke, if you read the commentators medication that was the normal treatment and so he had this infected boil when he took this paste of figs. Rubbed it on my question is this why does God need thing paste no but he uses it because God uses medication is a God can choose the miracle we can choose the medication CS Lewis wrote this, God seems to do nothing of himself which he can possibly delegate to his creatures see how much of this healing is because of Hezekiah's prayer how much of this healing is God's miraculous intervention. How much of this healing is the medication of the fig paste of the boil. I don't know but I think all come into play. David Jeremiah who is fought his own battle with cancer is in remission writes this he says when we face a serious disease. The first thing we should do is talk to God asking for guidance and then take advantage of the best medical assistance available, as Hezekiah did.
Ultimately, our God is Jehovah ropeway, the God who heals you. Whether he owes us with a miracle with medicines or in the world to come. When an interesting way to put this God always feels sometimes a miracle sometimes of medicines and always in the world. The prognosis the prayer the promise in the prescription and it all seems like it's going so well, but now there's a problem in chapter 39 verse one and two we see the symptoms but not the problem. It says and at that time my back valid on the son of valid on the king of Babylon sent letters and a present to Hezekiah for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. Hezekiah was pleased and he showed the bent them. That's the Babylonians. He showed the Babylonians all his treasure house, the silver and the gold in the spices and the precious oil and his whole armory and all that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his house, nor all and always dominion, that Hezekiah did not show them the please understand of the Babylonians are the Babylonians are the people who destroyed the Assyrians is kind of an interesting thought. Why would he do that well. We find out why he would do it in second Chronicles 32 I just read the verse listen in those days. Hezekiah became mortally ill and he prayed to the Lord and the Lord spoke to him and gave him a sign, but Hezekiah gave no return for the benefit he received because his heart was probably therefore wrath came on him and on Judah and Jerusalem, Hezekiah took that 15 years and that healing is a issue of pride. He became so powerful that he shows the Babylonians all the treasures that he has Isaiah in a paraphrase way shows up and says what were you thinking and by the way, Babylonians came down, ransacked it all and to call back about this, even though the prayer was answered. Everything kind of went wrong. After that what you find out what the problem here with with Hezekiah is simply this is the heat died down on his problem. His passion for God to pass through government on the radio ministry of fellowship in the world.
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