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November 3, 2020 7:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. Hospitals are certainly not fun place. I mean there's that's a place of needles and tubes monitors in Pilsen anonymously like that experience.
We all dislike and at a certain level. I think we all fear diseases. Each one of us for not facing it now like the future diseases respond. There's a lot in the Bible about this is I didn't think the average believer knows that joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana Pastor Bill Gebhardt now again he shows us how God's word meets our this past week I was once again reminded of one of the great fears that all of us seem to have as we live out our lives on this planet. You see we were we were praying for an accurate diagnosis for someone in the body that could be facing a very serious disease. Fortunately, they received good news and a good diagnosis but as a pastor I have been with many people throughout all these years who find themselves filled with fear at the prospect of a serious disease in her life. Fear is almost always the very first reaction we have when we face something that is potentially fatal.
David Jeremiah, who is a famous pastor internationally. DTS grad, wrote a book called when your world falls apart and he was describing his own battle with stage IV large cell lymphoma.
The prognosis for him is that it would be fatal. And Jeremiah writes this, he said so was I afraid absolutely. I was desperately afraid. There's no denying that. Was I afraid to die.
No, I'm not afraid to leave this life.
Although I'm not eager to do so either. He said a good bit of my fear focused on losing precious years of the people I love some. It was simply fear about the pain. Some of it was about the unknown. How would you respond to the news that you were suffering from possibly a fatal disease. He said imagine the thoughts and feelings that might flood your heart at such a time and then you know the same things that I was experiencing goes on in that book and says that cancer is one of those subjects that you can't comprehend secondhand potentially fatal diseases become a host for fear in our lives.
And sadly, each one of us are going to spend a certain portion of our lives very lightly with a fatal disease. The reason for that I think is we want design for fatal diseases. Solomon says in Ecclesiastes that God has placed eternity in our hearts fatal disease to us as a termination of life.
So it's not natural for us and we have this tendency to fear over, and the fear can become extremely powerful in our lives we we we start imagining things. I think I thought tightness in my chest.
I think there's a lump sum wherewith there should be a lump start just thinking in her head because of our fears about the disease and usually death doesn't do its work.
Suddenly it doesn't in increments. Slowly but surely the outer man is decaying. As the apostle Paul said the diversity of the human body allows many different points of entry for the Grim Reaper in our lives. According to the Center of disease control the leading causes of death in America.
In descending order are heart disease and cancer, respiratory diseases, Alzheimer's, diabetes, kidney disease and pneumonia and is not just an emotional toll in America were spending nearly $3 trillion a year trying to stop diseases from happening to us. The word disease is interesting word. It's this and ease and all that it means is not easy. That's what the word disease means not easy or not at ease, that's exactly what makes us disrupt our lives. Wind up becoming dependent on a plethora of medications you see them being advertised on TV constantly. No matter what you're facing. But, by the way, to give her notice the people that are on the advertisement on the commercials are always happy, healthy people, they just always, they really look great and I keep telling you what a great thing.
This medical there's medical breaks will be or this medication will be. And then when you're done seeing those people then and only then there's Amanda comes ornate and he sounds like an auctioneer and is going as fast as you possibly can to tell you all the possible side effects to your disease. Hospitals are certainly not fun places.
I mean there's that's a place of needles and tubes. Monitors and pills and bed pans minimus really like that experience. We all dislike and at a certain level. I think we all fear diseases and yet each one of us were not facing it. Now were likely facing in the future. Diseases in evitable. The key is how do we respond to it. Think there's a lot in the Bible about diseases. I don't think the average believer knows that the Bible says a lot about diseases in the Bible, but I will say this, I've never heard a sermon series on diseases and I would rather not talk about. Paul had a thorn in the flesh were not sure exactly what that was.
Was it and I disease of some sort migraines. There's been several people may conjecture over that Job find himself at the end of his mitt at the end of her suffering. Sitting on an ash heap out with boils all over his body on the city dump scraping the source Lazarus, a friend of Jesus in John 11 had a terminal illness. In Mark five. You have the woman with the issue of blood in second Kings five. You have Naaman and his leprosy. King David talked about the evil disease that clung to him in Psalm 41. King Asa had a foot disease.
King Jeroboam had a disease in his intestines and second Chronicles 21. Almost all the people in the Galilean area according to Matthew chapter 4 said had all kinds of sicknesses and kinds of diseases. Aphrodite's was six on sick almost to death in Philippians chapter 2 and Dorcas.
She felt sick and died and was raised on the dead by Peter but I want to look at one particular story about disease and I'd like you to open your Bibles 1st to 2nd Kings 20 look at a couple verses then and move on. This disease is so prevalent you three different times in the Old Testament. The story is repeated three times as though it's very important for us to understand it is a disease that came upon a fatal disease. We came upon Hezekiah Hezekiah's, a king of Judah is one of the great kings from most of the time, and Judah is considered to be a tremendous King heat.
He actually drove out all of the idol worship. He restored the temple he restored the function of the priesthood to do a lot of really neat things.
The whole country was prospering under him.
He was 25 years old when he took over is an amazing story of a really neat young man. The whole nation was prospering. According to second Chronicles 31 it said Hezekiah did that was was right and good and true, before the Lord is God, and every work that he began in the service of the house of God in the law and in the commandment to seek his God.
He did it with all his heart and so he and the nation prospered. These were good times good times for him. Good times for the nation.
Everything is happening and doing well and then after about 15 years of his reign, something happen. Verse one. Chapter 20 in those days. Hezekiah became mortally ill and Isaiah the prophet, the son of a Mars he said came to him and said, thus says the Lord. Set your house in order, you shall die and not live, do not just imagine what that would've felt like. And by the way, this is much worse than a doctor telling this is a prophet telling you. Okay, what's that mean the prophet knows the future God tells the prophet the future and says go tell Hezekiah he's a dead man walking.
So you gotta imagine how would you respond to something like that. It's not a good prognosis of all. Well, he turned his face to the wall and he prayed to the Lord and he said, remember now what I beseech you how I want before you in truth and with a whole heart and have done what is good in your sight. And Hezekiah wept bitterly. The nuts on just like you or me if you good news like that. What happens first. We bring time to mourn in prayer. You see, that's what happens. All of us.
He weaves any praise from not want to go with me to Isaiah 38 and pick up the story again. Isaiah 38, this time from the prophets point of view. Isaiah 38 sounds exactly like the passage in second Kings when it begins, is that in those days. Hezekiah became mortally ill Isaiah the prophet, the son of a mosque came to him and said to him, thus says the Lord. Set your house in order, you shall die and not live in and Hezekiah turned his face to the wall.
He prayed to the Lord.
He said remembered our Lord, I beseech you how I walk before you in truth and in the whole heart and have done what is good in your sight.
And Hezekiah wept bitterly when I want to see in Isaiah. There was notice what is purpose this and again remember now, Lord, I beseech you how I want before you in truth and with a whole heart and have done what is good in your sight. Let me paraphrase it.
You owe me. That's what you say you only. I mean I am a good man. I turned the whole nation. Ron I'm a good king. I'm a faithful guy.
You owe me. That's a very natural response when you know somebody has a long future ahead of them and are serving the Lord. We use all those terms right that he went she went way too early. If I were God, they would still be alive from looking for somebody was going to go to heaven would be that person God choosing that person. Why would God want that person to go to heaven. You see when that person is so useful on earth.
That's what Hezekiah saying you see said Lord now on a certain level. It seems like a pretty selfish prayer.
You see, if it seems as though we got a shallow selfish prayer and you could just write it off, but when you see what the answers verse four then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, saying, go and say to Hezekiah thus says the Lord, the God of your father David. I have heard your prayer.
I've seen your tears. Behold, I wed 15 years. That's what we want right. I mean that's what we want and I don't look can I apply that the Hezekiah part of me. I've known people that have actually mantle me just praying for 50 more years is biblical. You see it's biblical right there you want 15 years. Gotta give you 15 years.
First bullet is biblical secondly is the only time in Scripture that that happen. So I don't know if I want to make a pattern out of that necessarily, but I think a more important question here is as shocking as this answer is, is that why in the world that God answer that you see why in the world did God ever answer that it's all there in verse five, but we don't see it.
He said thus says the Lord God of your father who David there is a reason for the answer is you don't know it when you look at it this way is what you mean.
So it's his father David. Okay you know this about David. Did God make a Davidic covenant with David. Yes and what he told David Messiah is coming through you the Messiah, the hope of the world, our Savior's coming through David know what's interesting about that is Hezekiah has a son named Manasseh and Manasseh in the Scriptures tell us became king when he was 12 when he was 12 years old, he became king the how many years did Hezekiah get 15 so we know something here. This has a lot to do with the offspring. So much so, by the way going to get to Matthew chapter 1 and you read the genealogy to Jesus Christ, who is called a Matthew one, the son of David in the genealogy, guess who's there Hezekiah and Manasseh are both part of the lineage to Jesus Christ. So why did God say is you see, why did he say yes because he prayed for any got it no because it was for God's glory in God's plan to see it was always going to be that it's always for God's glory and for God's plan. That's why he said yes.
That's why it works. From that point. If you notice Hezekiah. Then in verses 10 to 15 he he replies and about what it was like when he was diagnosed and it's an interesting thing. The best reading I found of it is by Eugene Peterson and Eugene Peterson wrote the message.
The message is a paraphrase of the English Bible in order to make it easier for us to understand and I love the way Peterson describes these verses 10 to 15 in his what he writes.
He said in the very prime of life. I have to leave.
He said whatever time I have left the 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 packed away like a camper's tent like a lever. I am rolled up the carpet of my life as God cuts me free from the loom and is in a daze then sweeps up the scraps and the pieces I cry for help until morning and like a lion, God pummels in pounds me relentlessly finishing me off. I squawked like a doomed hen. I moan like a dove.
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 on that upset about troubled very interesting response by Hezekiah my site, but we're praying my heart out. Nothing's getting better and I'm upset I can't sleep what a human response that is we hate fatal prognosis. Remember, God has placed eternity in our heart. There is a reason which interesting about this to me is that Hezekiah then once he realizes what is happening here he shows a typical human response but I want to see something else. First, what is the process. How do God do this you think it's can be a miracle.
It's not verse 21 now. Isaiah had said let them take a cake of feelings. That's a paste of things. Let them take a cake of figs and apply it to the boil, that he may recover and that's what it the court physicians took a cake of figs made a paste and put on the boil now you can imagine those conversations. Is this herbal medicine over the court physicians saying likely wait a minute I don't think this is going to work in Outlook after we get ahead at what we could see people's lives by rubbing think based on what you been doing this for a long time. The question is why think I just do a miracle that we always think why doesn't he do a miracle consists in a sense is a miracle. Maybe CS Lewis said it best when he said, God seems to do nothing of himself which he can possibly delegate to his creatures.
That's the nature of God. That's the nature of God.
What you think about God. What will a lot of people thought what he think the physicians we did. We did it we put the paste on his heel today would have a different physicians Bobby Lance, the boil and then used antibiotics meant we did it will who did it.
See the question would be this when you're healed. Are you healed by God.
Are you healed by medical science and here's the answer. Yes, that's the answer you are using. Yes, all the money always belongs to God to you and I don't get to really see what's going on spiritually. So we keep thinking the matter. Why do we always think where I'm going to be so thankful for medical science and we should be God's always behind the scene. That way he breaks into, please look at verse 17 he breaks into praise and he says hello. He said for my own welfare. I had great bitterness is you who is My soul from the pit of nothingness.
You have cast all my sins behind her back. Also, Donna verse 20 he said the Lord will surely save me so he will play, so we will play my songs on stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the Lord just like us. He's now thankful grateful and praising and I say it differently, isn't Jesus. That's what you say and I'm not denying is not good, but it is a little ironic that you always sees good when you get what you want when you get what you want to sees good if you don't get what you want.
Very few view sees good reasons are good or is not good.
You see how this works. You see, you have to think about it a different way. He just goes into this praise and it's an interesting thing when you think about it. Everything seems to be going so well for him, but I want to go with me now to second Chronicles 32 second Chronicles 32 verse 25.
The writer of the Chronicles picks up the story in verse 25 second Chronicles 32 it says this. This is the aftermath, but Hezekiah gave no return for the benefit he received because his heart was proud. Therefore wrath came on him and when Judah and Jerusalem forgot all about God. Just like we do. His near-death humility and by the way when you're near death.
There's a lot of humility. His near-death humility past and always filled with pride when the heat died down.
So did his passion for God and his pride took over. Isaiah 39 tells us that what he ended up doing out of his pride became extremely wealthy. When the Babylonian envoy was in Jerusalem he decided to take him to the treasury. I understand Babylon is conquering everything in the world at that time and they end up in Babylonian captivity. He brings them all to the treasury and he says look at my stuff look up all the wealth that I have that's not really a wise thing to do.
The Babylonians they command took all the stuff ransacked the city to see we did it out of his pride.
That's what he ended up doing in the whole nation ended up paying for it even got worse. You see Hezekiah let the whole nation into apostasy and then his son took over Manasseh. The worst thing ever and Judah. He led them in total apostasy. He desecrated the temple.
He even approved the sacrifice of children to pagan idols the whole nation had been disrupted.
Hezekiah led the charge with his own pride after he was healed now. The reason I'm saying that Psalm 10 615 says this he gave them the request sent leanness into their center. In other words I'm saying this. Thank God for unanswered pastoral giver on the radio ministry of fellowship in the world. If you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just like the. The message one more time.
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