Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)
TITLE: Hezekiah's Lament
By Sharon Kane
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The evil seed that would henceforth be sown
By my own heir upon this promised land?
The murderous hatred spread by his vile hand?
Would I have wept for self?
Would I have prayed for health if I had seen
Just what my added years would come to mean?
My lifetime's cleansing work would be undone
By him on whom I smiled, my precious son.
Would I have prayed for health?
Would I have bowed my will before the seer
Who spoke that word, so chilling to my ear,
“You will arise no more from where you lie.
You must prepare yourself, O King, to die.”
Would I have bowed my will?
Did Yahweh turn His glorious face away
And weep? E'en as the prophet came to say,
“Go tell my faithful servant I will spare
Him fifteen years in answer to his prayer.”
Did Yahweh turn and weep?
Oh! Was my service to the Lord for nought —
Restoring worship in the Temple court,
Demolishing vile idols, turning then
The wayward to the Living God again?
Oh! Was it all for nought?
What wickedness lay hidden in that man?
What twisted spirit foul? That he began
To fill the land from end to end with blood
That crept incessant as a crimson flood?
What wickedness lay there?
Did God Eternal know the path he'd take?
Bowing to gods that human hands would make?
Unleashing heaven's fury on the land
Until the nation could no longer stand?
Did God Eternal know?
Jehovah Rophe chose to veil my eyes
To future things. And had I been more wise
I might have trusted in His perfect love
And let Him take me to His home above.
Jehovah veiled my eyes.
Footnote: A summary of the story of Hezekiah.
Hezekiah was one of the most upright kings ever to reign in Judah. He abolished idol worship, repaired and re-consecrated the Temple and restored the annual celebration of the Passover. The story of his reign is recounted in 2 Kings 18-20; 2 Chronicles 29-32, and Isaiah 36-39. Each of these accounts tells of how he became ill and God sent the prophet Isaiah to tell him he was going to die. However, in answer to Hezekiah's fervent prayer and tears, God healed him and granted him a further fifteen years of life.
During those added years Hezekiah fathered a son, Manasseh, who ascended the throne at the age of twelve. He ruled for 55 years and was outstandingly the most wicked of Judah's kings. Under his rule the nation sank to untold depths of depravity. God's wrath was aroused to such an extent that only destruction of the nation and a fresh start after the exile could atone for the wickedness committed.
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