|Why do we consider script of our death?|
There's a bluegrass song entitled, "Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven, But Nobody Wants to Die." If you are a fan of Alison Krauss, chances are you have heard it.
I have recently learned that there is a book by the same title. I have not read the book, but I have more than once tapped my foot to the rhythm of the song. The first verse references Hezekiah. He is a perfect choice for such a theme. Hezekiah, as you may remember, became King of Judah when he was 25 years of age. As king, he inherited quite a misguided kingdom. Thankfully, Hezekiah had a heart for God. As a matter of fact, his goal was to be a king like David. Hezekiah rebuilt the temple and fortified Jerusalem. He also engineered the digging of a 600-yard tunnel that provided a direct water supply to the city and decreased its vulnerability to enemy siege.
Likewise, he faced many disappointments. When Judah was defeated by the Assyrians, he was placed under house arrest. Some years later, when all was well in the land and Hezekiah is aged, Isaiah tells him to set his house in order and prepare to die. Like many, Hezekiah prays for God to spare his life. According to the book of Isaiah, God grants Hezekiah another 15 years to live. Even though he made mistakes, some that came at a great price for his country's future, he seemed to make the most of the extra years. We do not read of him requesting yet another extension, but it is recorded that all of Judah honored him at his death.
For the full report, see Page 5A of this week's Citizen.
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Jo Ann Cooper is a United Methodist pastor of the LA Conference.