Hezekiah was sick unto death. And the prophet, Isaiah the son
of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, thus saith the Lord, Set
shine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live. Then he
turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, saying,
I beseech the, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee
in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is
good in thy sight, And Hezekiah wept sore (2 Kings 20:13).
Hezekiah was one of the good kings. He ruled over Judah for 29
years. He feared and served Jehovah. He was a courageous, capable
leader, who abolished idolatry in the land and called for the
people to return to God. It was Hezekiah who cleansed and reopened
the Temple of God. He "walked before God with a perfect heart."
Yet, in the middle of his reign, he becomes the victim of a fatal
sickness, and the prophet brought him a message from the Lord,
saying, "thou shalt die." This reminds us that good
people die as well as the sinful. Young and old, the rich and
famous in this world, and powerful rulers, must face the grim
reaper (Heb. 9:27).
What Did Hezekiah Do?
Hezekiah wept and prayed. Are you surprised? What would you have
done? I am sure he prayed to God many times. His voice was not
that of a stranger. He prayed and wept and God heard his cry for
help, saw his tears, and added fifteen years to his life.
On the third day he entered the Temple of God to worship and praise
God for his deliverance from death. Don't you know that he was
happy to go to the "House of God"? If you had lived
through the same crisis would anyone have to plead with you to
come to church and worship God? Not all men are grateful.
Jesus healed ten lepers, but only one came back to thank Christ
for deliverance (Luke 17:1219).
Set Thine House in Order
Death stands at the door. Hezekiah was a righteous ruler, but
after Hezekiah died his son, Manasseh, ascended the throne, did
evil in the sight of the Lord by rebuilding the altars that his
father had destroyed. He turned the nation of Judah back into
idolatry, which ultimately resulted in the fall of Judah and slavery
in a foreign land. Manasseh was only 12 years old when his father
died. Wicked people influenced the young king to reject his father's
counsel, and he refused to serve the God whom his father had served.
Our God, a God of Law and Order
God's dealing with man has never been haphazard and inconsistent.
God is the Father of lights "with whom there is no variation
or shadow of turning." He tells us in Malachi 3:6, "I
am the Lord, I change not." "Jesus Christ is the same
yesterday, today and forever" (Heb. 13:8). We serve a God
who never changes in his nature or his purpose to save man. He
has the right to specify the conditions upon which he will save
There are two great principles that never change. They are faith
in God and obedience to his Word. We are free from the Law of
Moses, but we are not without law since we are subject to the
Perfect Law of Liberty under Christ (James 1:25). It is by this
law that all men will be judged (James 2:12). Paul speaks of himself
as "being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ"
(1 Cor. 9:21).
Liberty is granted by the grace and love of God, but that liberty
must not be used as a license to sin (Gal. 5:13). If you have
been deceived into believing that salvation doesn't depend upon
any action or response upon the part of man to receive God's gift
you have no promise of salvation.
The World Needs to Be Set In Order
I need not tell you that the world today is in a state of chaos
and confusion. Crime is an increasing problem. Human life has
become of no value in our society. Gangs rule our streets. Children
take guns into the class rooms. Shootings and murders occur daily.
Lawabiding citizens live behind locked doors and barred
windows. The courts set rapists, perverts, and hardened criminals
free to roam the streets and repeat their crimes against innocent
victims. What can be done? When will senseless crimes cease?
This world [America] needs to be set in order. The major problem
is a little threeletter word, sin. Sinners need a
Savior. A return to God and his Word would solve the world's crisis.
Materialism creates a fool's paradise. Men seem to be determined
to destroy themselves and wreck the world. Sin is a form of insanity.
When the prodigal son left home for a "far country"
where he wasted his heritage in the pursuit of sinful pleasures,
it is said that he "came to himself." He "came
to his senses." He came to himself and therefore had not
been "at" himself.
To Set the World in Order Begins with Man
We want to convert the world to Christ, but conversion is an individual
matter and is done one person at a time. The soul that is saved
saves another. The greatest number ever added to the Lord's church
at one time, was 3,000 souls on Pentecost (Acts 2:3840).
The Lord added those who had repented and been baptized for the
remission of their sins.
If we hope to set the world in order we must begin with self.
Are we faithful? Are we living a righteous life? Have we been
born of water and the Spirit? Are we really following the Lord?
Are we spiritual leaders in our homes, setting the example for
Example: Man reading newspaper doesn't want to be interrupted
by his small boy who keeps coming to him with questions. Tells
him to go play. The boy keeps coming back until the father tears
up a map of the world and asks the boy to put it together and
shortly the boy is back with map restored. Father asks, "Son
how did you do that so quickly?" Boy replies, "Dad it
was easy there was a picture of a man on the back. I put the man
back together and the world was OK."
If we can change the hearts and minds of men we can change the
world. The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation
(Rom. 1:16). When it is heard, believed and obeyed it will save
men and change the world. It would be free of drugs and violence.
Peace would prevail. Are you old enough to remember when you could
leave your doors unlocked and walk the streets without fear of
being robbed and killed? It can be like that again if mankind
Did Christ Set His Church in Order?
In the beginning the earth was without form and void, but God
corrected the situation by setting everything in order. "The
heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his
handiwork" (Psa. 19:1). "The stars singing as they shine
proclaim, the hand that made us is divine."
The God that made the world is a God of law and order. He always
has a plan-a program and design in all that he does. The types
of the Old Testament were always accurate in picturing future
events that would occur in the New Testament age. There was a
divine purpose in the shedding of the blood of animals as a type
of the sacrifice made by Jesus who purchased the church with his
blood. Paul tells us that "without shedding of blood there
is no remission. Therefore, it was necessary that the pattern
of things in heaven should be purified with these, but the heavenly
things themselves with better sacrifices than these" (Heb.
God Gave the Pattern for the Ark
Some preachers abhor and reject pattern authority -could
it possibly be because such specifications require explicit obedience,
and they desire to set their own standards. When God commanded
Noah to build the ark, he gave the exact dimensions of the vessel,
specified the materials to be used, arranged the door of entrance
on the side and the window above. Noah, accepting God's pattern,
made no unauthorized additions or subtractions. We are told, "Thus
Noah did, according to all that God commanded him, so did he"
(Gen. 6:1422). If some of my liberal friends had been in
charge of constructing the ark, it would have been launched as
a very strange boat and the passengers would have drowned in the
flood. Such a humanly designed craft would be no type of what
God proposed for the salvation of man under the New Testament.
God's Pattern for the Tabernacle
God gave the orders for the construction of the Tabernacle in
the wilderness. Everything down to the smallest detail was specified.
It was designed as a portable tent for the worship of God by the
nation of Israel during their wanderings in the wilderness. It
was erected by Moses at Mount Sinai under direct instructions
from God. It housed the divine emblems of worship and served as
the place of worship for 400 years, until a permanent temple was
erected by Solomon in Jerusalem.
The departments of the Tabernacle consisted of the court, the
altar, the laver, the tent, the Holy Place, and the most Holy
Place. The exact dimension of each department and its contents
were ordered by Jehovah and built as he directed. Why did it have
to be so exact? Because God's pattern is always correct, and each
part was typical of the church Christ would build (Matt. 16:18).
The Temple was a permanent place of worship after Israel settled
in the land of Palestine and Jerusalem became the center for worship
to God. The Tabernacle ceased to be used but all of its compartments
and contents became a part of the Temple in Jerusalem. Now if
you will open the New Testament and read Hebrews chapters 810
it will be clear that all the types and shadows of the Old Testament
had to be exact because they became a reality under the New Covenant.
When liberal theologians start altering God's pattern, they all
talk of a new hermeneutic and adapting to cultural situations.
They regard the Bible as a love letter. Grace only replaces the
necessity of man's obedience to God. Every person does "what
seems right in his own eyes"?
We are being told that if the church is to survive, it must enter
the market place, put on a show, entertain the crowds, and water
down the message. Excuse me, if I don't accept this assertion.
In this age of change and rebellion against any authority whether
it is civil or religious, we should recognize that there are some
things that never change. Human nature has never changed. Sin
is still sinful and the penalty is death (Rom. 6:23). Our Savior
does not change (Heb. 13:8). The appointment of death is certain
(Heb. 9:27). Hell still exists to punish the wicked (Rev. 21:8).
Heaven is still the home of the righteous where sorrow is unknown
(Rev. 21:34.) How dare the "change agents" tamper
with God's pattern? God's Word is immutable.