The Living, the Living, He Shall Praise Thee

Isaiah 38

The start of this chapter, Hezekiah is sick unto death. Isaiah comes to tell him as much and to advise him to set his house in order. Hezekiah’s response a prayer upon his bed. He rolls over the wall and weeps bitterly and asks the Lord to consider the goodness and uprightness of his works. This is not a selfish petition for the extension of his life, but rather, this is a plea to do more good.

(Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God, where others cannot.)

The petition merited a response from the Lord, again, via the prophet Isaiah. That response extended to Hezekiah 15 more years of life.

Then there is recorded a couple of other tidbits, which in my reading seem out of order. The biggest of the sections is the penned response of Hezekiah to the Lord’s blessing him with an elongated life. I don’t quite understand it all, but the feeling is that of the temple. I recognize the Spirit associated with this passage and it reminds me of the temple. I cannot point to anything else in the passage though as to why it feels like the temple.

(To gain further insight into this chapter, I first had to ask for it in prayer.)

There is one more point that I feel to emphasis from this declaration of Hezekiah’s. In verse 18, Hezekiah observes that “the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee.” Of a truth, no one has ever praised God as a dead corpse. All that is taken to the next world, all that is known in the next life, very little of it spills back over into this world. Our scriptures are not full of accounts from the next world, only the experiences of this lifetime. So in Hezekiah’s rejoicing, this observation is profound:

The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.

vs. 19

The passage also addresses our responsibility to the rising generation.This echos the sentiment that I was already familiar with from Psalms:

We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.

Psalm 78:4

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