"You've Got Fifteen Years"
Your doctor tells you, "Put your house in order; you're going to die!" Then someone says, "Hold it! You've got fifteen years to go!" How would you feel? Joyful! Suddenly your life would take on new meaning. You would focus - not on your past - but how you want to use your remaining years, right?
That's essentially what happened to Hezekiah whose story of sickness and recovery is told in Isaiah 38. He went home, turned his face to the wall, and wept bitterly.
He also prayed, pointing out that he had faithfully served God. Then God said, "I have heard your prayers and seen your tears." Thus God gave Hezekiah another fifteen years. In gratitude Hezekiah made some vows.
First, he vowed to walk humbly before God.
Then he also vowed to focus on praise and thanksgiving. He said, "The living, the living - they praise you, as I am doing today; fathers tell their children about your faithfulness" (Isaiah 38:19). He also intended to spend the rest of his life glorifying God.
God kept His end of the bargain and the king lived for fifteen years. But when the crisis passed and life assumed a normal pattern of things, what the king intended to do was soon forgotten. According to Isaiah, pride in his accomplishments soon pushed aside the vow of humility and the desire to praise and glorify God for what He had done.
How much time do you have? Only today is the correct answer. Who knows what tomorrow may hold? Today is the day to put your house in order.
For dead men cannot praise you. They cannot be filled with hope and joy. The living, only the living, can praise you as I do today. One generation makes known your faithfulness to the next. ISAIAH 38:18-19 TLB