Sermon Notes & Slides
Set Your House in Order
Tony Chute, Interim Pastor
Overview: Hezekiah lived a remarkable life during very remarkable times. He was King over Judah, he initiated religious reforms, resisted Assyrian aggression, and oversaw major construction projects. In spite of all his successes, however, he faced an enemy—death—over which he had no ultimate control; yet his petition to the Lord resulted in God graciously turning back the clock on his life. Although Hezekiah intended to use the remainder of his life to serve the Lord well, he seems to have become more self-centered than before by using his position as king to highlight his own accomplishments, and summarily dismissing the consequences his actions caused for future generations. His story provides important examples of how to set our own house in order.
01. Setting our house in order includes living our lives to the fullest by serving the Lord faithfully,
handling adversity patiently, and committing ourselves to productivity.
02. Setting our house in order involves a realistic recognition of death by using our time wisely,
trusting the Lord prayerfully, and considering the afterlife biblically.
03. Setting our house in order enables us to plan our lives strategically by reminding us of our
legacy before others and confirming our responsibility to others.
Questions for Discussion and Discovery
1. Read 2 Kings 18-20 and 2 Chronicles 29-32 for a fuller version of Hezekiah’s life and accomplishments. What aspects of his life stand out to you? Considering that his father (Ahaz) and his son (Manasseh) left terrible legacies, what accounts for Hezekiah’s dedication to the Lord? Have you dedicated yourself to the Lord in spite of the obstacles you face?
2. When the Lord sent Isaiah to announce to Hezekiah that his life was coming to its end, there is no indication that Hezekiah would ultimately survive. What did Hezekiah do that changed the outcome of this pronouncement? What can we learn about the importance of prayer from this text? Can we always expect to reverse our situation through prayer? Why or why not?
3. Notice the language that Hezekiah uses about death in 38:9-20. In what ways does his understanding of death match the painful realities of death today? In what ways does his understanding of the afterlife fall short of the New Testament picture of life after death?
4. Compare Hezekiah’s actions with the Babylonian envoys and Isaiah’s subsequent response. Why do you suppose Hezekiah failed to consider the consequences of his actions? How might we check the pride in our own lives so that we do not commit such sins?
5. How does Hezekiah’s attempt to comfort himself in 39:8 demonstrate a sinful self-centeredness? What other examples in the Bible can you find that correspond to a life well lived but marred by a serious, single blemish?
For Further Reading: Brian Hedges, Watchfulness: Recovering a Lost Spiritual Discipline (Reformation Heritage Books, 2018).