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Men who weep bitterly

In those days [BC 702] Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.’ ” Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Now, O Lord, please remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: “Turn back, and say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look and see: I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord, and I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city for my own sake and for my servant David’s sake.” 2 Kings 20: 1-6

Two weeks ago the national press reported on David Hunt as “the untouchable boss of an organized criminal gang.” “Hunt’s penchant for enforcing his will with acts of extreme violence has helped ensure no one stands up to him. Even the police fear that this villain, who makes his money through fraud, prostitution and money laundering, is simply ‘too big’ to bring down.” (Daily Mail 13 July 2013)

Money-laundering? He used a Jersey-based accountant. But that’s not the point. The point today is that one person who knows him well said that he is always totally sober when he acts violently against others – no need for alcohol. No tears either.
‘How is it that we have so few tears these days when there is so much to weep about.’ (Isaac Ababio, Ghanaian physicist)

In Jersey’s Royal Court this week judicial hearings continue relating to Curtiss Warren. He was jailed for 13 years for conspiring to import cannabis into Jersey. Whilst serving his sentence in prison in the United Kingdom he is suspected of operating a £300million empire built on smuggling cocaine, heroin and cannabis in deals with criminal cartels in Latin America, the Middle East and Spain. All from his jail cell. He hasn’t been weeping. And won’t this week.

Could it be that it’s mainly good men who weep? Could it be that it’s only good men who weep bitterly?

Take another look at the incident in bold above. King Hezekiah was the king of a tiny nation – capital city Jerusalem. That city was about to be subjected to a siege to the death. Already all the surrounding towns in the territory of King Hezekiah had been razed by Sennacherib the Assyrian leader.

Hezekiah was mortally ill. Isaiah the prophet came to him and advised him to put his affairs in order because he would not recover.

King Hezekiah had been a good king – a very good, God-fearing king.

Before Isaiah had left the room Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, prayed – and wept bitterly.

Isaiah was still within the walls of the building when the God to whom Hezekiah had prayer instructed Isaiah to go back to King Hezekiah’s room. God has a new message for him:  “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look and see: I will heal you……I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria…..

Have you ever wondered if God hears your prayers? Have you ever wondered whether God, looking at you praying to him and looking simultaneously at men and women and children weeping bitterly in Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Indonesia, Anyplace, will be quick to answer your prayers as well as theirs?
‘It is better to meet God with tears in your eyes than with wealth or weapons in your hands.’ (Anon.)

The question is still there. Could it be that it’s only good men who weep, who weep bitterly?

There’s something more on the record in Luke’s biography of Jesus Christ. Luke was a physician and a very thorough man who researched his biography to ensure its accuracy.   “And when Jesus drew near and saw the city [Jerusalem], he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes…..”

And Jesus himself taught: “Blessed are those who mourn, because they will be comforted.”

Richard Syvret

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