The song of the sick king is full of instruction (Isa. 38). Hezekiah had been stricken with an illness that threatened his life.
In view of death he had wept and lamented. "Chattering like a crane or a swallow," he had mourned "as a dove," as he poured out the plaint, "O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me." Immediately he had found relief, and records what the Lord had spoken and wrought for his good.
And God Himself is the resource of the child of God in every age. He is the refuge for the tried and troubled of whatever clime or country.
The king was recovered, and gives to us the secret thoughts which passed through his mind during his sickness. What a lesson he had learned! "O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit."
That which was death and darkness was turned into life and light by the hand of Him who said of old, "Light be," and light was.
"By these things," the things which speak so clearly of the passing character of all "under the sun."
"By these things," the things which show how all here is shakeable, which lift our thoughts more and more to the kingdom which cannot be moved, to our eternal home with Him on high.
"By these things," the things which are used of our God to turn us to Himself, so that He may bless us in His great love for us. "By these things men live."
It is not usually when the south winds of physical and temporal prosperity blow that our lasting advantage is brought about. More often it is when the north winds of adversity and trial rage that we are truly benefited. But whether it be in this way or in that way, we may know that all is well.
We may recall the well-known story told of a Christian farmer. He built a new barn over which he put a weathercock, and under that weathercock placed the words, "God is love." When all was completed he found that some of his neighbors were ready to twit and tease. One said, "Do you mean that God's love is as changeable as the wind?" "No, indeed!" he answered. "But I mean this: God is love, whichever way the wind blows."
Happy are we to know this truth and to be able to say, "Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out." Sol. 4:16. This will be "life indeed"—to be for His pleasure here.
"Sweet is the sorrow, kind the storm,
That drives us nearer home."
+First published as Songs for the Night Seasons by Inglis Fleming. New York: Loizeaux Bros., [n.d.].