Living By Faith in the Face of Cancer

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Living By Faith
in the Face of Cancer
Lessons from the Story
of Hezekiah’s Illness
Isaiah 38-39
Bill and Kim Le
Bill, 39, is in the advanced stages of his brain cancer.
What is Cancer?
What is Cancer?
Cancer is a class of about 100 diseases, in which a group of cells
display uncontrolled growth
What is Cancer?
Cancer is a class of about 100 diseases, in which a group of cells
display uncontrolled growth
Cancer often, but not always, results in the formation of a tumor.
What is Cancer?
Cancer is a class of about 100 diseases, in which a group of cells
display uncontrolled growth
Cancer often, but not always, results in the formation of a tumor.
Cancer emerges because of abnormalities in the genetic material of
the cancer cells.
What is Cancer?
Cancer is a class of about 100 diseases, in which a group of cells
display uncontrolled growth
Cancer often, but not always, results in the formation of a tumor.
Cancer emerges because of abnormalities in the genetic material of
the cancer cells.
Cancer is linked to certain agents (e.g. tobacco, radiation, etc.), but
the cellular abnormalities may also occur at random.
What is Cancer?
Cancer is a class of about 100 diseases, in which a group of cells
display uncontrolled growth
Cancer often, but not always, results in the formation of a tumor.
Cancer emerges because of abnormalities in the genetic material of
the cancer cells.
Cancer is linked to certain agents (e.g. tobacco, radiation, etc.), but
the cellular abnormalities may also occur at random.
Cancer causes 13% of all deaths worldwide and 25% of all deaths in
the United States.
What is Cancer?
Cancer is a class of about 100 diseases, in which a group of cells
display uncontrolled growth
Cancer often, but not always, results in the formation of a tumor.
Cancer emerges because of abnormalities in the genetic material of
the cancer cells.
Cancer is linked to certain agents (e.g. tobacco, radiation, etc.), but
the cellular abnormalities may also occur at random.
Cancer causes 13% of all deaths worldwide and 25% of all deaths in
the United States.
Cancer will develop in one in three people in the developed world.
What is Cancer?
Cancer is a class of about 100 diseases, in which a group of cells
display uncontrolled growth
Cancer often, but not always, results in the formation of a tumor.
Cancer emerges because of abnormalities in the genetic material of
the cancer cells.
Cancer is linked to certain agents (e.g. tobacco, radiation, etc.), but
the cellular abnormalities may also occur at random.
Cancer causes 13% of all deaths worldwide and 25% of all deaths in
the United States.
Cancer will develop in one in three people in the developed world.
The most common cancer (% of new cases) is lung cancer. Most
common in men is prostate cancer; in women, breast cancer.
My sister June and friend William
Fill in the face of a person you know with cancer
Isaiah 38:1
1
In those days Hezekiah became ill and
was at the point of death. The prophet
Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and
said, "This is what the LORD says:
Put your house in order, because you are
going to die; you will not recover."
First, Resist Cancer’s Premature
Sentence of Death
Revelation 1:17-18
“Do not be afraid. I am
the First and the Last.
18I am the Living One;
I was dead, and
behold I am alive for
ever and ever! And I
hold the keys of death
and Hades.”
Isaiah 38:2-3, 10, 14
2
Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the
LORD,
3
"Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you
faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done
what is good in your eyes." And Hezekiah wept bitterly. .
10
"In the prime of my life must I go through the gates of
death and be robbed of the rest of my years?“ . . .
14
“I cried like a swift or thrush,
I moaned like a mourning dove.
My eyes grew weak as I looked to the heavens.
I am troubled; O Lord, come to my aid!"
Isaiah 38:4-6, 21
4
21
Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: 5
"Go and tell Hezekiah, 'This is what the LORD,
the God of your father David, says: I have
heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will
add fifteen years to your life. 6 And I will deliver
you and this city from the hand of the king of
Assyria. I will defend this city. . .
Isaiah said, "Prepare a poultice of figs and
apply it to the boil, and he will recover."
A poultice is a soft, moist mass of bread, cereal,
herbs, clay, etc., that is often heated and spread on a
cloth over the skin to draw out toxins from an infected
area.
The ancient writer Pliny the Elder wrote in his
encyclopedia Natural History (77 AD) that figs were
good for boils (19.34)
In other words, God extended Hezekiah’s life by means of a
regularly practiced medical procedure (!)
In the same way, God is extending life today through regular
(and cutting-edge) cancer treatments
Second, Heed Cancer’s Reminder
That We Must All, Even the Healthy,
Live Humbly in Light of Our Mortality
Psalm 90:12
12
Teach us to
number our days
aright, that we may
gain a heart of
wisdom.
Isaiah 38:15
Hezekiah:
“But what can I say?
He has spoken to me,
and he himself has done this.
I will walk humbly all my years
because of this anguish of my soul.”
But in the next chapter, he quickly forgets
the humility he thought he would have.
Isaiah 39:1-2
1
At that time Merodach-Baladan son of
Baladan king of Babylon sent Hezekiah
letters and a gift, because he had heard
of his illness and recovery. 2 Hezekiah
received the envoys gladly and showed
them what was in his storehouses—the
silver, the gold, the spices, the fine oil, his
entire armory and everything found
among his treasures. There was nothing
in his palace or in all his kingdom that
Hezekiah did not show them.
Isaiah 39:3-8
3
Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked,
"What did those men say, and where did they come
from?" From a distant land," Hezekiah replied. "They
came to me from Babylon."
4 The prophet asked, "What did they see in your palace?"
"They saw everything in my palace," Hezekiah said.
"There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show
them."
5
Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the LORD
Almighty: 6 The time will surely come when everything in
your palace, and all that your fathers have stored up until
this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left,
says the LORD. 7 And some of your descendants, your
own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken
away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the
king of Babylon."
Hezekiah’s gaze became fixed on riches, impressing
potential allies and gaining security against the Assyrians.
The near-fatal illness should have focused Hezekiah on
simpler and more important things in life: God, His love,
and His greatness
Closing:
Think again to person you know with
cancer . . .
Pray against any premature sentences of
death
Pray that both you and he or she will be
able to “number your days aright . . .”
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