Hezekiahs Illness

By Michael English

Summary:             Sometimes the Bible confronts us with unpalatable truths.  Even Gods blessings can have undesirable consequences.  This is one to sit and ponder.

Bible Reference:    2 Kings 20:1-11 and 2 Kings 21:1-16.

Characters:           King Hezekiah Of Judah, Attendant, Ebenezer the foreign minister, Isaiah the prophet, Narrator, Simeon

Props:                        None essential, but a large boil could be useful.

Setting:                 The throne room of King Hezekiahs palace, Jerusalem. 


 (Hezekiah is sitting on his throne.  An attendant brings in the foreign minister, Ebenezer.)


Narrator:        King Hezekiah  of Judah was in his throne room, when important news from abroad arrived.


Attendant:      Your foreign minister Ebenezer your majesty.


(Ebenezer bows.)


Hezekiah:       It's bad news isn't it.  It's always bad news when my foreign minister arrives in person.  Let me guess, The Egyptian Pharaoh has marched an army to the gates of Jerusalem and is demanding my head.


Ebenzer:         No.


Hezekiah:       The Assyrians then?  They've come back to destroy Jerusalem.  Finish the job they started a few years ago.


Ebenezer:       Closer.


Hezekiah:       I knew it.  Just as you think things are going well, something always goes wrong.


Ebenezer:       No, no, your majesty.  I bring good news.  There's been a coup in Assyria.  Civil war is breaking out.  The Assyrians won't be a threat for a very long time to come.


Hezekiah:       So, then, if things are going so well, why have I got this enormous boil on my arm?


(Hezekiah shows his boil to Ebenezer.)


Ebenezer:       That's gross.  I'd get it seen to.


(Ebenezer departs.)


Hezekiah:       I don't feel well.  Attendant, make up my bed.


(Hezekiah lies down.  The attendant goes out and comes back in with Isaiah)


Attendant:      Your Majesty, the prophet Isaiah with a message for you from the Living God.


Hezekiah:       What more bad news?  Is it pestilence, famine or death?


Isaiah:             O great and wise king, listen to the message I bear from the Lord your God: The Lord tells you that you are to put everything in order because you will not recover.  Get ready to die!


(Isaiah goes out with the attendant)


Hezekiah:       It's not fair.  Why should I have to die?  I've always served God faithfully and I've always tried to do the right thing  well mostly.


Narrator:        So king Hezekiah threw a tantrum.


Hezekiah:       It's not fair.  Wail scream!


Narrator:        And who could blame him?  He was about to die.


(Isaiah comes back).


Isaiah:             O marvellous and munificent king, it seems that you're in luck.  God has just told me that you will live for another fifteen years, and he'll keep Jerusalem safe from the Assyrians.  Now we need to put something on that boil.  It's making me feel quite queasy.


Narrator:        And so they all lived happily ever after, except for fifteen years later when the time came for Hezekiah to die, but that's another story.


(Isaiah and Hezekiah troop off.  Simeon runs on)


Simeon:           I'm sorry.  I'm not going to let you get away with that.


Narrator:        Get away with what?  They lived happily ever after.  It's a story with a happy ending.


Simeon:           Maybe for Hezekiah, but not for me  there are always consequences.


Narrator:        Just what are you talking about?  Look who are you anyway?


Simeon:           My name is Simeon.  I was an upright citizen of Jerusalem, but I was put to death for a crime I did not commit.


Narrator:        That's terrible.  I can see why you're upset.  But it's got nothing to do with our story.


Simeon:           It's got everything to do with your story.  Three years after King Hezekiah recovered from his illness he had a son, Manasseh, who became king.  This king Manasseh was the one who had me put to death unjustly.  This is what the Bible records about him:  Manasseh killed so many innocent people that the streets of Jerusalem were flowing with blood; he did this in addition to leading the people of Judah into idolatory, causing them to sin against the Lord.


Narrator:        So you're saying that if Hezekiah had never recovered, then Manasseh would never have been born.


Simeon:           Yes, and I would never have been executed for a crime I did not commit.


Narrator:        I see what you mean: everything has consequences.


This script is Copyright 2001 Michael English, All Saints Milton. Permission is given to use this drama in non-profit making church events provided the source is acknowledged. Some editing may be required to suit local conditions. Please let us know if you have any comments.

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