Please, Put This On My Headstone!

Posted on April 30, 2021

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By David Ettinger

Burial Wish
If I don’t make it to the Rapture, my spirit will leave this world while my body goes into the ground. I trust my son will see to it that I get a proper burial, and depending how much is budgeted, I’d like to have a certain Bible verse etched on my tombstone.

Of course, I don’t want this verse carved above my resting place if I haven’t earned it, and I trust the Lord to bar it from happening if it isn’t deserved. And if it isn’t deserved, it means I didn’t live as I should have.

The Desired Verse
What is this verse I so desire? It’s found in 2 Kings, and regards the virtuous King of Judah, Hezekiah. With the revered King David, Kings Hezekiah and Josiah comprise the elite monarchs of ancient Israel, Scripture recording of Hezekiah: “He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel; so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who were before him” (2 Kings 18:5).

As great as this tribute is, it is not the headstone verse I refer to. Rather it is the following verse, 18:6: “For he clung to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses.”

What makes this accolade so glorious is that it reflects both a lifetime of devotion as well as a lifestyle of worship and obedience. This is what I want my life to be!

The Key Word
The word which caught my attention is “clung” – “For he clung to the Lord.” In the English, “cling” means “to hold onto” and “remain close.” This is a good description of how Christians should regard God: we should want to hold onto Him and remain close to Him.

However, the Hebrew word for “cling” gives an added dimension. The word is dabaq, and has – according to Strong’s Concordance – several interpretations. Among them are “to pursue closely”; “to pursue hard”; and my favorite, “to catch by pursuit.”

The idea here is that the life of the believer should be characterized by the exhaustive and intensive seeking after God no matter what it takes. It is like taking a 10-mile hike with someone in better shape than you. You may lag behind at times, but when you regain your breath, you hurry to catch back up and resolve to remain at your walking partner’s side and never lag again!

As you read Hezekiah’s account in the books of 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, and Isaiah, you’ll see this is precisely what he did. He faced harrowing circumstances during his reign – including the very real threat of Judah’s extinction – but he clung steadfastly to the Lord and weathered the frightening storm.

The Added Ingredient
Not only did Hezekiah cling to the Lord in faith, but he exemplified his rabid pursuit of God by his lifestyle as “he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments.” This does not mean Hezekiah never sinned, but that his life was defined by righteous obedience to his Lord. And this from his nation’s most powerful and influential individual!

Great Headstone Memorial!
Can there be a greater memorial to a believer then that he or she “clung to the Lord; [and] did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments”?

Hezekiah earned this soaring dedication, and oh that all believers would strive to have the same said about them.

I can’t say I’m there – not by a long shot – but I certainly have a goal, and it is not for fame, riches, or power. Rather, it is that God would say of me upon my departure from this world: “He clung to Me and did not depart from following Me, but kept My commandments.”

How does such an aspiration sound to you?