The Almighty Do-Over: Hezekiah's Near-Death Experience

Oh, faithful skeptics and heathens, gather around for another holy facepalm moment straight from the dusty scrolls of the good ol' Bible. In this week's divine comedy—because, let's face it, if you don't laugh, you'll cry—we're talking about King Hezekiah's brush with death and God's apparent change of heart. Because in the realm of the divine, even the Almighty seems to need a mulligan now and then.

So here we are, trudging through Isaiah chapter 38, when God suddenly hits Hezekiah with the ultimate "It's not you, it's Me—JK, it's definitely you" moment. Our main man, H, is sick enough to knock on heaven's door, and God basically tells him to start picking out coffin cushions. But wait! After a bit of wall-facing and some grade-A waterworks from Hezekiah, God flips the script and hands out an extra 15 years like it's a consolation prize on a divine game show.

And as if the whole life-extension thing wasn't showy enough, God also throws in a party trick with the sundial moving back 10 steps. Because nothing says "I'm sorry for the terminal diagnosis mix-up" like celestial manipulation, am I right? Let's just gloss over the fact that this either means God altered the rotation of the earth or pulled some wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff, and everyone else's day got messed up. But hey, who's counting? Oh, right, the sundial was—until it wasn't.

Now, Hezekiah gets all reflective post-recovery, and you can almost hear the harps strumming as he goes on about the fragility of life. He claims his suffering was for his benefit, which, sure, Jan. We've all heard that tired trope: "What doesn't kill you gives you great material for angsty poetry." But let's call it what it is—divine gaslighting. Our dude was fine until God's death threat made him not fine, and now he's supposed to be grateful for the torment that made him appreciate life more? Pass me the holy wine because I can't even.

And don't even get me started on the poultice of figs. You'd think with all the omnipotence floating around, we could skip the folk remedies and go straight for the divine healing. But nope, let's slap some fruit on that boil and call it a day. If anything, this story is a testament to the placebo effect—or perhaps to God's peculiar penchant for testing out old wives' tales on kings.

Well, beloved blasphemers, that's a wrap on the Hezekiah hullabaloo. We'll be back to tackle more biblical bafflement after our Saturday Q&A and Sunday's Patreon-exclusive shenanigans. If you're into tales of mortality, faith, and deities with indecision issues, stick around. As for us, we'll keep reading, ranting, and reveling in the ridiculousness. After all, if you can't beat 'em, snark 'em.

See you on the heretical side,
Your Devoutly Irreverent Atheist Podcasters

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