Isaiah paused before he pushed the palace door open and looked up. “Why, LORD? He’s such a good king.”
He walked in and was led to the king’s bedroom.
Hezekiah’s face was pale. Sweat drenched his hair as he shivered.
Isaiah swallowed. “Set your affairs in order. The LORD declares that you shall die from this.”
Hezekiah closed his eyes and rolled to his left for privacy. “LORD, remember how I lived for You as best I could. I’ve been truthful and loyal.”
His body convulsed with heavy sobs.
Isaiah turned and left.
When he was halfway to the door the LORD’s voice stopped him.
“Return to King Hezekiah. Give him this message from the God of King David: ‘I have heard your prayer and see your tears. I will heal you. You shall go to the temple in three days. I will grant you fifteen more years and deliver you from the Assyrians for My name’s sake.'”
Isaiah went back and delivered God’s message.
Hezekiah got help sitting up. “How shall I know this will happen?”
Isaiah looked around trying not to show his frustration. He spotted the sundial. “Shall the shadow move forward or backward now?”
The king looked from the sundial to the prophet. “It always moves forward. Only God can make it move backward.”
Isaiah closed his eyes and sent up a silent prayer.
Somebody gasped when the shadow moved back ten degrees.
Isaiah looked at the attendants. “Make a poultice of figs and place it on the boil. Behold your king for the next fifteen years.”
Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
When you don’t know what to pray because the grief is too much to bear just cry. God hears your tears louder than your feeble words.
King Hezekiah was reduced to tears. God was induced to grace.
The context is fierce for the nation of Judah. The northern kingdom of Israel has been taken captive by Assyria.
The Assyrians are moving in on Jerusalem.
When it comes to what kind of king Hezekiah was his name goes on the good king list. He did his best to follow God’s laws to stay on His good side.
An infection turns bad and the king is clinging to hope that the prophet Isaiah will tell him God will spare his life.
Instead of hope God’s man gives grave news.
The king is reduced to a sniveling idiot.
Isaiah thinks his task is done until God tells him to turn around.
Don’t you just love God’s grace?
Before I go on I just feel I need to say nobody deserves to live a full life according to our terms. Some spectacular people who had great potential to make a huge positive impact on the world die before they reach the age of 20.
I hated typing that as much as you hated reading it.
You and I don’t call the shots as to who lives and who dies. God does.
The only reason I can come up with as to why God spared Hezekiah’s life that day is because it brought Him glory.
The wicked Assyrians had Jerusalem surrounded but went home without entering the city.
It’s king was assassinated soon after he arrived back home.
Nobody saw that coming but God.
I don’t know why some of the sweetest people die young while some wicked people live to old age.
That’s not how I would work things out if I was God, but I’m not.
A lot of folks would do away with all hatred and lying and greed and every evil thing if they called the shots.
I wonder about one thing if we lived in a world like that.
Where would any passion grow from?
You don’t know deep love until you’ve experienced abandonment.
You don’t know true compassion if you’ve never experienced evil and hate.
You don’t know true trust if you’ve never experienced lying and betrayal.
The deepest lives are lived on a full spectrum of emotions and experience.
We’re not called to be robots who go through the motions of living. We’re called to be humans who care for the hurting by stepping in and making a positive change. That’s not living. That’s called life.
That is all things working together for good according to God’s plan.
Hezekiah knew he had fifteen more years to live. What did he do with those fifteen gifts? He sat back and got lazy.
He showed the Babylonian envoys all of Judah’s wealth. They carried it all away after the king’s lifetime.
If you knew you had fifteen more years to live what would you do with them?
Would you travel as much as possible to experience as much of this world as you can? Besides your travel agent who will benefit from that? You’ll take your memories with you to the grave.
Is that the legacy you want to leave behind?
There’s a kingdom being built right now on this earth. It’s not dependent on what size house you live in or what brand of car you drive.
We’ve touched on the evil occurring in the world. Those atrocities are happening to people all around you.
What are you doing to change that?
The people the evil is happening to and the folks doing the evil all need to hear about how God came to earth and died for them so they can have a relationship with God.
That’s the kingdom that needs to be built now.
After we die there’s no chance to come into God’s kingdom.
Use whatever days, weeks or years you have to live out the life-giving message of Jesus’ love and sacrifice for all people.
I’ll see you later. Wade