2 Kings 20

2 Kings 20 has Hezekiah king of Judah sick and on the edge of death.  Isaiah the prophet “came to him and said….Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.”  While Hezekiah wanted to know what his future held, that isn’t the answer any of us would want to hear.  So he does what has been his action every time he faced something that was difficult and out of his control. We can learn much from this king who did what was right in God’s eyes.  Going to God is the only response we should have too in light of every situation.

Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying….please remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight”.  Hezekiah doesn’t just ask God to heal him.  He reminds God of how they hwave walked together and the depth of the relationship they have.  Hezekiah talks about his faithfulness to God – a complete and wholehearted walk that has led to God’s being pleased.  The foundation of his request for healing was their relationship, not simply that he wanted to live longer.

So as Isaiah was walking away from the palace after delivering the message of Hezekiah’s coming death, God hears Hezekiah’s prayer and turns Isaiah around to give Hezekiah the new reality.  “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you….I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city….I will defend this city.”  What started as a simple request to extend Hezekiah’s life has resulted in a promise of much more from the God he served.  That’s just like God – full of mercy and grace and abundance for those who walk with Him.  Hezekiah asks for proof that what Isaiah has said will happen.

First is the manner of healing God uses.  “Isaiah says….Bring a cake of figs. And let them take and lay it on the boil, that he may recover:”  God chooses a very specific way to remove the disease from Hezekiah.  But God goes much further.  He causes the sun to go backward in the sky – “let the shadow go back ten steps”.  This was a reference to the sundial that was used to keep time for the city.  By making the shadow of the sundial move backward, it gave more time in a day – just as God gave Hezekiah more time. It’s just like God to do miraculous things to assure his people, even at the individual level.

God’s assurance was just the miracle Hezekiah needed to prove to everyone that he was indeed walking with God.  He does some boneheaded things like showing some spies from Babylon where his wealth was hidden which leads to their capture of the kingdom in the future, but overall he walks in obedience.  Hezekiah was granted 15 more years and did some amazing things during his life including making “the pool and the conduit and brought water into the city”.  He served God and his people well. God hears our prayers when we walk with Him.  And He is more than able to respond to those requests.  It doesn’t mean He’ll always answer our way, but He definitely will hear us when we come to Him as faithful servants that chose to walk in obedience!

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