Isaiah 38 has the prophet delivering some news to King Hezekiah. “Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death”. God sends Isaiah to make it clear that this wasn’t just a rehearsal – it was the real thing. “Set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover”. What a message to receive. Hezekiah has had a good reign, but it hasn’t been without its challenges. Hezekiah became sick, it was certainly permitted by the Lord. We don’t know what his ailment was but we know it was severe.
So what does Hezekiah do? He follows the same course when he is personally challenged as when his kingdom was at risk. He goes to God. Not after trying to fix it on his own. He goes there first. He goes there fast. He goes there in faith. “Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord….Please, O Lord, remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight. And Hezekiah wept bitterly”. Hezekiah knows what Isaiah says is true. But He also knows the One who is above all, and runs to Him.
God sends Isaiah back to the king after his prayer with a different response. God had listened, heard and responded. “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and will defend this city”. That’s a different outlook on life from what it had been. God’s going to give Him an extension – 15 more years to live and make a difference. And He not only delivers it through Isaiah’s words, but also through a miracle. “I will make the shadow cast by the declining sun on the dial of Ahaz turn back ten steps”. That’s a promise with an exclamation point on it!
Hezekiah knows where his strength and future comes from. “My eyes are weary with looking upward. O Lord”. He had his eyes on God. He kept focused on his rock. But his walk with God is not about just physical health, it also addresses his spiritual well being. “You have cast all my sins behind your back”. God’s hand is not just setting us free from the struggles of this world, but more importantly setting us free from our sin. Hezekiah knows the universal truth that God alone saves. “The Lord will save me” is not just a fact, it’s a promise that God made when He sent His Son to the Cross to save us from our sin!