If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Deuteronomy 10, Psalm 94, Isaiah 38, Revelation 8. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Isaiah 38.
Hezekiah is such a fascinating man. He did some really boneheaded things yet God loved him and bailed him out of tough spots more than once. Our passage today describes how this godly king of Judah’s life was about to end (v. 1). Unlike most people who die, Hezekiah had a chance to prepare. He was warned by God’s prophet Isaiah that it was all over for him so he could make plans for succession and say goodbye to his family and friends (v.1b).
Instead of doing what God commanded him and accepting death as inevitable, Hezekiah poured out his heart to the Lord (vv. 2-3). He reminded the Lord of his faithful devotion and obedience to the Lord’s word (v. 3) and… that’s it. He never directly asked God to heal him; instead, he implored the Lord to “remember” his life. And, miraculously, after receiving one prophecy of his impending death from Isaiah, Hezekiah got a stay of execution and received another word from the Lord through Isaiah wherein God acknowledged Hezekiah’s sincere prayer and promised him both an additional fifteen years of life (v. 5)! And—bonus!—God promised him deliverance from the Assyrians (v. 6) who were actively trying to take Judah down. Furthermore, Hezekiah received a miraculous sign of God’s promise to him when the shadow of the sun moved the opposite direction from what it should have (vv. 7-8).
After his recovery, Hezekiah penned the beautiful prayer poem we read in verses 10-20. After describing his anguish over the prophecy of his death (vv. 10-12), he eloquently described his heart-wrenching prayer to God (vv. 13-14). Verses 15-20 describe the joyful response Hezekiah had to God’s answer to his prayer. Given how gracious God was to him, Hezekiah resolved to walk in humility before God for the time he had left on earth (v. 15) and even described how this stressful period of his life “was for my benefit” (v. 17a). In the end, Hezekiah remarked that praise was the fitting response to an answer to prayer like this one, especially praise that instructed the next generation of the faithfulness of God (v. 19b).
May God give us the grace to pour out our hearts to God this sincerely and with this much faith when we are in anguish and may we follow Hezekiah’s example of praising God and instructing others when God does answer prayer!
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.