Words Of Truth
"That I might make thee know the
certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs
Of The Old Testament
Part 256 – Hezekiah’s Sickness
Through Seeking A Sign (Isaiah 38:1-22)
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1. What did
Hezekiah do when he learned he was going to die?
He wept and prayed about it: “In those days was Hezekiah
sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him,
and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order: for thou
shalt die, and not live. Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall,
and prayed unto the Lord, And said, Remember now, O Lord, I beseech thee, how I
have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that
which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore” (Isaiah 38:1-3;
cf. II Kings 20:1-3).
house in order, i.e. preparing for death (II Samuel 17:23; cf. Ecclesiastes
prophet’s message of doom brings a change of heart to people (Jonah 3:4-10).
Isaiah did his
job (Ezekiel 3:18).
Having said all
of that, death is a reality for all of mankind regardless of faithfulness (II
Samuel 14:14, Psalms 89:47-48, Psalms 90:10, Ecclesiastes
3:20-21, Ecclesiastes 9:5, Romans 5:12, and Hebrews 9:27).
Thus, Hezekiah will not prevent himself from death entirely regardless of his
to God (Deuteronomy 4:29-30, I Kings 8:45-49, II Chronicles
7:14, II Chronicles 33:12-14, Acts 8:22, and Acts 9:11).
The request for
God to remember was not a charge of Him forgetting, just a casual (i.e. Nehemiah
13:14, Jeremiah 15:15, Luke 23:42, etc.).
confident that his life was a testimony of his faithfulness (I Chronicles
29:9, Psalms 101:1-3, and Psalms 119:80). Not everyone
could say that (I Kings 15:14).
certainly sees (II Chronicles 16:9) and wants us to walk rightly
(I John 2:3-6).
2. What was
God’s response to Hezekiah’s prayer?
Through Isaiah, God said He would add 15 years to his life
and deliver the city from the Assyrians: “Then came the word of the Lord to
Isaiah, saying, Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David
thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add
unto thy days fifteen years. And I will deliver thee and this city out of the
hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city” (Isaiah 38:4-6;
cf. II Kings 20:4-6).
God spoke to prophets
(Numbers 12:6, Hebrews 1:1-2, and II Peter 1:20-21).
The mention of
David is powerful, for promises past made (I Kings 8:25, I Kings
9:4-5, and Psalms 89:3; cf. II Kings 20:6).
Š The fact that God heard his prayer
is telling (Proverbs 28:9, Isaiah 59:1-3, John 9:31, and I
John 5:14-15). However, Hezekiah had
to HUMBLE himself first (II Chronicles 32:24-26).
His tears and
prayers to God are meaningful (Psalms 34:18 and Isaiah 51:17).
3. What did
God do to show Hezekiah that Isaiah’s message was true?
“And this shall be a sign unto thee from the Lord, that the
Lord will do this thing that he hath spoken; Behold, I will bring again the
shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees
backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone
38:7-8; cf. II Kings 20:8-11).
for a sign and even somewhat had some inferred doubts (II Kings 20:8-11).
Prior to the
completion of the revealed word, signs were given to prove the messenger was
really giving a message from God (Mark 16:15-20, Acts 2:22, Acts
14:1-3, Romans 15:18-19, and Hebrews 2:1-4). *Here is a
gem for thought – When Jesus came God was not nearly as patient since His
promises were fulfilled (Acts 17:30). You can see how here
Hezekiah wanted a sign and God obliged, but when you notice Jesus teaching He
was so willing towards those who should have known better (Matthew 12:38-42
and Matthew 16:1-4).
God can do
anything (Genesis 18:14, Jeremiah 32:17, Mark 10:27, and Luke
1:37), including moving the sun (Joshua 10:12-13 and Isaiah 13:10;
cf. Jeremiah 31:35).
4. Use this
space to make notes for discussing Hezekiah’s words that conclude this chapter (Isaiah
The text: “The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he
had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness: I said in the cutting off of
my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue of
my years. I said, I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord, in the land of
the living: I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world.
Mine age is departed, and is removed from me as a shepherd's tent: I have cut
off like a weaver my life: he will cut me off with pining sickness: from day
even to night wilt thou make an end of me. I reckoned till morning, that,
as a lion, so will he break all my bones: from day even to night wilt thou make
an end of me. Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as
a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward: O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for
me. What shall I say? he hath both spoken unto me, and himself hath done
it: I shall go softly all my years in the bitterness of my soul. O Lord,
by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit: so
wilt thou recover me, and make me to live. Behold, for peace I had great
bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of
corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back. For the grave
cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the
pit cannot hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise
thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy
truth. The Lord was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to
the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the
Lord. For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a
plaister upon the boil, and he shall recover. Hezekiah also had said, What is
the sign that I shall go up to the house of the Lord” (Isaiah 38:9-22)?
things and make written decrees (Daniel 6:25).
Like Job, he
felt his days were over and too short (Job 17:1-11).
Seeing the Lord
in the land of the living could refer to seeing the works of God on earth (Psalms
He felt like his
dwelling was packed up like a temporary tent signifying how short he felt his
life was. True point when you count your days (James 4:13-16).
himself to a lion that God broke the bones of (cf. Psalms 39:10 and Psalms
himself to a bird chattering and mourning (cf. Job 30:29-31).
contradiction [for he is actually saying it], Hezekiah says he’ll keep his
complaints to himself (cf. Job 10:1) for he did realize that there is
not challenging God [God said it that settles it] (Job 33:13, Job
38:1-3, Job 40:1-8, Jeremiah 18:1-10, Romans 9:20, and
I Corinthians 10:22).
beat down. He wanted to recover with God’s help. God has humbled
him like he has Israel in the past (Deuteronomy 8:1-3).
show that his bitterness passed and God delivered him from the pit (Psalms
88:1-7). Now we see that attitude portrayed in the 30th
Psalm (Psalms 30:1-12).
In death, the
hope for truth is gone (Luke 16:19-31).
thankfulness extends to the obvious point that the dead cannot praise God, such
is for the living (Psalms 115:17-18).
Songs of praise
for salvation (Psalms 51:14-15 and Psalms 95:1).
Hezekiah how to have his boil healed and he recovered (II Kings 20:7).
Many times things like this occurred in the Scriptures (II Kings 4:1-7, II
Kings 5:1-14, Mark 7:32-33, and John 9:1-8).
wanted to know the sign, which we’ve already discussed the point of in verses
7-8 (II Kings 20:7-10).
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