Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Hangin' out with Hezekiah

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 38:4-5 NIV

4 Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: 5 “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father, David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life.’”

Good morning!

One of my favorite stories in the Old Testament is the healing of King Hezekiah. In my opinion, Hezekiah was one of the greatest Judean kings ever, following in the footsteps of his great-grandfather, Uzziah. King Hezekiah reinstated religious reform and traditions, and single-handedly dismantled the brazen serpent, signifying his intolerance to idolatry. A great reformation was birthed in Judea, credited to King Hezekiah for his faithfulness to the Lord. We need the Lord to lift up servant leaders like Hezekiah today, who will faithfully lead the people in obedience to God’s Holy Word.

During Hezekiah’s reign, the prophet Isaiah was instructed by the Lord to visit the king and deliver a message that the physical illness he had contracted would take his life, and that he should begin to put his house in order and prepare to die. Upon receiving this untimely news, Hezekiah begins to grieve and cry out to the Lord, begging that he be physically healed and his life restored to wholeness. In his petition, Hezekiah states that he has walked faithfully before the Lord and with “wholehearted devotion, and has done good in His eyes.” Why do bad things, like terminal illnesses, have to happen to good people, we wonder? Maybe you’ve prayed your own healing petitions to the Lord, when someone you love has been seriously injured or has taken ill, suffering with a terminal illness. Hezekiah was in the prime of his life, only thirty-nine years old, when he received the Lord’s message from the prophet. Did you notice how Hezekiah didn’t hesitate to immediately express his deepest feelings to the Lord? He didn’t God ask why this had to happen to him; rather, Hezekiah asked the Lord to remember his plight and, through his tears, to heal and restore his health.

The Lord heard Hezekiah and added fifteen years to his life, promising to deliver his city from Assyrian rule. God promises Hezekiah that he will defend this city, and that he would see the living proof of His Word as the sun set that evening on the stairway of Ahaz. What kind of living proof do you need to know for certain that the Lord hears and answers your prayer for help today?

After his illness and recovery, Hezekiah writes a devotional praise to the Lord, describing his illness and miraculous healing. He gives complete credit to God for His mercy and grace in a time of desperate need. His words, found in Isaiah 38:10-20, are worth reading and re-reading every morning.

When I was a little girl, I learned how to play the violin. That instrument brought me great joy as I played with the orchestra in later years. God gives healing through the melody of our life’s song, as we offer it up to Him in faithful obedience. May you find great joy in the Lord, as He heals your heart today. Come with me, and let’s hang out with Hezekiah. Can you hear the beautiful music of the stringed instruments wafting in the breeze?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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