Sickness, prayer, and healing (Is. 38; remember Ex. 15:26). Hezekiah's poem of praise (Is. 38:9-20). His poor judgment because of pride (chap. 39). Prophecy of the Deliverer and Savior (chap. 40).
About 13 years had passed since Isaiah brought Hezekiah, king of Judah, the exciting news that the southern kingdom would be miraculously saved from the "invincible" armies of the Assyrian Empire. But this time Isaiah said to Hezekiah, who was gravely ill: Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live (Is. 38:1; II Kin. 20:1; II Chr. 32:24-26). With intense weeping, Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, And said, Remember now, O Lord, I beseech (beg) Thee, how I have walked before Thee in truth and with a perfect (sincere) heart, and have done that which is good in Thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore (bitterly) (Is. 38:2-3; comp. 38:17). He reminded the Lord how he had served Him faithfully and had not departed from His Commandments. He had sincerely lived to please the Lord.
Isaiah again heard the voice of God say: Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the Lord . . . I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days 15 years (38:5). Surely the additional years were not only due to Hezekiah's tears and prayer but to his faithfulness during the previous 50+ years of his life.
Our Lord Jesus reminded us: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth (Matt. 7:7-8). We should never hesitate to pray, regardless of how hopeless our circumstances may appear. However, this does not mean that God always answers our prayer in the way we want or according to our timing.
Since we often fall short in our desire to be like Jesus, some accept the condemnation of Satan that we are too unworthy for God to answer our prayers. Although it is right to assess our faults and confess our sins, it also magnifies the grace of God to recognize the good in our lives just as Hezekiah did. We can also remind the Lord of our sincere endeavors to live God-honoring lives, which will only happen as we surrender to the power and inner working of the Holy Spirit.
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost (Spirit) (Titus 3:5; also James 5:16).
Thought for Today:
Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in Thee (Ps. 33:22).
As the Creator (Is. 40:28; comp. John 1:1-3); as the Shepherd (Is. 40:11; comp. John 10:11); as the Redeemer (Is. 41:14; compare Gal. 3:13; I Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 5:9).
38:10 residue =emainder; 40:2 comfortably =indly and tenderly; 40:12 meted out =easured; span =pread of the fingers; 42:4 isles =slands; 42:13 jealousy =is fury.
Pray for Country: Tibet (province of China) (4.6 million, from 1990 census) in eastern Asia • Major language: Tibetan • The Chinese government is still committed to promoting atheism, while at the same time, officially permitting Lamaism (a form of Buddhism) • 97% Tibetan Buddhist; 1% Muslim; 1% Bon; 1% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Trust the Lord; He will never forsake you (Ps. 9:10).
Optional Reading: James 3
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:12