Read Isaiah 38 -- 42
In Today's Reading:
Hezekiah's life lengthened; Babylonian captivity foretold; comfort for God's people; song of praise to the Lord
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 (Isaiah 38:1; II Kings 20:1; II Chronicles 32:24-26).
Hezekiah knew of the precedent of Moses praying for the people when God's anger would have destroyed them, but God had relented in response to Moses' intercession (see Exodus 32:7-14). With intense weeping, 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 38:2-3; compare 38:17). He reminded the Lord how he had served Him faithfully and had not departed from the Lord's 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 40 years of his life.
We should never hesitate to pray, regardless of how hopeless our circumstances may appear. However, this does not mean that God always answers every prayer in the way we want or according to our timing.
Since we often fall short in our desire to be like Jesus, many people find it easy to 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 are only produced as we surrender to the 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 (Titus 3:5).
As the Creator (Isaiah 40:28; compare John 1:1-3); as the Shepherd (Isaiah 40:11; compare John 10:11); as the Redeemer (Isaiah 41:14; compare Galatians 3:13; I Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 5:9).
38:10 residue = remainder; 40:2 comfortably = kindly and tenderly; 40:12 meted out = measured; span = the spread of God's fingers; 42:4 isles = coastlands; 42:13 jealousy = His fury.
BP Staff: Jé French · Pray for Adam Lock and the Bible Pathway International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts on WWCR, Nashville TN · Government Officials: Rep. Julian Dixon (CA) and Gov. Jane Hull (AZ) · Country: Mongolia (3 million) in east-central Asia · Major language: Khalkha Mongol · As a 70-year era of communism wanes, Bibles are now on sale in the capital, Ulaanbaatar · 29% Shamanist; 2% Buddhist; 2% Muslim; .2% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Wives, ask the Lord to give you a submissive (harmonious) spirit to your husbands as if it were to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22).
Optional Reading: James 3
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 5:1