Isaiah 38 -- 42
About 13 years had passed since Isaiah brought Hezekiah, King of Judah, the exciting news in answer to his prayer -- that God would defend this city (Jerusalem) to save it for My own sake, and for My servant David's sake (Isaiah 37:21,35). The little nation of Judah was miraculously saved from the "invincible" armies of the Assyrian Empire.
In those days Hezekiah was sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet . . . said to him,Thus says the Lord, Set your house in order: for you shall die, and not live (38:1; II Kings 20:1; also II Chronicles 32:24-26). At that time, Hezekiah did not have a son. To leave no male descendant or to be cut off in the midst of one's years were both viewed as a mark of divine displeasure and judgment (Job 15:32; 22:16; Psalms 55:23; Proverbs 10: 27; Ecclesiastes 7:17).
With intense weeping, Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, And said, Remember now, O Lord . . . how I have walked before You in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done what is good in Your sight. And Hezekiah wept aloud (Isaiah 38:2-3). When Hezekiah said he had lived before the Lord in truth and with a perfect heart (compare 38:17), he meant that he had served the Lord faithfully, had never worshiped idols, and had not willfully departed from the Lord's commandments. Scripture confirms that his prayer was genuine (II Kings 18:3-6; II Chronicles 31:20-21).
Isaiah had only gone to the middle court of the palace, not far from the deathbed of Hezekiah (II Kings 20:4), when he heard the voice of God say: Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of David . . . I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears: behold, I will add to your days fifteen years. And I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria (Isaiah 38:5-6; II Kings 20:5-6). In contrast to the pretended piety of Ahaz (Isaiah 7:10-12), Hezekiah accepted the Lord's offer of a sign, requesting that the shadow on the sun dial be moved ten degrees backward (38:8). Because of Hezekiah's faith, not only was his prayer answered, but God added 15 years to his life. The Lord delights in rewarding our faith in Him when it brings glory to Him.
We should never hesitate to pray when the answer to our prayers will honor the Lord, regardless of how hopeless the circumstances may appear to us or to others. However, this does not mean that God always miraculously answers every prayer in the way we want or in our timing.
Like Hezekiah, we need to be on good praying terms with the Lord so that we will pray in obedience to His Word. Many 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 and our sincere endeavor to live God-honoring lives, which is only produced by 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 Spirit; Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:5-7).
As the Creator (Isaiah 40:28; compare John 1:1-3); as a Shepherd (Isaiah 40:11; compare John 10:11); as Redeemer (Isaiah 41:14; compare Galatians 3:13; I Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 5:9). As the Angel of the Lord (Isaiah 37:36).
38:10 residue means remainder; 40:2 comfortably means kindly and tenderly; 40:12 meted out means measured; span means about nine inches; 42:4 isles means coastlands; 42:13 jealousy means His fury.
Government Officials: Rep. Julian Dixon (CA), Gov. Jane Dee Hull (AZ), and Gov. Edward Schafer (ND) · Pray for Ron & Gloria Bechtel, Universal Printing, printers of Bible Pathway in U.S. · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast sponsored by Nellie Mae Brown · Country: Zimbabwe (11 million) in south-central Africa · Major languages: English and Shona · Limited religious freedom · 43% Protestant; 38% animism, mediums, and spirit-possession cults; 16% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Remember that faith is a vital tool in your prayer life to ensure your prayers are answered (Romans 12:3).
Memory Verse for the Week:
II Thessalonians 1:8