Read Isaiah 38 -- 42
About 13 years had passed since Isaiah brought Hezekiah, King of Judah, the exciting news that the little nation of Judah would be 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 said the Lord, Set your house in order: for you shall die, and not live (Isaiah 38:1; II Kings 20:1; also II Chronicles 32:24-26). At that time, Hezekiah did not have a son to inherit his throne and to have 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 (Psalms 55:23; Proverbs 10:27).
With intense weeping, Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord: 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 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 King 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).
We should never hesitate to pray, regardless of how hopeless our circumstances may appear, when we desire that the answer to our prayers will honor the Lord. This does not mean that God always miraculously answers every prayer in the way we want or according to our timing.
We need to read the Word of God so that, like Hezekiah, we may honestly and fervently pray: "We have done what is good in your sight." Many find it easy to accept the condemnation of Satan that we are too unworthy for God to answer our prayers since we often fall short of our desire to be like Jesus. 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 as Hezekiah did. We can also remind the Lord of our sincere endeavor to live a God-honoring life, 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 (Titus 3:5).
Christ Revealed: 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).
Word Studies: 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) and Gov. Jane Hull (AZ) · Pray for Joe Brashier & Joe Hill and the Bible Pathway International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts on WHRI, South Bend IN · Country: Sudan (34 million) at the eastern end of the Sahara Desert · Major languages: Arabic and Nubian · Limited religious freedom · 74% Muslim; 15% king worship, spirit-possession cults, and ancestral spirit worship; 5% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that Christians would be united as Christ and God are one (John 17:11,21).
Optional Reading: James 3
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 6:12-13