August 8

 

Read Isaiah 38:1

 

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 says the LORD, Set your house in order: for you shall 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 and how God relented in response to Moses' intercession (see Exodus 32:7-14). With intense weeping, Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD, And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech (beg) You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a perfect (sincere) heart, and have done that which is good in Your sight. And Hezekiah wept sore (bitterly) (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: Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the LORD . . . I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears: behold, I will add to your 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 who tells us 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, because we have surrendered to the inner working of the Holy Spirit.

 

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer of a righteous man avails (accomplishes) much (James 5:16).

 

Christ Revealed:

 

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).

 

Word Studies:

 

38:10 residue = remainder; 40:2 comfortably = kindly and tenderly; 40:12 meted out = measured; span = spread of the fingers; 42:4 isles = islands; 42:13 jealousy = His fury.

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for Staff: Pam Pendergrast · Country: Italy (58 million) in southern Europe · Major languages: Italian and German · Religious freedom · 81% Roman Catholic; .4% Protestant; .1% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Remember that the Lord is faithful to keep His promises (Hebrews 10:23).

 

Optional Reading: James 3

 

Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Thessalonians 1:8