Read 2 Kings 18
Revival comes with the new King of Judah (II Kin. 18:5-7)! Hezekiah's life and death. Discover the reason for the favor of the Lord in his life (18:5-6). You will want to avoid his foolish boasting (19:3).
The prophet Isaiah went to King Hezekiah who was sick unto death. . . . and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die. . . . Then he (King Hezekiah) turned his face to the wall, and prayed . . . I beseech Thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before Thee in truth. . . . the Word of the Lord came to him (Isaiah) . . . tell Hezekiah. . . . I will add unto thy days fifteen years (II Kin. 20:1-6; comp. 19:15). Hezekiah had reigned about 15 years and had no son at this time to continue his posterity.
There's not a cry nor a tear, a sickness, or death by which the compassionate heart of God is not touched. Did God arrange Hezekiah's death for his blessing as well as the nation's?
Every situation of life is depicted for us in the Bible in order to give us an understanding of our relationship with God and our responsibilities to Him, as well as to others. Consequently, we have illustrations on the results of various ways to react to each situation. As we read through the Bible we gain guidance on how to understand our circumstances.
The ambassadors from Babylon came with a present to celebrate Hezekiah's recover (20:12; II Chr. 32:31; Is. 39:1). It is disappointing not to read about Hezekiah giving any glory to God for healing him. Instead, he proudly impressed the ambassadors with his exceeding much riches of silver, and gold, and much precious stones and jewels (II Chr. 32:27; Is. 39:2). By exposing his treasures he was encouraging the Babylonians to steal his wealth (II Chr. 32:28; Is. 39:3-6).
We need to ask ourselves: “What spiritual good did these additional 15 years accomplish? His son also became an evil king.” As we consider Hezekiah's prayer and the results, we realize how little we know what is best for us. Would Hezekiah have been a greater blessing if he had prayed as our Master who prayed: Not My will, but Thine, be done (Luke 22:42)?
When there seems to be no hope that a person will recover from his illness, is it the truest kindness to give false hopes of a quick recovery? If the terminally ill, unsaved person knew the facts, would he be more likely to turn his face to the wall and earnestly pray for God to cleanse him of his sins, and to receive Christ as Savior and Lord?
Be . . . ready . . . for the Son of Man cometh at an hour as you think not (Luke 12:40).
Thought for Today:
The Lord is my Rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower (Ps. 18:2).
By Hezekiah, who was faithful in leading the Kingdom of Judah back to God and His Word (II Kin. 19) — a foreshadowing of the words of Jesus to the Pharisees in His attempt to awaken them to their need to see themselves as sinners and recognize Him as their Savior (Mark 2:17).
18:6 clave, clung, was devoted to; 18:17 Tartan, the title of Assyria's general, commander in chief; Rabsaris, the chief financial official; Rabshakeh, the chief officer, or possibly chief cupbearer; 18:31 by a present, by paying tribute; 19:3 bring forth, give birth; 19:7 blast, spirit of bad fortune; 20:3 sore, bitterly and loud.
Pray for Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Official: Rep. Vernon Buchanan (FL) and Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (NY) • Country: Finland (5.2 million) in northern Europe • Major languages: Finnish and Swedish • Religious freedom • 86% Lutheran; 1% Orthodox; 12% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Draw near to God in prayer with a clean and pure heart (James 4:8).
Optional Reading: Romans 11
Memory Verse for the Week: 1 John 3:22