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). With intense weeping, Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech (beg) Thee, how I have walked before Thee in truth and with a perfect (sincere) heart, and have done that which is good in Thy 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 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.
Our Lord reminded us: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth (Matthew 7:7-8). We should never hesitate to pray, regardless of how hopeless our circumstances may appear. However, this does not mean that God always answers our prayer in the way we want or according to our timing.
Since we often fall short in our desire to be like Jesus, some 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 (Spirit) (Titus 3:5; also James 5:16).
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 =b> remainder; 40:2 comfortably =b> kindly and tenderly; 40:12 meted out =b> measured; span =b> spread of the fingers; 42:4 isles =b> islands; 42:13 jealousy =b> His fury.
Pray for Staff: Beth Carlton · Country: Gabon (1 million) in west-central Africa Major language: French Religious freedom 66% Roman Catholic; 30% Protestant; 3% animism and ancestor worship · Prayer Suggestion: Pray when you are afflicted and suffering (James 5:13).
Optional Reading: James 3
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 84:11