Dream word – HOPE
2 Kings 20:9-11
Then Isaiah said, “This is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing which He has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees or go backward ten degrees?” And Hezekiah answered, “It is an easy thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees; no, but let the shadow go backward ten degrees.” So Isaiah the prophet cried out to the Lord, and He brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down on the sundial of Ahaz. NKJV
If I could turn back time
Before the destruction of Sennacherib’s army, in the 14th year of his reign, Hezekiah is sick and dying. His prayers no doubt called forth an answer from God and it came upon the lips of the sent and true prophet Isaiah, who says “Thus says the Lord: 'Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live'.” 2 Kings 20:1 NKJV
These words of Isaiah, may have been delivered in absolute and seeming, mind unchangeable form but it made no difference to Hezekiah, who with great tears weeps his reasons for the gift of more years. Hezekiah’s weeping request is granted, and it is Isaiah again, who by now is some distance away, either in the middle of the court or maybe even the middle of the city, is turned around by God with a message, some medical information and a miracle. Nice.
The message was clear, “Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: ‘I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David’.” 2 Kings 20:5-6.
The medical information was also clear, “Take a lump of figs.” So they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered. 2 Kings 20:7 NKJV. In its application over a 3 day period, this prophetic poultice proved to be the perfect cure. A natural cure at that as well! Note, that Hezekiah was going to die for want of a natural cure. Note, that God told him he was going to die without at first telling him of this simple natural three day cleansing cure. The only conclusion I can come to here is that God was testing Hezekiah’s faith muscles. I hope He doesn’t test mine this way! God is a very tough “life coach” that’s for sure. In any event, whatever Hezekiah’s most miserable of maladies was, it called forth believing and desperate pleading prayer, and the seeming initial and absolute declaration of God regarding his forthcoming death, is revealed in our text for tonight, to be changeable and conditional. However, Hezekiah did not know that! We remember that, for friends, things can change, situations can be reversed. cancers can be cured, even in the final seconds! So keep praying until God unequivocally calls you to stop praying.
Hezekiah, receiving a natural cure in the natural world wanted a supernatural sign as a sure stamp of God’s real intervention, especially as it was a three-day cure. So God, most graciously grants this. Indeed, Hezekiah is induced into testing God most thoroughly, even in effect, invited to have time move speedily forward or speedily backwards. Of course, Hezekiah opts for what he considers to be the harder option for God and a more certain sign for himself. So he says, “Move time backwards!”
For sure now, the shadows of Hezekiah’s sundial now moved from sunset to sunrise, yes, without minimising the mighty miracle and turning into one of light refraction, couldn’t God, wouldn’t God, stop and turn back time for those he loved? Indeed, didn’t God make the sun and the moon to stand still in the Valley of Aijalon? Yes He did! Indeed, another preacher has commented that as the initial and certain word regarding Hezekiah’s most imminent death went forth from the true prophet Isaiah, time had to be reversed to cancel out the certainty of it, so that a new prophetic word might then be spoken? Who knows? Who can explain this thing?
Although God gives us no scientific explanation for this mighty miracle, it is of great encouragement as one commentator put it, to take note that “God controls all the shadows in our life.” Yes He does and friends tonight, as the dial of your life moves into darkness, pray hard to your Father, for who knows that if won’t be allowed to arise in the sunshine of the morning and stand to find that maybe God will have turned back time for you as well. Why shouldn’t He? So do keep believing and do keep on asking.
Listen: “So Isaiah the prophet cried out to the Lord, and He brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down on the sundial of Ahaz.” - (2 Kings 20:11 NKJV)
Pray: It seems it was good for me to go through all those troubles. Throughout them all you held tight to my lifeline. You never let me tumble over the edge into nothing. But my sins you let go of, threw them over your shoulder - good riddance! The dead don't thank you, and choirs don't sing praises from the morgue. Those buried six feet under don't witness to your faithful ways. It's the living - live men, live women - who thank you, just as I'm doing right now. Parents give their children full reports on your faithful ways. God saves and will save me. As fiddles and mandolins strike up the tunes, we'll sing, oh we'll sing, sing, for the rest of our lives in the sanctuary of God. Isaiah 38:17-20 (from The Message)
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