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The prophet Isaiah delivered an unexpected blow to King Hezekiah when the King least expected it – on the heels of a mighty victory over his archenemy King Sennacherib, whose Assyrian army had been struck down miraculously by the angel of the LORD.
Post-victory, Hezekiah had developed a deadly infection, so the prophet came and said to him , “This is what the LORD says: ‘Set your house in order, for you are about to die; you will not recover.’” In anguish and sorrow over these tidings, Hezekiah “turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, and he wept bitterly.” Soon a new word came from the LORD to Isaiah: “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the LORD God of your ancestor David says: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I am going to add fifteen years to your life.” (You can read the full account in Isaiah chapter 38.)
Was God playing games with Hezekiah’s emotions? Or was there a purpose in this sudden setback and reversal? Hezekiah answers the question in his prayer of thanksgiving to God, “Indeed, it was for my own well being that I had such intense bitterness; but your love has delivered me from the Pit of destruction, for you have thrown all my sins behind your back,” (Isaiah 38:17 CSB).
Hezekiah learned three important truths by experiencing his unexpected crises. First and foremost, God had his spiritual well-being in mind; secondly, God’s love alone delivered him from “the pit of destruction” and thirdly, God in his grace threw all Hezekiah’s sins behind His back. God had a reason for the king’s health scare. Through trial and suffering, Hezekiah developed a deeper faith in God, a clearer vision of His love, and a fuller knowledge of his sins forgiven. Such is the God we serve.
by Toni Babcock
Minnesota, USA - firstname.lastname@example.org
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