The Book of Isaiah
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Isaiah-Answer to Prayer
Bible Study-ISA-Chapter 38
Isaiah 38:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.
We are not told what this disease or malady is, at least, not in Isaiah, but we do find out about it in 2nd Kings, chapter 20. Some scholars believe that these verses are out of place, that this malady happened a few years down the road. Be that as it may, it has no bearing on the truth of these verses.
Hezekiah was not a good king for Judah. He took down most of the altars used for worshipping our Father and brought in idol worship, but he came around and consulted with our Father, who sent Sennacherib back home to be killed by his own family, after killing 185,000 of his troops.
And now he finds himself on his deathbed and he begins to pray.
Isaiah 38:2 Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the Lord,
Isaiah 38:3 And said, Remember now, O Lord, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
Hezekiah doesn’t mention his past good deeds to boast or for any kind of justification. According to the Old Testament in general, Father gave temporal rewards in some cases such as a long life and this is what Hezekiah is doing. He expected to live a long life.
His prayer is kind of smoothing over some of the bad things that he has done as king and it’s obvious that he really does not want to die. Maybe he thinks that he can con our Father but that will never happen. He knows exactly what Hezekiah is all about.
That’s something that you should take to heart. When you pray, don’t soft-soap your sins. Man-up and tell our Father like it is, tell Him what you’ve done wrong, because He knows what your sins are before you pray.
Forgiveness is not going to come if you’re not honest with Him, no matter how much you pray. You can say:
“Well, I really didn’t mean to do it, it was just one of those things.”
Sorry, Charlie. Ain’t gonna work. You DID do those things so tell it like it is to Him. HE ALREADY KNOWS! Don’t shoot yourself in the foot a second time by trying to play-down what your sins are.
Isaiah 38:4 Then came the word of the Lord to Isaiah, saying,
The answer to the prayer by Hezekiah was prompt enough because Isaiah had barely reached the courtyard when he was summoned to return to the king.
Isaiah 38:5 Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.
Our Father promises to give him another fifteen years but he still knows exactly when he’s going to die.
We can read of our Father’s response to our tears in the book of Psalms:
Ref: Psalms 56:8 Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?
Ref: Psalms 56:9 When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me. KJV
Isaiah 38:6 And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city.
And Father did do that, He put the Assyrian back on the road from which he came.
Isaiah 38:7 And this shall be a sign unto thee from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing that he hath spoken;
In 2nd Kings, chapter 20, it also states that on the third day Hezekiah should go up to the house of the Lord. That is omitted here in Isaiah.
Ref: 2nd Kings 20:5 Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord. KJV
Not only is our Father going to give Hezekiah that fifteen years but He’s going to make sure that Hezekiah believes Him, that Isaiah is not lying to him.
Isaiah 38:8 Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.
Probably used His right index finger to do that. Amazing, but then, when you’re the One that created all of this, it’s probably not that big a deal. Man, it sure would be to me. I wish that I could have seen that.
People smarter than I calculate that 10 degrees would equal 20 minutes of time. Moving in the other direction would also be 20 minutes of time.
It would have been a lesser miracle to move the shadow forward ten degrees because that’s the normal movement anyway; that’s why Hezekiah requested that the shadow be moved backward.
Isaiah 38:9 The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness:
From verse 9 to verse 20 of this chapter, Hezekiah is kind of speaking in a psalm, with verse 9 being the superscription and verse 20 being the subscription.
But you can read of his recovery in 2nd Kings, chapter 20:
Ref: 2nd Kings 20:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.
Ref: 2nd Kings 20:2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, saying,
Ref: 2nd Kings 20:3 I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
Ref: 2nd Kings 20:4 And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying,
Ref: 2nd Kings 20:5 Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord.
Ref: 2nd Kings 20:6 And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.
Ref: 2nd Kings 20:7 And Isaiah said, Take a lump of figs. And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.
Ref: 2nd Kings 20:8 And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the Lord the third day?
Ref: 2nd Kings 20:9 And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forth ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?
Ref: 2nd Kings 20:10 And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.
Ref: 2nd Kings 20:11 And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the Lord: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz. KJV
There is an urban legend concerning this ten-degree rotation and one also in conjunction with Joshua and our Father moving the sun for a twenty-four-hour period. Since the legend concerns workers at NASA, I did a search on their websites and could not find any information to back up this legend, so I will drop it right here and not go any further with it.
Isaiah 38:10 I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue of my years.
He’s lamenting the fact that he’s not going to live much longer.
Isaiah 38:11 I said, I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord, in the land of the living: I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world.
He’s going to die and go into that other dimension. That’s the reason that he would behold man no more.
Isaiah 38:12 Mine age is departed, and is removed from me as a shepherd's tent: I have cut off like a weaver my life: he will cut me off with pining sickness: from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me.
The reference to the shepherd’s tent means that shepherds were pretty much vagabonds, they moved when the flock moved so it was important that their tent could be taken down and put up quickly. And when the weaver cuts the last thread on the beam, it’s over. Finished.
With the sickness that Hezekiah had they usually took a poultice of figs and lay it on the affected spot:
Ref: 2nd Kings 20:7 And Isaiah said, Take a lump of figs. And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered. KJV
That does not, however, take away from the miracle of extended life that our Father gave to him. There was a natural way for the healing to take place, with our Father’s direction.
Isaiah 38:13 I reckoned till morning, that, as a lion, so will he break all my bones: from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me.
A figure of speech meaning that he didn’t know if he would make it through the night and while fighting through the pain, he roared as a lion who, when he catches his prey, broke all his bones.
Isaiah 38:14 Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward: O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me.
Hezekiah said that he lead the Israelites with a pure heart but he really didn’t. Maybe, as he lies there on that bed, he wonders why our Father gave him those extra fifteen years. He knows in his heart how he ruled.
It could be that our Father really loves those that repent from the heart.
Most people do not sin in the magnitude of kings or presidents. But even on a much smaller scale, your actions and words can only affect just one person and that may be enough to change their course in life so we have to be just as careful and when we do fall short, repent as soon as possible. Don’t let it fester on your soul like a boil on your belly.
Isaiah 38:15 What shall I say? he hath both spoken unto me, and himself hath done it: I shall go softly all my years in the bitterness of my soul.
He will live humbly, remembering his past sins, sorrows, and sicknesses, from which he had been delivered by the mercy of our Father.
Isaiah 38:16 O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit: so wilt thou recover me, and make me to live.
He’s talking here about eternal life.
Finding forgiveness within ourselves is something that is, sometimes, very hard to do. After you have repented you have to put it behind you because our Father has. He doesn’t remember it any longer:
Ref: Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. KJV
Sometimes mentally beating up on yourself, after the fact, is worse than the actual sin itself. But if the Father can forgive our sins we should also be able to forgive ourselves else we may be doubting that He forgave them in the first place.
Isaiah 38:17 Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.
To be remembered no more.
Isaiah 38:18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.
They’re blotted out if they go into that Lake of Fire.
Isaiah 38:19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.
His heart is so full of the main object of his prayer that he finds words hard to come by.
Isaiah 38:20 The Lord was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the Lord.
We’re talking about the song of the degrees here.
Isaiah 38:21 For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaister upon the boil, and he shall recover.
And, of course, they did and he had that fifteen years.
Isaiah 38:22 Hezekiah also had said, What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the Lord? KJV
That sign was given in 2nd Kings 20:9:
2nd Kings 20:9 And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forth ten degrees, or go back ten degrees? KJV
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—28 August 2016—