Saturday, July 12, 2014

Hezekiah's Wish for More Time Granted

By Mary Vee
II Kings 18-20


From the Journals of Hezekiah



Photo Courtesy
Assyria was a bully. It was a big, powerful, kingdom with an unstoppable army.

I didn't want Judah to serve Assyria and chose to rebel against their king by not sending him the money he demanded.

During this time, I led the army into battle against the Philistines as far as Gaza and the land surrounding it, winning the battles for the Lord.

I had been king of Judah for fourteen years when Sennacherib, king of Assyria attacked and captured some of our cities. 

To save the people, I sent a message to Sennacherib: "I have done wrong. Remove your army and I will pay whatever you demand of me."

Sennacherib demanded three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. I took gold and silver from the temple and from the royal palace and gave it to the scoundrel. 

Some days later, I became ill. The sickness was so bad, I knew I would die. 

The prophet Isaiah came to my chamber and said, "This is what the Lord says: Take care of everything in your house because you are going to die. You will not recover from this disease."

The news upset me terribly. I turned to the wall and prayed: "Remember, O Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes." I couldn't speak anymore and wept as I never had before.

Isaiah left the room. 

It only seemed a short time before he came back to my bedside and said, "God told me to tell you this message, 'This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.'"

Isaiah ordered the servants to prepare a mixture of figs. They did and put the medicine on my boils. 

I wasn't sure if this mixture would really work. "Isaiah, what will be the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go up to the temple of the Lord on the third day from now?"

Isaiah seemed pleased with my question. "This is the Lord's sign to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: Choose one of these: shall the shadow go forward ten steps or shall it go back ten steps?"

To me the answer seemed clear. "It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps. Have it go back ten steps."

Right before me, Isaiah prayed to the Lord and asked that the shadow go back ten steps. The Lord instantly made the shadow go back the ten steps it had already moved down on the stairway of Ahaz.

Just like God said, I was well in three days. Praise God.

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1.  Who attacked Judah?
2.  What did Hezekiah, king of Judah do about it?
3.  What happened to Hezekiah?
4.  Who visited Hezekiah with a message from God?
5.  What was the message?
6.  What did Hezekiah do about it?
7.  What did Hezekiah ask for 10 forward or 10 back? Why?

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