Friday, August 24, 2012

Extra Life

1 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, "This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover." 2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 "Remember, O Lord, how I have walked before You faithfully and with wholehearted devotion (served You single-mindedly) and have done what is good in Your eyes (pleases God)." And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4 Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: 5 "Go and tell Hezekiah, 'This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. 6 And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city. Isaiah 38:1-6 (NIV), see parallel references at 2 Chronicles 32:24-31; 2 Kings 20:1-11.

King Hezekiah of southern Israel (also called Judah) became extremely ill to the point of death.  The Prophet Isaiah told Hezekiah of his coming death. When Hezekiah learned of this destiny, he immediately turned to God in prayer. Hezekiah knew that that prayer brought deliverance and forgiveness (see Isaiah 37:14–20). God answered Hezekiah’s prayer by allowing him to live another 15 years. Even more, Hezekiah experienced God’s double miracle of healing and deliverance. God had spared King Hezekiah’s life and Judah.

Over a 100-year period of Israel’s history (732-640 B.C.), King Hezekiah was the only faithful king. Because of his faithfulness to God, God healed Hezekiah and saved his city from foreigner attackers, the Assyrians. Hezekiah’s life reveals that genuine faith, humility, and prayer directed to God can change any situation. Never hesitate to ask God for help. When life’s pressures challenge you or when everything is going wrong, do give up but turn to God. God can always change the course of our lives too in response to our genuine and humble prayer for help. God does listen! So turn your heart to God, walk faithfully with and trust Him. As Hezekiah learned, life and good health are gifts from God that the Lord God can withdraw at any time. God has the power of life and death (James 5:15).

Finally, never be prideful or boastful, but honor and praise God for His goodness (see 2 Kings 20:12-19; Psalm 15). After Hezekiah’s healing and deliverance, Hezekiah offered a prayer of thanksgiving (Isaiah 38:10–20).

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God bless you! You are loved by God (Romans 5:5).