Daily D – Isaiah 38:2-3
Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD. He said, “Please, LORD, remember how I have walked before you faithfully and wholeheartedly, and have done what pleases you.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
ISAIAH 38:2-3 (CSB)
What do you do when you receive bad news? Hezekiah was terminally ill. Isaiah visited him with a message from God. “This is what the LORD says: ‘Set your house in order, for you are about to die; you will not recover,’” (verse 1).
That is bad news indeed.
What did Hezekiah do in response to the news from God that he was going to die? He prayed. He gave God a reason to let him go on living. He reminded God of how he had lived. He had lived a life before God that was faithful, wholehearted, and pleasing.
This is a good insight into how we should pray. Why should God say yes to our prayers? Will his positive response help people see how good and kind he is? Will it demonstrate his mercy and grace? Will it teach others how to relate to God?
This kind of praying is quite different from prayers about winning the lottery or seeking your favorite team’s victory.
What happened after Hezekiah’s prayer? Check out verses 4-8 about how God dramatically demonstrated his positive response. Next, read Hezekiah’s poem of praise and thanksgiving beginning in verse 9. In verses 21 and 22 we find God’s remedy for Hezekiah’s illness.
Chapter 38 ends well. Chapter 39 begins well but ends poorly. Hezekiah was granted fifteen extra years of life. He was careless. Isaiah confronted him and told him of the coming destruction that would happen to the land and to the people, including his close relatives after he died. This did not bother Hezekiah since he would be dead and gone when it happened.
Hezekiah wasted his extra life.
You and I probably will never experience anything like Hezekiah. However, look around and notice how many people are wasting their lives. This is a temptation and danger for each of us.
How we live today will make the world a better place for our children and grandchildren or a worse place. How will you live today? Will you live as the positive alternative to a coarse and tasteless society? Or will you go with the flow and the tide of the times?
If God needed a good reason today to let you live tomorrow and beyond, what would you offer him? How would you join him in his work of building a better world?
I will fill my days and years with Kingdom-building activity.
Our Father, thank you for the gift of life. Fill our days with meaning and purpose. Make us fruitful and effective in extending your kingdom. Use us to demonstrate your goodness and love. Amen.
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6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
8 “Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 40:6–14.
Job 29:21-25 21 “People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.