(2 King 20:1-11; 2 Chronicles 30-32; Isaiah 38)
The king was sick and dying. He looked up at the purple canopy covering his bed and coughed. Despite the lush trappings of his room, nothing could be done for his health. The best doctors money could buy were unable to help him. He had only one hope left, the prophet of the Lord.
The king knew the Lord could heal because when he was a young man, he had reintroduced the Passover to his people. He remembered asking the Lord, during the ceremony, to pardon all those who set their hearts on seeking God. In response the Lord had healed all the people of their illnesses as a sign of His favor.
“King Hezekiah, the prophet Isaiah is coming” one of the worried attendants announced.
When the prophet appeared, the king desperately grabbed his hand, “Give me some good news. Will the Lord heal me?”
Sadly, the prophet stroked the trembling hand of the king, “I am sorry, this is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”
Shocked, the king jerked his hand out of the prophet’s grasp. The man of God had prophesied his imminent death. With his last hope dashed, the king turned his face away from the world and towards the wall. He began to weep bitterly. He had accomplished so much for God and for the nation of Judea, but now all the pride he had in his deeds was swept away as he thought of his desperate situation.
The prophet quietly left shaking his head. Despite his love for this king, he could only prophesy what the Lord told him to say.
During the Passover ceremony, the Lord healed the people because they were seeking Him with all their hearts. Hezekiah decided to begin seeking God. With his face to the wall and tears pouring from his eyes, the king humbled himself and cried out to God, “Remember, O Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.”
The prophet was passing through the middle of the palace’s three courts when suddenly, he stopped. The Lord was speaking. Isaiah bent his head as he listened to the message from heaven, “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayers and seen your tears; I will heal you. In three days, you will be worshiping at the temple.’” The prophet could not believe his ears; God had changed His mind!
Isaiah turned and ran back to the king’s bedroom. “Put some more medicine on the king,” he shouted, “He is going to get better.”
Scarcely believing his ears, the king turned and wiped the tears away from his eyes, “What will be the sign that I will be healed?” he asked.
On the spur of the moment, the prophet pointed to the sundial outside the window, “Do you want the shadow to go forward ten degrees or backwards ten degrees?”
Hezekiah thought for a second, “The shadow always goes forward. I want to see time go backward ten degrees.”
The prophet called upon the Lord, and God made the shadow move backward as a sign. God was willing to literally move heaven and earth for the sake of his servant’s request.
Three days later Hezekiah was completely healed, and he went up to the temple to thank the Lord.
Healing Power Points
- God does not change, yet in this story God seems to change His mind. At first the prophet said Hezekiah was going to die, then he returned and said the king was going to live. What happened? The circumstances affecting God’s decision had changed. When Hezekiah humbled himself and reminded God of his devotion, God responded to his faith and declared that he would live. In this story, we find that God is willing to change His mind and move heaven and earth in response to the faith of one of His children.
- Humbleness before God is essential for your miracle. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Hezekiah humbly cried out to God during his greatest time of need. This humble attitude caught God’s attention and sparked a miracle. Tears of repentance bring healing.
- Healing can come through medicine. When Isaiah returned to prophesy about Hezekiah’s healing, he told the servants to prepare a medicinal poultice made from figs. After the servants gave him the medicine, the king recovered. Often, God uses medicine to bring healing.
This concept is also found in the New Testament. Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Matthew 9:12). One of Paul’s closest companions was Luke the physician, and Paul told Timothy to drink what could have been medicinal wine for his stomach (1 Timothy 5:23).
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