2 Kings 20.1-11
1 In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover. "
2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord:
3 “Remember now, O Lord, I implore you, how I have walked before you in faithfulness with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight. " Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4 Before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him:
5 “Turn back, and say to Hezekiah prince of my people, Thus says the Lord, the God of your ancestor David: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; indeed, I will heal you; on the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord.
6 I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; I will defend this city for my own sake and for my servant David's sake. “
7 Then Isaiah said, “Bring a lump of figs. Let them take it and apply it to the boil, so that he may recover. "
8 Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What shall be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord on the third day?"
9 Isaiah said, “This is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that he has promised: 9b the shadow has now advanced ten intervals; shall it retreat ten intervals?"
10 Hezekiah answered, “It is normal for the shadow to lengthen ten intervals; rather let the shadow retreat ten intervals. "
11 The prophet Isaiah cried to the Lord; and he brought the shadow back the ten intervals, by which the sun had declined on the dial of Ahaz.
Everyone has a condition that is trying to hold them down. Some of us may have a martial condition, and like cancer has gotten into our marriage and is destroying it. Some of us have a financial condition. The bills and the bill collectors continue to remind us of our condition. Some of us have a sin condition. We know what we should be doing but aren’t. Some have an emotional condition that attempts to drive us into the depths of despair and causes us to wander if tomorrow the sun is going to shine.
No matter whom you are, conditions have a way of finding us. None of us live in perfect world. Hezekiah’s condition tells me that conditions can get into everybody’s house. One of the cruelest tricks the devil ever pulled was convincing Christians that they were immune to tragedies and the horrifying realties that life can bring. There must be something wrong with you spiritually if you are having problems in your marriage, if you are struggling in your finances, if your grown children are making decisions that are not in alignment with the will of God. The enemy has convinced us that the only reason we suffer is because of our lack of faithfulness to God. But what this text teaches us is that bad things can happen to good people.
I need to know who I need to go to when I discover that I have a condition. Hezekiah was a good king. Notice that he does not go to Isaiah and beg Isaiah to talk to God on his behalf. King Hezekiah goes to God directly. Where do you turn when conditions hit you? Some of us turn to our spouses; some turn to their family; some turn to a bottle. Yes see the doctor, see the lawyer, see the accountant but turn to God. That’s why we come to the altar every Sunday because the person you need to talk to is God.
Conditions teach us to be prepared. The bible teaches us that all things work together for good to them that Love God and for those that are called according to his purpose. If this is so, and I know that it is then we need to find the good that can come in crisis. Our normal prayer is: If you fix this I promise that I will straighten up my life from this point forward. But notice Hezekiah’s prayer. He didn’t promise anything about the future, he only told God about what he has done in the past. God is much more pleased with a prayer based on what I have done rather than one with promises that may not be delivered.
Conditions reveal the generosity of our God. Remember Hezekiah’s prayer, he asked for healing. But God was more gracious than just healing him. God says I will heal you but I will also add 15 years to your life. I will take you and your people out of captivity and I will keep you out of captivity. Hezekiah had a condition but all his people benefited from his prayer. Sometimes we are blessed because someone had a condition and they prayed for healing from the Lord.
God uses conditions to remind me of the need for obedience. Figs were a remedy in those days to deal with boils and I am sure the king’s physicians had probably tried that several times to bring healing to the king. This time it was different. It was all about obedience. He had done it before but it didn’t work so why try it now. One reason: because God said so.
Conditions reveal our humanness and therefore our need for a Savior. Everything is going great until we get to verse 8. God goes ahead and gives him a sign by moving the shadow of the evening back ten steps. And God’s patience tells me that He knows conditions bring out my humanness and my need for Him. He knows I need Him!!! My condition threatens my sanity, it threatens my life, it threatens my peace and I need Him. I need Him to do for me what I cannot do for myself, I need Him! I need Him to fix what’s broken, to heal what’s hurt and to keep the sun from coming down in my life.
Lieutenant Ken Rice is an Active Duty Naval Officer stationed in Norfolk VA. He is currently assigned to Commander, Naval Surface Force's Warfare Requirments Directorate as the FORCEnet Requirements Officer. Lieutenant Rice is responsible for the program analasys and budget oversight for Information Technology Transformation for the Surface Fleet. He is currently enrolled at Regent University working towards a Doctorate in Strategic Leadership.