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Hezekiah's Prayer

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Hezekiah Prays, receives a sign and is healed.

Notes
Transcript
Introduction
Welcome
Good morning, My name is Troy, and I’m the Lead Pastor hear at FCCCB
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Jab 1
Sundial
The earth rotates around the sun and a shadow is cast correlating to the angle of the sun in the sky. Which indicates the hour of the day
It is a constant they can be relied upon to tell the time of day and the seasons of the year
It is an ancient device
Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
In a sundial we can see God’s power.
His power to hold the Sun in place
His power to have the earth sin on its axis and orbit the Sun
Jab 2
Recap prayer series
The Lord's prayer
We must pray in secret before we pray in
We must pray sincerely
We must pray seeking God's will
We must pray with a forgiving spirit toward others
We looked at Nehemiah's prayer
Nehemiah prayed boldly.
Nehemiah prayed to have favor with this man, Artaxerxes
Last week we looked at the prayer of Jabez
A prayer just 29 words long
He asked God to bless him and enlarge his territory
Yes God's hand to be with him. He sought God's will.
He asked God to keep him from harm and to be free from pain or to keep evil from him
And God granted his request
Jab 3
Right Hook
This week we are going to look at a prayer story that has a king, a prophet and a sundial
Hezekiah’s Prayer.
You might ask who Hezekiah is? We’ll get to that.
Hezekiah's prayer is recorded in three places in the Bible
2nd Kings 20:1-11
2nd Chronicles 32:24-26
Isaiah 38:1-8
Explanation
So get out your Bibles
2nd Kings 20:1-11
Hezekiah’s Illness
“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, LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4 Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: 5 “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘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. 6 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.’ ” 7 Then Isaiah said, “Prepare a poultice of figs.” They did so and applied it to the boil, and he recovered. 8 Hezekiah had asked 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?” 9 Isaiah answered, “This is the LORD’s sign to you that the LORD will do what he has promised: Shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or shall it go back ten steps?” 10 “It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps,” said Hezekiah. “Rather, have it go back ten steps.” 11 Then the prophet Isaiah called on the LORD, and the LORD made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.”
2nd Chronicles 32:24-26 “In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the LORD, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. 25 But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the LORD’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem. 26 Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the LORD’s wrath did not come on them during the days of Hezekiah.”
Isaiah 38:1-8
Hezekiah’s Illness
“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, LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” 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. 7 “ ‘This is the LORD’s sign to you that the LORD will do what he has promised: 8 I will make the shadow cast by the sun go back the ten steps it has gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.’ ” So the sunlight went back the ten steps it had gone down.”
Who are those involved in this story?
Hezekiah
Son of Ahaz; king of Judah, twelfth since the division of the kingdom.
2nd Kings 18 1-7 “In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. 3 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done. 4 He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.) 5 Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. 6 He held fast to the LORD and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the LORD had given Moses. 7 And the LORD was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.
Hezekiah was a good king not like his father Ahaz
King of Judah 715–687 bc
Isaiah
Eighth-century BC prophet who foretells the salvation of Yahweh’s people, including a return from Babylonian captivity and an eventual return to Yahweh.
Profit to Hezekiah
So what is going on in this story
For some reason God tells him he's going to die and to put this house in order.
You might think this could be a blessing or a curse.
I don’t see it as a blessing if it were me.
You might think differently than I do in this matter.
I don't want to know if I'm going to die soon
When my time is up I would just like to go home quickly to be with God
Hezekiah was faithful to the Lord
He reminds the Lord of his faithfulness
He says “Remember, LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.”
But the thing that Hezekiah does that we can learn from is, that as soon as he gets this news he turns to the wall and prays
Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD,
3 “Remember, LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
I picture him sick in bed getting the news that he is dying
Rolling over to pray
Maybe a little “why me” prayer.
There may be some here today who have gotten bad news and went to God in prayer
I'm sure you can relate to Hezekiah in this moment
Thankfully I've never had to experience
Many times people go to God in prayer in these moments and make promises.
Promises that some keep
Promises that are never kept
We become expert dealmakers in times of trouble.
We all have seen these kind of stories in the movies
Let me live and I'll become a priest
Get me out of this and I'll do anything you ask.
Get me out of this and I'll be a good person.
Save me Lord and I will, (you fill in the blank.)
I wonder if Hezekiah made some promises to God in that prayer?
Promises that he did not keep.
We don't know, but what we do know is he did not respond properly to the kindness that he was shown by God
“But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the LORD’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem.”
We don't know if Hezekiah asked specifically for 15 more years but it seems to be implied.
Last week we saw that God knows our request even before we
Matthew 6:8 “...for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
It seems to me that God had compassion for Hezekiah and gives him 15 more years
Another thing we can learn from this passage is that being faithful is a good thing
Hezekiah was a good king and faithful in leading the people to God
From this passage, being faithful seems to have its rewards
Hezekiah also ask for a sign
Hezekiah had asked 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 answered,
“This is the LORD’s sign to you that the LORD will do what he has promised: Shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or shall it go back ten steps?” 10 “It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps,” said Hezekiah. “Rather, have it go back ten steps.” 11 Then the prophet Isaiah called on the LORD, and the LORD made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.”
I love this sign
For one it shows God's willingness to help us believe.
I also love that God gives Isaiah the choice of a sign
And the scientist in me wants to try and figure out how God did it?
But the theologian in me looks for the simple answer
Although in reality we don't need an answer but it's nice to think about it
There are a few ways that you can make a shadow move on Sundial
Did God move the sun?
Did God move the earth by changing its rotation?
Did God move the steps?
Or did God shine another light from another direction?
This seems like a simple answer to me and I like it.
Application
What an awesome story of Hezekiah's prayer, God giving him a sign and God answering his prayer
Hezekiah's prayer is something I think that we can all relate to.
Because sooner or later we will all pray some similar prayer.
A prayer for health and life
A prayer for safety and deliverance
Maybe you've already experienced a prayer like this.
But here's what I know when it comes to life. God has given us life through the light of the world.
Jesus said that He was the light of the world
Not to just give us 15 more years of life but life forever.
Paul saw the light on the road to Damascus
Acts 9:3-4 “As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?””
Acts 26:13 “About noon, King Agrippa, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions.”
Matthew tells us Matt 17:2 “There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.”
Jesus Said
John 8:12 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 9:5 “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.””
Jesus tells us in Luke 17:24
“For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.”
John tells us 1 John 1:5
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”
So you see however God moved the shadow for Hezekiah it doesn't matter
What does matter is that we have a God that could do it however he wants.
Move the sun no problem
Move the earth no problem
Shine another light no problem
The truth is that God loved Hezekiah enough and had compassion on him to give him 15 more years on this earth
The truth is also that God loves us enough to send the light of the world His one and only so that we can live forever
The light of the world that removes the shadow of death once and for all time.
So today are you facing a wall in your life praying for God to help you
Have you lost hope?
Is life beating you down?
Let me tell you this, God can move the shadows that are in your life
Jesus has already done what had to be done for you to have life.
He died for your sins and mine.
He is waiting for you right now to come to Him.
So today if that's where you're at I would ask you to do this,
Confess publicly today that Jesus is Lord of your life
Repent of your sins today.
And be baptized today.
Let Me Pray For You
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