Summary of passage: Isaiah 38: Hezekiah became ill and Isaiah told him to put his house in order because he was going to die. Hezekiah responded by praying and crying out to the Lord: Remember my faithfulness, devotion, and good. So, Isaiah spoke the Lord’s response: the Lord would grant Hezekiah 15 more years of life and He will deliver Jerusalem from the king of Assyria. Hezekiah asks for a sign which is the shadow cast by the sun will go back ten steps on the stairway of Ahaz. Hezekiah writes about his illness, saying God alone saved him so he could praise the Lord and tell the living about his greatness.
Isaiah 39: The king of Babylon sends Hezekiah gifts after his recovery. Hezekiah receives the Babylonian envoys and shows them all the riches of Jerusalem and in the temple of the Lord. The Lord responds through Isaiah: One day Babylon will carry off all of your riches and some of your descendants will be eunuchs in the king’s palace. Hezekiah does not care since there will be peace and security in his lifetime.
13a) Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and wept bitterly. He prayed to the Lord to remember his good deeds and devotion to him. God spoke to Isaiah and granted Hezekiah 15 more years of life and promised deliverance from the King of Assyria
b) God is in control and He can change the course of history through prayer. Mark 11:24 ”Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Philippians 4:6-7 ”Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, present by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” God keeps His promises
14a) He foretold how everything will be carried off to Babylon (all the riches of Jerusalem) and some of Hezekiah’s descendants will become eunuchs in the king of Babylon’s palace
b) Jerusalem fell in 586 BC (100 years after Hezekiah’s death) when God used the Babylonians to enact His punishments and wrath against his people for their unfaithfulness. The Babylonians took all the treasures and burned the temple of the Lord as well as exiled the God’s people. It gives me hope (as much as God’s anger can) because God is faithful and He does what He says He will do. And if I am faithful, I should have no worries from God’s wrath.
Conclusions: Faithfulness is the overarching theme here. It is so important to God that he will remove you from His homeland if you disobey His laws. Hezekiah was faithful and in the end he was rewarded extra years in life and deliverance from the Assyrians. But Hezekiah’s pride of his riches got in the way and he flaunted Jerusalem’s wealth to the future enemy, for which all of Jerusalem paid the price for.
God wants us to be faithful to Him and His laws. He desires the best for us and when we turn from our path, He gets angry. Staying faithful is challenging, especially when we are young (teenagers and young adults here) and when we are blinded by crises. But God always remains even when we stray and He awaits our return with open arms.
End Note: Curious (as always) about what exactly was the stairway of Ahaz (Ahaz was Hezekiah’s father and King of Judah before him), I googled it and found this awesome little article with pictures of what the sun may have looked like when moved: