So what can I take away from these lessons of Biblical history that the Lord wants to teach me so I better understand his purpose for me?
First – I see King Hezekiah becoming ill, and the Lord using Isaiah the prophet to proclaim his sure death. Hezekiah immediately prays and pleads his case to the Lord. The Lord hears and immediately tells Isaiah to tell Hezekiah, ”I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.” Additionally and just as significantly, the Lord declares that He will add 15 years to Hezekiah’s life, plus deliver Jerusalem from the hand of the King of Assyria. BUT, to further demonstrate that the Lord has his hand in this, a sign is given. A MIRACLE…yes big caps…because the sunlight is about to go back 10 degrees at a precise time. That’s a WOW moment!
Lesson 1: God is listening, has my best interest in mind, and will reconsider my situation in light of my prayers and His will. Really, one minute my life as I know it is done, and then through prayer to the Lord, I am given 15 more years to serve Him here!
Secondly – I see Hezekiah now being given a second chance to prove his thankfulness and full allegiance to the Lord. So what does Hezekiah do when tested? And additionally what are these tests? Hezekiah strays from acknowledging in Isaiah 38:15 & 17, “I will walk humbly all my years because of the anguish of my soul” and “Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish.” Hezekiah becomes prideful. Yes, how subtle pride becomes because apparently Hezekiah is not recognizing that it is not pleasing to the Lord. Hezekiah has been given just about every earthly thing: wealth, health, people to wait on him, etc. Is Hezekiah simply glorying in his success story, ignoring that it was actually God bringing success?
Lesson 2: I can easily lose sight of the Lord and His hand in my success when the going is easy and things are going great. So much for the good and trouble free life!
Finally – Why did God want to test Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles 32:31? Doesn’t He already know the outcome will be and what was in Hezekiah’s heart? So what benefit is there in this procedure? Okay, so remember Gen 22:2, when Abraham was told to take Isaac out to sacrifice him as a burnt offering, and it was a test also? As we know it was to ultimately benefit Abraham and Isaac in demonstrating God’s goodness, faithfulness, and compassion as a loving God. A parallel testing came to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8:16 as they wandered in the desert and were given manna from heaven to humble and test them, and again demonstrate God’s faithfulness. So Hezekiah, just like the others before him, needed to learn the same lessons.
Lesson 3: I am also tested and I need to remember that the Lord’s life lessons are for my ultimate benefit. Lord, help me to seek you in good times & bad.