Wednesday, July 22

Let it be

Scripture: 2 Kings 20, Isaiah 38-39, Psalm 75, 1 Peter 2

2 Kings 20:5–6 “Go back to Hezekiah, the leader of my people. Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you, and three days from now you will get out of bed and go to the Temple of the Lord. 6 I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my own honor and for the sake of my servant David.’ ”

Observation

King Hezekiah was only 39 years old when he became sick and was told by the prophet Isaiah that he was going to die.  He was in the prime of life!  No wonder he prayed and wept and asked the Lord to heal him!  I would too!

God immediately sent Isaiah, who didn’t even get out of the palace, back to the king with this message: “I have heard your prayer; I will heal you and add 15 years to your life.  And I will rescue this city from the king of Assyria.”  

And God did all that.  This is the positive of the story.

The negative is twofold.  

First, three years later, Hezekiah fathered Manasseh who would succeed him on the throne when he was only 12 and would rule for 55 years—and would be one of the worst of Israel’s kings.  Manasseh would undo all the good Hezekiah had done, rebuilding the pagan altars and leading the nation astray. 

Second, after his recovery, Hezekiah would show Babylonian envoys everything in his storehouses—something that would come back to bite Judah years later when Babylon invaded, conquered and took Judah into exile.  It was the beginning of the end.

Each of these things happened after Hezekiah’s prayer was answered and he was healed and lived another 15 years.  What would have happened if Hezekiah had died at 39?  Don’t know.  Let it be.

Observation

Life is unpredictable.  Good may come out of bad.  Or bad may come out of good.  You can’t fault Hezekiah for praying for healing at 39.  I would have done the same thing.  And you can’t predict what will come out of that answered prayer, good or bad.  So this certainly isn’t a reason to not pray.  It’s simply a reminder that  even when our prayers are answered, there may be unintended consequences.  Pray anyway.  And don’t second guess your prayers.  You asked, God answered—let it be.  Just trust Him.

Prayer: Lord, life in a broken world is weird.  I can’t even begin to figure it out.  So I’ll just trust You.  Help me to pray like Hezekiah, fervently, and trust you with the results, good and bad together.