We just made it through another Thanksgiving and survived Black Friday. I love the quote I saw this week that has a picture of Jesus on the cross as darkness fell and the caption reads, “Only one Black Friday offers eternal savings.” What a reminder that we have eternal life through Jesus Christ. In Isaiah 38 we read about King Hezekiah who is told by the prophet Isaiah that he has a sickness unto death, and he needs to get his house in order.
First of all, we see DESPAIR. Hezekiah is broken and weeping and we know he is desperate for God to intervene. We can rest assured that he hears our prayers and sees our tears. Hebrews 4 verses 15-16 say that he knows what we go through and we can come boldly to the throne of grace in time of need. I read of a story where a couple has lived on a cliff in Australia for 50 years and the cliff is the most popular destination for suicide. They chose to stay there and have saved over 160 people from taking the leap to their death. When others would move away, they moved in to save others. That’s exactly how we should be as Christians. When others would run away from those in despair, we need to run to those hurting and broken and offer hope through Jesus Christ.
Next, Isaiah comes back and tells Hezekiah that God has heard his prayer and added 15 years to his life! He tells him that he will deliver Hezekiah and the city. God is our DELIVERER and our deliverance can lead to others being delivered. I love the story of the man during 9-11 that was in one of the top floors when the airplane crashed into his office building. He dove under his desk and cried for the Lord to save him. A young man showed up and led him to safety. He took his clothes and put them in a box, sealed up the box, and marked the word deliverance all over it. He told his wife that if he ever gets spiritually cold, she needs to open the box and show him what God delivered him from on that horrific day. I pray that I always remember what the Lord has delivered me from.
Next, Isaiah tells Hezekiah that he will defend the city. I’m so thankful that God is our DEFENDER. I wander how many times God has stood before us and kept the enemy away. I love the story of the terrorist group in Africa that kidnapped over 70 Christians and was going to torture and kill them. The kids assured the parents of the group that Jesus appeared to them all and told them they would all be ok. As the terrorist group began to attack, they started reaching for their heads and yelling “snakes.” Some fell dead, and others took off and all of those Christians were able to escape! How thankful I am that God is our defender.
Finally, Hezekiah asks God for a sign to prove that he will get well. He asks God to turn the sun back so the shadow would fall back 10 steps on the steps of Ahaz. Now it’s time for the DISPLAY. Hezekiah wanted a sign to know all would be well, and I’m sure you would also like a sign that all is well. I believe God is not intimated by our requests, and He is ready to meet our “impossible” requests as nothing is impossible for God. 1st Corinthians tells us the Kingdom of God is not just about talk but about power. Jesus even rebuked the Pharisees and told them they were in error because they didn’t know the scriptures or the power of God. When Blaze had major heart surgery in 2015 we stood on the scripture that God’s glory would be seen in his life. We saw the display when the doctors were amazed that everything was perfect even though they didn’t touch his aorta during surgery yet it was back against the chest cavity wall where it should be. What an awesome God we serve!
In closing, we go back to the beginning where the first thing Isaiah tells Hezekiah is to get his house in order. What a powerful reminder that we need to get our house in order so that we are ready for Christ’s return. When you look at Hezekiah’s situation, he was told he was going to die but God heard his prayer and added 15 years to his life. From despair, he learned God was his deliverer and defender and then God showed the display of his power. I want every reader to keep praying, keep seeking and keep believing because it does matter! For the full message please visit Botkinburg Foursquare on Facebook.
Rocky Thomas is pastor at Botkinburg Foursquare Church.