The deliverance described in the previous chapter. The blessing was not just of long life, but was also, a blessing of life in freedom. God will stop the Assyrians, and not let them take the Holy city or take Hezekiah. God will protect the city of Jerusalem, because it is His, and because it was David's city. In the book of Kings, there is a more detailed account of this same story. Very seldom does God give a sign, but he wanted there to be no doubt where the extra 15 years of life came from. Hezekiah had been sick with boils.
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The application of figs on the boils caused them to go away. God uses medicine and doctors to heal many times. Just because the doctor operates on you, and you are healed, does not mean that God was not the healer.
God is good for His Word. Whatever He says He will do, He does. Isaiah "Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward.
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So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down. There is a little more on this in 2 Kings You see, this would be an impossibility with man, but nothing is impossible for God. Isaiah "The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness:". This poetry is missing from the parallel account in 2 Kings. It seems that Hezekiah wrote all of this down for future reference.
The following verses are what he recorded. Isaiah "I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue of my years. Hezekiah would have died in his early adulthood, if the Lord had not increased his days. Hezekiah is explaining that he would have been cut down in his early years, before he could have a family.
I shall go softly all my years
When a person dies, they are no longer involved with the happenings in the earth. At death, we all vacate the house of flesh which we lived in on this earth. We are no longer an inhabitant of earth. We will spend eternity in heaven, or hell. Isaiah "Mine age is departed, and is removed from me as a shepherd's tent: I have cut off like a weaver my life: he will cut me off with pining sickness: from day [even] to night wilt thou make an end of me. I believe most people who are near death, are aware of it.
This is exactly what Hezekiah is saying here. The sickness was boils, as we read earlier. This type of boils was as serious as cancer would be today. We are tabernacled in a body of flesh upon this earth. Hezekiah is just saying that the tabernacle is to be removed like a tent. Hezekiah is aware that the earthly house is a temporary dwelling place. Isaiah "I reckoned till morning, [that], as a lion, so will he break all my bones: from day [even] to night wilt thou make an end of me.
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Hezekiah is explaining the pain. It is as if a lion has broken his bones. To die this way, would be a lingering death. He is saying he was dying by degrees. In his helplessness, Hezekiah pleaded with; God to deliver him from impending death. This is saying, the pain was so great from the illness that Hezekiah cried out with pain.
He compares the cry to that of a crane, or a swallow. The dove makes it appear how helpless he is in the onslaught of this illness. The only answer to this type of oppression is to cry out to God. That is just what Hezekiah is doing here. Isaiah "What shall I say?
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The king had complete confidence in God. Hezekiah is aware that God has answered his prayer. He leaves no doubt at all who healed him. He speaks of living the rest of his life peaceably knowing that God is his very present help. He will be grateful for each day. Good News Translation What can I say?
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The LORD has done this. My heart is bitter, and I cannot sleep. He has spoken to me, and He Himself has done it. I walk along slowly all my years because of the bitterness of my soul, International Standard Version What can I say, so I tell myself, since he has done this to me? I will walk slowly all my years because of my soul's anguish. He has decreed and acted. I will walk slowly all my years because I am overcome with grief.
He has both spoken to me, and himself has done it. I will walk carefully all my years because of the anguish of my soul. He has done this. I will be careful the rest of my life because of my bitter experience. He hath both spoken unto me, And Himself hath done it; I shall go softly all my years for the bitterness of my soul. For He has spoken to me, and He Himself has done it; I shall wander about all my years because of the bitterness of my soul. Jubilee Bible What shall I say? He has both spoken unto me, and he himself has done it; I shall walk softly all my years in the bitterness of my soul.
American Standard Version What shall I say?
Douay-Rheims Bible What shall I say, or what shall he answer for me, whereas he himself hath done it? I will recount to thee all my years in the bitterness of my soul. Darby Bible Translation What shall I say? He hath both spoken unto me, and himself hath done [it]. What momentous transformations might have taken place had these seekers after truth from the plains of Chaldea been led to acknowledge the supreme sovereignty of the living God!
But pride and vanity took possession of Hezekiah's heart, and in self-exaltation he laid open to covetous eyes the treasures with which God had enriched His people. Not to glorify God did he do this, but to exalt himself in the eyes of the foreign princes. He did not stop to consider that these men were representatives of a powerful nation that had not the fear nor the love of God in their hearts, and that it was imprudent to make them his confidants concerning the temporal riches of the nation.
The visit of the ambassadors to Hezekiah was a test of his gratitude and devotion. Had Hezekiah improved the opportunity given him to bear witness to the power, the goodness, the compassion, of the God of Israel, the report of the ambassadors would have been as light piercing darkness. But he magnified himself above the Lord of hosts. How disastrous the results which were to follow! To Isaiah it was revealed that the returning ambassadors were carrying with them a report of the riches they had seen, and that the king of Babylon and his counselors would plan to enrich their own country with the treasures of Jerusalem.
And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country unto me, even from Babylon. Then said he, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All that is in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not showed them. And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. But the evil seed had been sown and in time was to spring up and yield a harvest of desolation and woe. During his remaining years the king of Judah was to have much prosperity because of his steadfast purpose to redeem the past and to bring honor to the name of the God whom he served; yet his faith was to be severely tried, and he was to learn that only by putting his trust fully in Jehovah could he hope to triumph over the powers of darkness that were plotting his ruin and the utter destruction of his people.
The story of Hezekiah's failure to prove true to his trust at the time of the visit of the ambassadors is fraught with an important lesson for all.
Go Softly All My Years by Virginia Benson, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®
Far more than we do, we need to speak of the precious chapters in our experience, of the mercy and loving-kindness of God, of the matchless depths of the Saviour's love. When mind and heart are filled with the love of God, it will not be difficult to impart that which enters into the spiritual life. Great thoughts, noble aspirations, clear perceptions of truth, unselfish purposes, yearnings for piety and holiness, will find expression in words that reveal the character of the heart treasure.
Those with whom we associate day by day need our help, our guidance.