In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.'” Then he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Remember now, O Lord, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Return and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.””‘ Then Isaiah said, “Take a cake of figs.” And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.
– 2 Kings 20:1-7 NASB
After Israel’s first three kings – Saul, then David, then Solomon – there was a succession of kings, some good and some bad. Hezekiah was one of the good kings and provides in this passage a poignant foreshadowing of Jesus’ dark night in Gethsemane before He was crucified.
To the degree that you’re familiar with how things went for Jesus, you’ll recognize several points of parallel in the story above. Like Jesus, Hezekiah learned from God that he was about to die. Like Jesus, Hezekiah learned this through a prophet. (For Hezekiah, it was his contemporary, the prophet Isaiah; for Jesus, it was all the prophets in the Scriptures.) Like Jesus, Hezekiah prayed with great emotion. (For Hezekiah, it was “weeping bitterly”; for Jesus, it was “His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.”) The prayers of both kings were answered: Hezekiah got fifteen more years and Jesus got…eternity.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, snapshots of Your life are sprinkled throughout the Old Testament. Help me see, appreciate, and remember them. Strengthen my perception of You – that is, of reality – so that I can truly serve You in all that I think, say, and do…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.