SO – a riddle and a repeat in 3 books:
2nd Kings and Isaiah and Chronicles, they have a triple teaching of King Hezekiah.
We need to know about this king and his relationship with God, because as good as this king was, sometimes his pride got IN THE WAY of the Way. Prayer is powerful, pride however is punishable. And a king’s pride punishes his people too.
King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah are linked… (read the three scriptures below). The King was highly regarded by all the nations. And the prophets were always known for their devotion to the Lord, thus being able to hear Him. Whether the people paid attention is another story!
Pride shows up in us in strange ways. There is a balance of pride in self accomplishments and skills, and humbleness in God blessings of accomplishment and God-given skills. When we humble ourselves to appreciate our skills, we CAN use them as He sees fit. And He DOES bless us with achievements and success.
There is a riddle in these Hezekiah scriptures about a shadow obeying the Lord, shall it go forward or back(?), a riddle it seems also in that the king, in his discussions with the prophet, actually got to pick the sign of how he would KNOW that God heard his prayers! (IMAGINE THAT, us demanding proof from God, LOL) And king Hezekiah picked the “harder” thing for a shadow to do. Wow. The shadow of course obeyed. The king, not so much.
The King prayed to the Lord for healing of a terrible life-threatening illness and he was healed, but his pride stood in the way of his whole country receiving a pardon. He repented and all was forgiven.
Our real King of Kings is JESUS. When He humbled Himself, He took on obscurity and human helplessness. He could have called upon legions of angels in to the scene, instead He obeyed orders. followed God, stepping up or down as the shadow obeyed – and all for the sake of us, HIS PEOPLE. King Hezekiah repented for his people and Jesus took our repentance upon Himself.
Riddle me this, prophetman… WHY? no riddle at all, because Jesus loves us!
2nd Chronicles 32:24-26
In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem. Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the Lord’s wrath did not come on them during the days of Hezekiah.
2nd Kings 20:8-11
Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, “What will be the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go up to the temple of the Lord on the third day from now?” Isaiah answered, “This is the Lord’s sign to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: Shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or shall it go back ten steps?”… “It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps,” said Hezekiah. “Rather, have it go back ten steps.” Then the prophet Isaiah called on the Lord, and the Lord made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.
“‘This is the Lord’s sign to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: I will make the shadow cast by the sun go back the ten steps it has gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.’” So the sunlight went back the ten steps it had gone down.