Today is a reflection day.
In Isaiah 38 we find some great encouragement. Hezekiah, the King of Judah, is taken deathly ill. Isaiah the prophet tells him that the Lord says, “…you shall die, you shall not recover.” (38:1). The king then prays, weeping bitterly. The Lord responds:
I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life… (Isaiah 38:5)
So, here’s the challenging question: “Did the Lord change His mind?” I do not think so. Rather, the Lord speaks clearly to Hezekiah about a future, bad outcome with the intent to wake him up.
The Lord “is not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). He seeks our hearts, and He uses scary predictions to get our attention. With Hezekiah it works, and the Lord is gracious to him, giving him the gift of longer life. That’s how it works. The Lord, through His prophets and His Word, paints the picture of a future without the Lord. Those who hear the Lord’s voice turn to Him, and they receive the gift of a future with Him. This pattern shows us why we need to tell people about the Law and wrath as part of our offering them the Good News. It makes much more sense, and brings much more joy, to know what we have been saved from!
in Him, Mike