In the last post we talked about how important praise is, and that the prophet Isaiah said that man was made to praise God. The story of Hezekiah gives a great insight into the power of praise, how God rewards them that praise him.
In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith Jehovah, Set thy house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live. Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto Jehovah, and said, Remember now, O Jehovah, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. Then came the word of Jehovah to Isaiah, saying, Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city. And this shall be the sign unto thee from Jehovah, that Jehovah will do this thing that he hath spoken: behold, I will cause the shadow on the steps, which is gone down on the dial of Ahaz with the sun, to return backward ten steps. So the sun returned ten steps on the dial whereon it was gone down. The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness. (Isaiah 38:1-9 ASV)
This is such a touching story. The great King Hezekiah called to God when he was sick he had done for other situations. And the message from Isaiah, the man of God, to Hezekiah was that he was going to get another 15 years of life.
But it’s important to get the whole story when we hear about things and there is more to the story as seen in later verses:
Behold, it was for my peace that I had great bitterness: But thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption; For thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back. For Sheol cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee: They that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: The father to the children shall make known thy truth. Jehovah is ready to save me: Therefore we will sing my songs with stringed instruments All the days of our life in the house of Jehovah. Now Isaiah had said, Let them take a cake of figs, and lay it for a plaster upon the boil, and he shall recover. Hezekiah also had said, What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of Jehovah? (Isaiah 38:17-22 ASV)
Notice the emphasis on praise in this section. “For Sheol cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee: They that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day.” One of the things that Hezekiah said in his entreaty to God was to remind him that he would not be able to praise him unless he was alive, and this is noteworthy that God answered this prayer.
God made men, even Kings, to praise him. And God rewarded men when they did
Praise the Lord!
© copyright 2011 Mark W Smith, all rights reserved.