Saturday, July 15, 2017

Hezekiah and the sundial


Hezekiah and the sundial 1
One day, King Hezekiah was feeling very ill. He lay in bed wondering whether he would ever get well again. He had a very nasty boil full of infection.
Hezekiah and the sundial 2
People came to wish him well and show their sympathy.
Hezekiah and the sundial 3
‘Get well soon,’ they said. ‘Sorry to hear about your illness.’


Hezekiah and the sundial 4
Then, Isaiah, a prophet of the One True God, came to visit King Hezekiah.
Hezekiah and the sundial 5
When Isaiah walked in the King brightened up. ‘Perhaps the prophet has some good news for me?’ he thought.
Hezekiah and the sundial 6
But Isaiah had some very bad news for the King. ‘It’s time to get things in order,’ he said. ‘You are going to die.’


Hezekiah and the sundial 7
The King was devastated by this news. He turned his face to the wall and started to pray, very sadly, to the Lord he loved and trusted.
Hezekiah and the sundial 8
‘I’ve tried to be a good king,’ he wept. ‘I’ve tried to obey you. Please don’t let me die!’
Hezekiah and the sundial 9
As the King lay crying on his bed, Isaiah was walking out of the palace when suddenly the Lord called out to him. ‘Go back to the King. I have heard the King’s prayers and have seen his tears. In three days time I will make him better.’


Hezekiah and the sundial 10
Isaiah went back to the king and told him what God had said. He was delighted. ‘You have another 15 years to live,’ said Isaiah.’
Hezekiah and the sundial 11
But then Hezekiah became full of doubts. ‘Can the Lord give me a sign to show me He really will do what he says?’
Hezekiah and the sundial 12
‘Yes,’ said Isaiah. ‘God will make the shadow on your sundial move ten degrees Which direction would you like the shadow to move – forwards or backwards?’


Hezekiah and the sundial 13
‘Well,’ the King pondered, ‘It is easier for the shadow to go forwards as that is the direction it moves anyway. So I want it to go backwards.
Hezekiah and the sundial 14
The king sent servants to watch the sundial. To their amazement they saw the shadow move backwards around the edge by 10 degrees.
Hezekiah and the sundial 15
When the king heard what had happened he lay back with a sigh of relief. If God could make time go backwards then he was sure God would heal him add 15 years to his life.


Hezekiah and the sundial 16
Isaiah ordered that some figs be mashed up and placed on the King’s boil to help it heal. And sure enough, three days later, Hezekiah was out of bed and feeling great.
Hezekiah and the sundial 17
King Hezekiah’s story helps us to appreciate that every day we live is a gift from God. Hezekiah went into the temple to sing songs of thanks and praise to God. The words of thanks the King gave to God for healing him can be found in chapter 38 of Isaiah’s book.



Hezekiah and the sundial
King Hezekiah asks God to make the shadow of his sundial go backwards as a sign God will heal him.
2 Kings 20: 1-11, Isaiah 38:1-22

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