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Sunday, July 26 2015

Isaiah 38: The Sign Of Hezekiah's Shadow

"He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept His Commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses"

Hezekiah, from the Biblical Hebrew name pronounced yekh-iz-kee-yaw-hoo, means strengthened by the LORD. The "yaw-hoo" part of the name is a compound form of the Name of the LORD. A present-day (2015) Prime Minister of Israel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah), Benjamin Netanyahu, now has the same "yaw-hoo" element in his family name. An excerpt from a March 18 2015 article in Breaking Israel News by Tuly Weisz:

"The prime minister's family hails from Poland, where their surname was Mileikowsky. Rabbi Nathan (Natan) Mileikowsky moved to the Land of Israel in 1920, where the passionately Zionist rabbi occasionally used the pen name "Netanyahu." His sons later adopted the pen-name as their surname.

According to Abrahamovitz, the Hebrew meaning of Netanyahu derives from the word Natan (na-TAN), which means "to give." The suffix "yahu," which concludes the prime minister's surname, is one of the names of God. Thus, the full meaning of his surname is "God gives." The name Netanyahu appears a number of times in the Bible, specifically in the books of Jeremiah and Chronicles."

King Hezekiah succeeded his father Ahaz as king of the Kingdom of Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah).

"16:19 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 16:20 And Ahaz slept with his fathers [see The Sleep Of Death], and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead." (2 Kings 16:19-20 KJV)

Hezekiah of Judah began to reign during the reign of Hoshea of Israel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah). Hoshea was the last king of the Kingdom of Israel as it fell to the Assyrians in 721 BC, while the Kingdom of Judah continued on for another 135 years until 586 BC. Hezekiah is an example of why the LORD defended Judah from the Assyrian onslaught when it turned south from Israel (see Why Did The Assyrian Army Cross The Line? and The Invasions of Shalmaneser and Sennacherib), for "He did that which was right in the sight of the LORD" and "departed not from following him, but kept his commandments."

Sundial

"18:1 Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 18:2 Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. 18:3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. 18:4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

18:5 He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. 18:6 For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses." (2 Kings 18:1-6 KJV)

Hezekiah became seriously ill from an infection that would have killed him. We know that it was going to be fatal because the prophet Isaiah delivered the prognosis from the LORD: "Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live."

"38:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.

38:2 Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, 38:3 And said, Remember now, O LORD, 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." (Isaiah 38:1-3 KJV)

Hezekiah was a righteous man. The LORD heard his prayer (see When Does God Listen To Prayer? and How To Pray: 12 Biblical Principles Of Personal Prayer) and so declared that Hezekiah would be healed and live for another 15 years. The extension was with purpose - the time would provide Hezekiah to be the righteous king who would be delivered from the Assyrians i.e. "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." The LORD (see The LORD God Our Saviour) then also provided a miraculous sign whereby a Brighter Light caused the shadow on the sundial to seemingly reverse - as an object lesson of how the LORD delivered Hezekiah and Judah from what would have surely come to pass.

"38:4 Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying, 38:5 Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, 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. 38:6 And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city.

38:7 And this shall be a sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he hath spoken; 38:8 Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down." (Isaiah 38:4-8 KJV)

Hezekiah's prayer for healing was then followed by his prayer of thanksgiving (see also Thanksgiving).

"38:9 The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness:

38:10 I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue of my years. 38:11 I said, I shall not see the LORD, even the LORD, in the land of the living: I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world. 38:12 Mine age is departed, and is removed from me as a shepherd's tent: I have cut off like a weaver my life: he will cut me off with pining sickness: from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me. 38:13 I reckoned till morning, that, as a lion, so will he break all my bones: from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me. 38:14 Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me.

38:15 What shall I say? he hath both spoken unto me, and himself hath done it: I shall go softly all my years in the bitterness of my soul. 38:16 O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit: so wilt thou recover me, and make me to live. 38:17 Behold, for peace 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. 38:18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. 38:19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth. 38:20 The LORD was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD." (Isaiah 38:9-20 KJV)

The healing happened by the declaration of the LORD's Will. It was accomplished by an instruction of the physical means to cause the infection to be overcome. Whether there was something medicinal in the figs alone, or whether it was the heat in the poultice ("a medical dressing consisting of a soft heated mass of meal or clay that is spread on a cloth and applied to the skin to treat inflamed areas or improve circulation"), which in that case happened to be made of figs, is not stated. But what is certain is that the healing of a truly righteous man would not have happened without faith on the part of the one doing what they were told to do by the LORD

"38:21 For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaister upon the boil, and he shall recover. 38:22 Hezekiah also had said, What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the LORD?" (Isaiah 38:21-22 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) What does "regime" actually mean? (b) What did the LORD do to the Assyrian regime that threatened Judah when it was still a righteous kingdom?
(a) See Solomon's Regime
(b) See The LORD's Regime Change In Iraq


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This Day In History, July 26

811: The Battle of Pliska. Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus I was killed and his heir Stauracius was seriously wounded.

920: Muslim forces defeated the combined "Christian" (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy) armies of Leon and Navarre at the Battle of Valdejunquera in Spain.

1309: German King Henry (Heinrich in the actual German) VII was proclaimed "King of the Romans" (Rex Romanorum) by Pope Clement V (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation and What Is The Mark Of The Beast?). The map of the "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" is shown below.

German Empire

1469: The Battle of Edgecote Moor during the Wars of the Roses; the forces of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick against Edward IV of England.

1581: The Act of Abjuration (Dutch "Akte Van Verlating"), the declaration of Dutch independence from the rule of King Philip II of Spain.

1603: James VI of Scotland was crowned King James I of England. It was that King James that authorized an English translation of the Scriptures, first published in 1611 and known since as the "King James (or "Authorized") Version" of the Bible.

King James 1759: The French relinquished Fort Ticonderoga in New York to the British under General Jeffrey Amherst.

1822: The Battle of Dervenakia began; forces of the Ottoman Empire (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) under Mahmud Dramali Pasha verses a Greek Revolutionary force under Theodoros Kolokotronis.

1847: Liberia became the first "independent republic of Africa." It was created by the U.S. government in an effort to get all black people in the U.S., including those born in the U.S., to move to Africa.

1858: Lionel Rothschild became the first (known) Jewish member to take his seat in the British House of Commons.

1886: William Gladstone was replaced by Lord Salisbury as Prime Minister of England.

1891: France annexed Tahiti.

1918: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), Britain's top war ace, Edward Mannock, was shot down by ground fire on the Western Front.

1947: U.S. President Harry Truman (the only human ever to order the detonation of nuclear weapons on another country i.e. the incineration of the civilian populations of Hiroshima, and then Nagasaki, Japan in 1945) created the Central Intelligence Agency.

1952: King Farouk of Egypt abdicated and was ordered to leave the country, three days after a coup led by General Neguib.

1953: Communist insurgent Fidel Castro led an attack on the Moncada Barracks, thereby beginning the Cuban Revolution against the CIA and Mafia (the Cuba scenes in The Godfather criminal movies are based on historical reality) fascist government of the puppet/stooge dictator Fulgencio Batista. The movement took the name of that date i.e. "The 26th of July Movement."

1956: Egyptian President Nasser declared that Egypt had nationalized the Suez Canal Company, thus ending Western (i.e. U.S. and Britain) control 12 years ahead of the expiry date of the Suez concession; overnight, he became the hero of the Arab world (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad and A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).

1958: Prince Charles was proclaimed Prince of Wales by Queen Elizabeth.

1963: Syncom 2, the world's first geosynchronous ("marked by an orbit with a period of 24 hours so that a position in such an orbit is fixed with respect to the earth") satellite, was launched.

1974: Prime Minister Constantinos Karamanlis formed first Greek civil government after seven years of martial law.

2005: The first U.S. space shuttle launch, of Discovery, after the Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry in 2003.

2005: Mumbai, India received 99.5 centimeters of rain (39.17 inches) within 24 hours.


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