PRAYERS OF HEZEKIAH
King Hezekiah began to reign over Judah when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. He was a good king who trusted in the Lord. “Fore he clave to the LORD and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses.” (II Kings 18: 6)
During the fourteenth year of the reign of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, attacked Judah, took all the fenced cities, and was about to take Jerusalem and destroy the land of Judah. Hezekiah turned to the Lord in prayer.
“And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth. LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God. Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands, And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. Now therefore, O LORD our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD God, even thou only” (II Kings 19:15-19)
Answer to Hezekiah’s Prayer
“Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD. For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.
“And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia, And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.” (II Kings 19:32-37)
In following years, Hezekiah became ill and was near death when Isaiah the prophet said to him, “Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.” (II Kings 20:1) Hezekiah then prayed to the Lord. The Lord healed his illness and also performed an extraordinary phenomenon.
Hezekiah’s Prayer for Healing
“Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying, I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now 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.” (II Kings 20: 2-3)
God’s Answer to Hezekiah’s Prayer
“And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD. And 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 for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake. And Isaiah said, Take a lump of figs. And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered. And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the LORD the third day? And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees? And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees. And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.” (II Kings 20:4-11)
God did this for one man. Not for a nation as with Joshua. What we learn from this is that God can do anything he chooses for whoever or whatever reason he chooses.