Sunday Scriptures — Back Ten Steps

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

At the end of 2 Kings 16 we are told King Ahaz died and his son, Hezekiah, succeeded him. During Hezekiah’s reign he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD.

What a contrast to his idol-worshipping, child-sacrificing father.

Because the northern kingdom of Israel didn’t obey God, he allowed them to be deported to Assyria. After capturing Israel, the king of Assyria attacked Judah. Hezekiah told the Assyrian king if they withdrew, he’d pay them tribute.

All was well until the Assyrian king sent Hezekiah a letter saying they were going to attack a second time. When faced with this threat, Hezekiah took the letter to the temple and placed it before the LORD.

As Hezekiah prayed in the temple, he did three things.

  • He praised God for who he is.
  • He acknowledged he faced a fierce foe.
  • He petitioned the LORD to act on Judah’s behalf.

After God spared Judah from the Assyrian attack, Hezekiah became ill to the point of death. He wept and prayed for the LORD to remember him. And he did.

The prophet Isaiah told Hezekiah the LORD would add fifteen years to the king’s life. When Hezekiah asked what would be the sign he would be healed, the prophet asked Hezekiah to choose whether the shadow on the sundial would go forward or back ten steps.

In accordance with Hezekiah’s choice, the LORD made the shadow go back ten steps.

During our times of crisis and distress the LORD may not make the shadow go back ten steps, but we can be assured he hears and answers our prayers in the way that is best for us.

As we pray, like Hezekiah, let’s praise God for who he is. Acknowledge the fierce foes we face. And petition the LORD to act on our behalf.

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Isaiah replied, “This is the sign from the Lord to prove that he will do as he promised. Would you like the shadow on the sundial to go forward ten steps or backward ten steps?

 “The shadow always moves forward,” Hezekiah replied, “so that would be easy. Make it go ten steps backward instead.” So Isaiah the prophet asked the Lord to do this, and he caused the shadow to move ten steps backward on the sundial of Ahaz! 2 Kings 20:9-11 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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