Read Isaiah 38:15-17
What shall I say? For he has spoken to me, and he himself has done it. I walk slowly all my years because of the bitterness of my soul. O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these is the life of my spirit. Oh restore me to health and make me live! Behold, it was for my welfare that I had great bitterness; but in love you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back.
• Are there sins in your life that are keeping you from having a closer relationship with Jesus?
• What steps do you need to take to let go of them?
• Do you trust that God will forgive you and bless you?
King Hezekiah falls seriously ill, so Isaiah encourages him to get his affairs in order. Filled with grief, the prophet turns toward the wall (perhaps the nearby temple) and pleads with God to save his ailing friend. The Lord answers Isaiah's prayer and promises to give Hezekiah another fifteen years of life. The king is jubilant.
"Your words and your deeds bring life to everyone, including me," Hezekiah writes when he is able to leave his sickbed. "Please make me healthy and strong again. It was for my own good that I had such hard times. But your love protected me from doom in the deep pit, and you turned your eyes away from my sins" (verses 16-17, CEV).
Yet the celebration is short-lived. Pride fills his heart when envoys from Babylon arrive ostensibly to congratulate him on his recovery. In reality, they come to urge Hezekiah to join a military campaign against their overlord. The king shows off a bit with regal entertainment and a tour of his royal treasury--even his weapons storehouse. Isaiah is aghast and predicts that Hezekiah's "power trip" will one day hurt Jerusalem. "One day everything you and your ancestors have stored up will be taken to Babylonia. The Lord has promised that nothing will be left" (Isaiah 39:6, CEV).
Sin always has consequences. Perhaps not immediately, but eventually our soul-robbing choices will affect us, as well as our friends and loved ones. Take some time to prayerfully reflect on the sin in your life.
Lord Jesus, you took on the very nature of a servant and humbled yourself. And you've called us to follow your example. Take away the pride and sin in my life, and help me to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. I long to follow in your footsteps. In Jesus Name, Amen.