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Isaiah 38

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH CHAPTER 38

Hezekiah was the 12th king of Judah, son of Ahaz an idolator.  He came to the throne in the 25th year of his life and he is at this time 39 years old.  He is told by his physicians that the disease is fatal.  The prophet Isaiah tells the king to set his house in order (write a will) the greatest consideration was that he was childless─now he will leave this world without a successor to become king.  He prays for God to have mercy upon him.  God sent Isaiah to reveal the good news that 15 years would be added to his life and he would be permitted to enter the temple in three days and would not be childless.  Hezekiah wants a sign─the shadow on the steps went back ten degrees. Hezekiah writes a poem about his healing.

EXPOSITION TO ISAIAH CHAPTER 38

1In 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.

Setting one’s house in order is writing a will or a living trust in which your affairs are decided before the funeral.  It is there to give your last instructions.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT SHED LIGHT ON THE TEXT:

2Ch 32:24  In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed unto the LORD: and he spake unto him, and he gave him a sign.

2Sa 17:23  And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.  Read:  2Ki 20:1

2Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD,

Hezekiah’s couch was probably placed in a corner, which is the place of honour in the East; in which, turning on either side, he must turn his face to the wall; by which he would withdraw himself from those attending him in his apartment.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT VERIFY THE TEXT:

Psa 50:15  And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Mat 6:6  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

3And 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.

While he is in death’s waiting room, he weeps and cries painful tears.  His plea was based upon absolute devotion to God─loyal service and living honestly and heartily.  He had destroyed images and other forms of idol worship, including the brazen serpent, he repaired the temple and its furniture, he held a great Passover and many other great things were accomplished during his reign.  In this prayer he wants God to remember how he walked before him.

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THAT GIVE COUNTEREVIDENCE TO THE TEXT:

2Ch 31:20-21  And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God.  And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.

  4Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying,

God speaks the second time to Isaiah about the state of the king.

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THAT CONFIRM THE TEXT:

1Ki 9:45  And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:  Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.

  5Go, 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.

Isaiah is told that it’s a message from the God of David.  God had listened to the plea of Hezekiah and responds with a new start that he has an additional 15 years.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT GIVE AUTHORITIVE DATA TO THE TEXT:

2Ch 32:22  Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all other, and guided them on every side.

2Ti 4:17  Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

6And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city.

I am going to save both you and this city from the hands of the king of Assyria.

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THATCARRY WEIGHT REGARDING THE TEXT:

Isa 37:35  For I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.

7And this shall be a sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he hath spoken;

Hezekiah is asking for a confirming sign that he will be healed─go up to the house of God on the third day.

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THAT MAKE THE CASE:

Isa 38:22  Hezekiah also had said, What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the LORD?

Isa 7:11  Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.

Jdg 6:17  And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me.

2Ki 20:8  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?

8Behold, 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.

This was a staircase with steps marking the hours of the day─a tower was erected that bisected the sun and caused it to leave a shadow on the step that contained the time of day.  This was indeed a miracle and only God can tell how it was performed.  I am not falling for the bogus internet story about people at NASA discovering the missing time.  That story has been debunked.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT MAKE THE CASE:

Jos 10:13-14  And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.  And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.

2Ki 20:11  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.

2Ch 32:24  In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed unto the LORD: and he spake unto him, and he gave him a sign.

Mat 16:1  The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.

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

A poem written by Hezekiah.

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THAT INDORSE THE TEXT:

Psa 30:11  Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

Psa 30:12  To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

10I 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.

It was in the prime of his life that he was being robbed of the normal years.  He hadn’t celebrated his 40th. birthday yet.

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THAT LEND EVIDENCE TO THE TEXT:

2Co 1:9  But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

11I 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.

He knew that he was leaving this transitory world and would never again see his friends.  He had no children and would leave this world without an heir to the throne.

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THAT DEMONSTRATE THE TEXT:

Psa 6:5  For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

Ecc 9:5-6  For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.  Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

12Mine 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.

My life is cut off like a rug from the loom. He was suffering night and day and he knew that his life was like a brittle thread.

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THAT AUTHENTICATE THE TEXT:

Psa 89:45-47  The days of his youth hast thou shortened: thou hast covered him with shame. Selah.  How long, LORD? wilt thou hide thyself for ever? shall thy wrath burn like fire?  Remember how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain?

Psa 102:11  My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass.

Job 17:1  My breath is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me.

13I 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.

Day and night he was given over to suffering─he felt like a man who had been mauled by a lion.  The agony of certain kinds of fever gives the feeling of breaking ones bones.

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THAT ESTABLISH THE CERTAINTY OF THE TEXT:

1Ki 13:24  And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase.

1Ki 20:36  Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him.

  14Like 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.

He was delirious, and his words were inaudible─his speech was like the moan of a dove, or the chattering of a swallow, or the squawking of a doomed chicken.  He couldn’t sleep─too upset and troubled and racked with pain.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

PRESENT OVERWHELMING PROOF OF THE TEXT:

Psa 102:4-7  My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread.  By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin.  I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.  I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.

15What 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.

He feels that God had sent this sickness on him─all night long he turns from side to side, but there is no rest to be obtained─he was tossing every hour in the bitterness of pain.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT ATTEST TO THE TEXT:

Psa 39:9-10  I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it.  Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand.

Joh 12:27  Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

16O 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.

He is still living in hope─he believes that some way there will be a restoration─he was still asking God to revive him and grant him recovery.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT ARE CONCLUSIVE AND FINAL:

Job 33:19-22  He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain:  So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat.  His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out.  Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.

17Behold, 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.

Bitterness, bitterness─but now he sees it all─he gets a glimpse of deliverance─God has brought him out of the pit of desperation─forgiven him all of his sins.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT RATIFY THE TEXT:

Job 3:26  I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.

Job 29:18  Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand.

Mic 7:18-19  Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.  He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

18For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.

Dead people in caskets are not thanking you─choirs are not praising you from the morgue.

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THAT BEAR OUT THE TEXT:

Psa 6:5  For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

Psa 30:9  What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?

Ecc 9:9  Live joyfully  with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.

Pro 14:32  The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death

19The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.

Only the living can praise God─it is the duty of fathers to tell their children why they are praising him.

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THAT SPEAK VOLUMES ABOUT THE TEXT:

Psa 146:2  While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

20The 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.

Strike up the music─fiddles and mandolins─celebrate when God delivers you from the grave.

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THAT SHED LIGHT ON THE TEXT:

Psa 9:13-14  Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death:  That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation. the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.

Psa 27:5-6  For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.  And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.

Psa 150:4  Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

Hab 3:19  The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

21For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaister upon the boil, and he shall recover.

A poultice was prepared from an ointment of figs and was laid on the boil to draw out the puss and infection.  This remedy was probably used as a home remedy by the populace.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT VERIFY THE TEXT:

Joh 9:6-7  When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,  And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

Mar 7:33-34  And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;  And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.

22Hezekiah also had said, What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the LORD?

He had little hope that he would ever set foot in the house of the LORD again.

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THAT GIVE COUNTEREVIDENCE TO THE TEXT:

Psa 42:1-2  To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.  My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

Psa 84:1-2  To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm for the sons of Korah. How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!

2  My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

Psa 122:1  A Song of degrees of David. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

Joh 5:14  Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

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