When the Prophet Isaiah brought King Hezekiah the news that he was going to die, he did not seek the help of doctors, but he turned his face to seek God. He went to the courts of heaven to plead his case. He prayed, I beseech You, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before You in faithfulness and truth and with a whole heart and have done what is good in Your sight. And Hezekiah wept bitterly (II Kings 20:3). In another passage he prayed: The question arises to our mind why King Hezekiah, a righteous king fell ill with the sentence of death? Often we make mistakes by questioning God’s sovereignty in order to understand His plans and purposes but we only need to trust Him. King Hezekiah’s experience reminds me of another case in another time with another king. In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet- until his disease became very severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but relied on the physicians ( II Chronicles 16: 12). Asa’s heart was not humble before the Lord. Had he sought the Lord for healing like King Hezekiah, I am sure the Lord would have heard him. “In his disease he did not seek the Lord, but relied on the physicians.” Asa died without witnessing God’s faithfulness in his favor because he sought men for help instead.
“I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; (said the Lord) behold, I will add to your life fifteen years” (Isaiah 38:5b). God added a specific number of years to his life- fifteen years. Years of judgment were coming upon Judah and God wanted to spare Hezekiah’s life in due time. A miracle of great significance then took place in Hezekiah’s life. He commanded a cake of figs to be put on Hezekiah’s burning inflammation for his healing. We well know that God could have healed the king without any other help, but He chose a cake of figs to heal Hezekiah. He created figs with rich healing and nutritional proprieties. As the Jordan River was to Naaman, so were the figs to Hezekiah. When Hezekiah asked the Prophet Isaiah for a sign of his healing so that he could go to the house of the Lord on the third day, God made the shadow go back ten steps. What happened to the earth rotation at that time? Did He miraculously hide the effects it had on earth’s rotation? We don’t understand how He did it, but it happened. On the third day King Hezekiah experienced the Lord’s resurrection power; he went to the house of the Lord to praise and worship Him. He did not die, but lived to proclaim the goodness of the Lord!
Hezekiah celebrated God’s goodness and rejoiced greatly. He said, The living, the living- they shall thank and praise You, as I do this day; the father shall make known to the children Your faithfulness and Your truth. The Lord is ready to save me; therefore we will sing my songs with stringed instruments all the days of our lives in the house of the Lord (Isaiah 38:19-20).
However in his rejoicing, he made a terrible mistake of showing all he had in his house and all that was found in his treasuries to the embassy from Babylon, when they came to congratulate him. There was nothing in his house or in his entire realm that Hezekiah did not show them (II Kings 20:13). He had created an open door for the enemy to come and take away all he had in due time. As a result the prophet Isaiah warned him of the coming judgment, saying, Behold the time is coming when all that is in your house, and that which your forefathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left, say the Lord. And some of your sons who shall be born to you shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of Babylon’s king. Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, The word of the Lord you have spoken is good. For he thought, It is not good if [all this evil is meant for the future and] peace and security shall be in my days? (II Kings 20:16-19). Hezekiah seemed to have the attitude of “I don’t care what happens after I am gone”.
In those fifteen years added to Hezekiah’s life he fathered the evilest king in Judah (II Kings 21). Manasseh was only twelve years old when he began to reign. He did evil in the sight of the Lord after the practices of the nations whom the Lord cast out before the Israelites… he made his son pass through the fire and burned him as an offering [to Molech]… he did much wickedness in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger (vs.1,6). In spite of this, a righteous king was born from Manasseh’s blood line, Josiah, the great-grandson of Hezekiah. It is to wonder why God chose that blood line to bring His Son, YAHSHUA. There is no answer, except that we are all sinners and He is so holy; sin to God is sin, no matter how it is measured by its consequences. Hezekiah and his great- grandson Josiah were righteous before God. They accomplished much to clean Israel of their idolatry. Hezekiah, according to the Bible, trusted the God of Israel; so that neither after him nor before him was any one of all the kings of Judah like him (II Kings 18:5); and of Josiah the same is said, There was no king like him before or after who turned to the Lord with all his heart and all his soul and all his might, according to all the Law of Moses (II Kings 23:25).
We see in the life of King Hezekiah a heart that sought God because He trusted Him. He had a relationship with God as we can see in the way he prayed. If your life is connected with God, you will be able to pray like Hezekiah and God will answer your prayers, too. He desires to have a relationship with His people. He wants us to acknowledge Him every day, not only when we are in desperate need of Him. Asa chose the doctors, but Hezekiah chose to seek God and was blessed with healing. You can do that too. You can start by applying a cake of figs, if you have a need to and trust God to do the rest.