HIS SERVANTS' MINISTRY
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Book of Isaiah
Chapter 38 makes us so aware of our frailty and weaknesses. Death is an enemy that we ourselves have no power over. Even the good king’s life was subject to death.
The city of Jerusalem still was under the threat of Assyria’s return. All were waiting death’s turn and the ugliness of war.
But again we are shown man cannot trust in himself, but he can trust in God. God has power of life and has power to extend it. The lesson itself reminds us how often we trust our own basic strengths rather than acting in full obedience displaying God’s strengthening power.
This chapter gives the account of Hezekiah's sickness, recovery and thanksgiving. His sickness, and the nature of it, and his preparation for it, as directed to by the prophet (vs.1), his prayer to God because of it (vs.2), the answer returned because of it, by which he is assured of living fifteen years more, and of the deliverance and protection of the city of Jerusalem from the Assyrians (vs.4), the token of his recovery, the sun going back ten degrees on the dial of Ahaz (vs.7), a writing of Hezekiah upon his recovery, in commemoration of it (vs.9), in which he represents the deplorable condition he had been in, the terrible apprehensions he had of things, especially of the wrath and fury of the Almighty, and his sorrowful and mournful complaints (vs.10), he sees his deliverance according to the Word of God; expresses his faith in it; promises to retain a cheerful sense of it; owning that it was by the Promises of God that he had lived as other saints did; and credits his preservation from the grave to the love of God to him, of which the forgiveness of his sins was an evidence (vs.15), the end of which salvation was, that he might praise the Lord, which he was determined to do, and the chapter closes with seeing the means of curing him of his boil; and that it was at his request that the sign of his recovery was given him (vs.21).
Theme: Prayer of Hezekiah when told he is to die; promise of healing; miracle of the sundial; Hezekiah's poem of praise.
This chapter deals with King Hezekiah's illness, prayer, and healing. It is well to keep in mind that while Hezekiah was affected by the danger of the Assyrian host, he was plagued by a boil. His deliverance from death must have been before the destruction of the Assyrian army.
Hezekiah reigned twenty-nine years. He reigned fifteen years after this event, so his sickness was in the fourteenth year of his reign, and we are told that Sennacherib came up against Jerusalem in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah's reign (Isa.36:1). All of this seemed to have happened in the same year . . . the sickness of Hezekiah and the siege of Jerusalem by the Assyrians. This chapter continues the history of Hezekiah.
Prayer of Hezekiah When Told He Is To Die (38:1-3)
Isaiah 38:1 In 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. (KJV)
In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death . . . this was about the time that Sennacherib invaded Judea, threatened Jerusalem with a siege, and his army was destroyed by one lone angel from Heaven; but, whether it was before or after the destruction of his army, interpreters do not agree. One says it was three days before the ruin of Sennacherib's army; and that it was on the third day that Hezekiah recovered, and went up to the Temple, that the destruction was; and that it was the first day of the Passover; and that this was before the city of Jerusalem was delivered from him; and the fears of him seem clear from verse 6, and others say that his sickness was what caused by the anxiety and terror he was thrown into, by reason of the Assyrian army, which threatened to ruin him and his kingdom. Josephus (Antiqu. l. 10. c. 2. sect. 1) says, that it was after his deliverance from it, and when he gave thanks to God for it; however, it is certain it was in the same year, since it was in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah's reign that Sennacherib invaded Judea, and from Hezekiah’s sickness and recovery fifteen years were added to his days, and he reigned no more than twenty nine years (2 Ki.8:2). What this sickness was cannot be said with certainty; some have guessed it to be the plague, since he had a malignant ulcer, of which he was cured by a lump of figs (vs.21); but, whatever it was, it was deadly in its nature and it was a sickness unto death, although it was not finally so, because the Lord’s divine power prevented it. One commentator says the reason for the sickness was because Hezekiah did not take to himself a wife, but this is without foundation . . . more likely the reason of the sickness was to keep Hezekiah humble, and that he might not be lifted up with the deliverance.
And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, came unto him . . . not just to visit him, but was sent by the Lord with a message to him.
And said unto him, thus saith the Lord, set thine house in order . . . or give orders to those in his house, his domestics, counsellors and courtiers, what they should do after his death; how his personal estate should be disposed of; who should succeed him, since he had no son: the family and secular affairs of men should be put in order, and direction given for the management of them.
For thou shall die, and not live . . . or not recover of thy sickness, the disease being deadly, and of which he could not recover by the help of any medicine; nothing but almighty power could save him; and this is said, to show to him his danger, to give him the sentence of death in himself, and to set him to pray, as it did.
Isaiah 38:2 Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, (KJV)
Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall . . . probably to the wall of his bedchamber where he lay sick, that his tears might not be seen, and that his prayers might delivered more privately, freely and fervently or maybe to the wall of the Temple towards which godly men used to look when they prayed (Dan.6:10), which was a type of Christ, to whom we should have respect in all our petitions, as being the only Mediator between God and man. Hezekiah prayed unto the Lord; as follow.
Isaiah 38:3 And 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. (KJV)
And said, remember now, O Lord, I beseech thee . . . he reminds the Lord of his good walk and works, which are never forgotten by God, even though many may think He has forgotten!
How I have walked before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart . . . the course of Hezekiah’s life in the sight of God was right and good. He reverenced the Lord and walked according to the Truth of His Word, in sincerity, integrity and uprightness of his soul; and however imperfect his services were, as no man is free from sin, yet he was sincere and without deceit or dishonesty in the performance of them. His intentions were upright, his views were always and purely to the glory of God.
And have done that which is good in thy sight . . . both to the moral and ceremonial law, in his own private and personal capacity as a man, in the administration of justice in his government as a king; and above all, in reforming the nation; in destroying idols and idol worship; and in setting up the pure worship of God, and His ordinances; and which he does not plead as worthy, but mentions as well pleasing to God.
And Hezekiah wept sore . . . not only because of the news of his death, which was shocking, but because of the distressed condition the nation would be in, having now the Assyrian army in it. He had no son to succeed him in the throne, and so difficulties and troubles might arise without a successor; and maybe what troubled him most of all was, that dying without issue, the Messiah could not spring from his seed.
Promise of Healing;
The Miracle of the Sundial (38:4-8)
Isaiah 38:4 Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying, (KJV)
Then came the word of the Lord to Isaiah . . . before Isaiah had reached the middle court (2 Ki.20:4), saying, as follows:
Isaiah 38:5 Go, 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. (KJV)
Go and say to Hezekiah . . . turn again, and tell Hezekiah (2 Ki.20:5).
Thus saith the Lord the God of David thy father. . . this is said, to show that the Lord remembered the covenant He made with David his father, concerning the kingdom, and the succession of his children in it; and that he had a regard to him, as walking in his steps.
I have heard thy prayer . . . and it surely was not a foolish one, as one calls it, since it was heard and answered so quickly.
I have seen thy tears . . . which he shed in prayer, and so thoughtfully concealed from others, when he turned his face to the wall.
Behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years . . . to the days he had lived already, and beyond which it was not likely, considering the nature of his disease. Hezekiah had the sentence of death pronounced on him, but he did not pray for his life. Because it was very unusual in such a case, to add 15 years to a person’s life, it is preceded by behold, as a note of admiration. This being entirely the Lord's doing, and no doubt was marvelous in the eyes of the Hezekiah.
***** God did hear and answer his prayer and extended his life by fifteen years. He did it, not for Hezekiah's sake, but for David's sake. That is not the basis upon which our prayers are heard today. Our prayers are heard for the sake of David's Greater Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
John 16:23-24 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. (KJV)
In today’s world, we are to go to our Heavenly Father with our requests in the Holy and wonderful Name of Christ. To pray in the Name of Christ means that you are in Christ, and you are praying for His will to be done. It means that what we ask should please and especially glorify Him. Sometimes He will heal us and sometimes He won't. He is the One to decide. In Christ: (Rom.8:1; 16:3,7,9; 1 Cor.1:30; 3:1; 4:10,15; 16:18.22; 2 Cor.5:17; 12:2; Gal.1:22; Eph.1:1,3,10,12; 2:10,13; Phil.1:1; Col.1:2; 1 Thes.2:14; 2 Tim.3:2; Phm.1:23; 1 Pet.5:14)
Isaiah 38:6 And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city. (KJV)
And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria . . . it seems that Hezekiah's sickness was while the king of Assyria was near the city of Jerusalem, and about to surround it, and before the destruction of the Assyrian army.
And I will defend this city . . . from the present siege laid to it, the ruin threatened to it, or from any attack upon it, by the Assyrian monarch.
Isaiah 38:7 And this shall be a sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he hath spoken; (KJV)
And this shall be a sign unto thee from the Lord . . . it seems Hezekiah asked, and it was put to him which he would choose, whether the shadow on the sundial should go forward or backward ten degrees, and he chose the latter (2 Ki.20:8), which was a token confirming and assuring,
That the Lord will do this thing that he hath spoken . . .He would recover Hezekiah from his sickness, so that on the third day he would go up to the Temple; have fifteen years added to his days; and the city of Jerusalem would be protected from the attempts of the Assyrian monarch.
Isaiah 38:8 Behold, 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. (KJV)
Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees . . . the lines made on a dial, to show the progress of the sun, and what time of day it was. Some think only the shadow was brought back by the power of God, the sun keeping its course as usual; but in the next clause the sun is specifically said to return ten degrees. It is not easy to consider how the shadow of the sun could go back, unless the sun itself went back. IF it had been only the shadow of it on Ahaz's dial, it would not have fallen under the notice of other nations, or have been the subject of their inquiry, as it was of the Babylonians (2 Chron.32:31).
Which is gone down on the sundial of Ahaz . . . this sundial might be near Hezekiah’s bed chamber, that he could look out at and see the wonder himself . . . the shadow to return ten degrees backward; what those degrees, lines, or marks on the dial showed, is not certain.
So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down . . . and so this day was longer by these degrees than a common day, be they what they will, and according as we suppose the sun went back, suddenly, or as it usually moved, though in a backward way, and made the same progress again through these degrees.
*****God is willing to show to the heirs of promise the immutability (unable to change) of his counsel, that they may have an unshaken faith in it, and a strong consolation. God had given Hezekiah repeated assurances of His favor; and yet, as if all were thought too little, that he might expect from him uncommon favors, a sign is given him, an exceptional and rare sign. None of us have an absolute promise of living a certain number of years to come, as Hezekiah had, and God thought it fit to confirm this extraordinary favor with a miracle. The sign was the going back of the shadow upon the sundial. The sun is a faithful measurer of time, and rejoices as a strong man to run a race; but He that set that clock to start can set it back IF and when He pleases, and make it to return; for He is the Father of all lights is the director of them.
Hezekiah's Poem of Praise (38:9-21)
Isaiah 38:9 The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness: (KJV)
The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah . . . some versions call it a prayer, the Targum says a writing of confession, in which the king owns his murmurings and complaints under his affliction, and gratefully acknowledges the goodness of God in delivering him out of it . . . this he put into writing, as a memorial of it, for his own benefit, and for the good of posterity; and most likely he carried this with him to the Temple, where he went on the third day of his illness, and hung it up in some proper place, that it might be read by all, and be sung by the priests and the Levites. The Prophet Isaiah thought it fit to give it a place among his prophecies, that it might be transmitted to future ages.
When he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness . . . or on his sickness and his recovery, which were the subject matter of his writing, as the following show. The verses following are a fine view on death by one who was very near to it. Many believe that Hezekiah wrote Psalm 116 at this time. See Special Comments at the end of this Chapter for this Psalm.
Isaiah 38:10 I 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. (KJV)
I said, in the cutting off of my days . . . when Hezekiah was told that he would die, he believed that he would. Death he calls a cutting off in reference to the weaver's web (vs.12), and a cutting off his days, he being now in the prime of his age, about thirty nine or forty years of age, which according to the common term of life, being threescore and ten, and at most eighty (Ps.90:10).
I shall go to the gates of the grave . . . and enter there into the house appointed for all living, which he saw were open for him, and ready to receive him.
I am deprived of the residue of my days . . . the other thirty or forty years which he might expect to have lived, according to the course of nature; of these he mourned.
Isaiah 38:11 I 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. (KJV)
I said, I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord in the land of the living . . . in death, he would never again see the Lord while still in the land of the living . . . not any more, in this world, although in the other, and that more clearly, even Face to face. His meaning is, that he would no more see Him just in the mirror of His Word (1 Cor.13:12); but see Him in Person . . . no more praise and worship Him in His Temple . . . but Face to face. Enjoy fellowship with Him in His decrees and see His beauty, power and glory in Person! Hezekiah knew one day that he would see the Lord.
I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world . . . next to God, his concern was that he would no more enjoy the company of men, of his subjects, his relations, his companions and acquaintances; mainly the saints.
Isaiah 38:12 Mine 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. (KJV)
Mine age is departed, and is removed from me as a shepherd's tent . . . meaning his tabernacle, his body would be removed from him like a shepherd's tent that is easily taken down and removed from place to place. Death is simply separation of the body and soul.
I have cut off like a weaver my life . . . his life was cut off, like when a weaver has finished his work, he cuts it off from the loom,
He will cut me off with pining sickness . . . staying with the image of the weaver cutting off his work from the loom,
From day even tonight wilt thou make an end of me . . . he means the Lord by he in the preceding clause, and here he addresses Him; indicating that the affliction was very sharp and heavy upon him, which was the first day of it, that he did not expect to live until night, but that God would finish his life, and send him out of this world.
Isaiah 38:13 I 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. (KJV)
I reckoned till morning . . . or I set my time until the morning, he fixed and settled it in his mind that he could live no longer than to the morning, if he lived that long. I roared until morning, as a lion roars, because of the power of the disease, and the pain he was in.
So will he break all my bones . . . the sickness will lay in his bones, so violent was the pain that he thought all his bones were breaking in pieces; such is the case in burning fevers, as some think. Another also interprets it as a burning fever, which is like a fire in the bones.
From day even tonight wilt thou make an end of me . . . he lived until morning, which was more than he expected, and was the longest time he could remember; and now be figured that before night it would be all over with him as to this world. This was the second day of his illness; and the third day he recovered, and went to the Temple with his song of praise. The pain must have been awful!
I remember years ago, I had shingles, in my head. That was by far, the worst pain I have ever experienced. Child birth was easy compared to that. One night I went out to my recliner, and spoke to the Lord about it. The pain was so severe, I voiced my thoughts to the Lord . . . that being, if you cannot give me some relief, take me home. And I meant it! He DID give me enough relief that I was able to bear it. It never got that severe again. He has NEVER failed me. His grace has always been sufficient! (2 Cor.12:9). What a loving and merciful God we have. Thank You Jesus!
Isaiah 38:14 Like 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. (KJV)
Like a crane, or a swallow, so did I chatter . . . like both a crane and a swallow sometimes cry out loud and deafening . . . when the pain was very severe and grievous, he babbled, and sometimes his moaning under his affliction was like the mournful voices of these birds at certain times. Some think he refers to his prayers, which were quick and short, and expressed not with clear words, but in groans and cries; not regular and orderly, but interrupted, and barely intelligible, like the chattering of the birds mentioned.
I did mourn as a dove . . . silently and patiently, within himself, for his sins and transgressions; and because of his afflictions.
Mine eyes fail with looking upwards . . . or on high some versions say; to the height of Heaven, to the Lord there, whose Shekinah (divine Presence), is in the highest heavens. In his distress he looked up to Heaven for help, but none came; he looked and waited until his eyes were weak from looking, both his eyes and his heart failed him, and he gave up hope of relief; and the prayer he put up was as follows:
O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me . . . the disease totally overloaded him; it lay so heavy on him, the weight of it bore down on him where he could not stand up under it. It had seized and crushed him, holding him fast! He could not break free from it, so therefore pleads with the Lord to undertake for him, to be his surety for good (Ps.119:122). He represents his disease as a bailiff that had arrested him, and was carrying him to the prison of the grave; and therefore prays that the Lord would bail him out, or rescue him out of his hands, that he might not go down to the gates of the grave.
From here begins the account of Hezekiah’s recovery, and his thanksgiving for it.
Isaiah 38:15 What 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. (KJV)
What shall I say? . . . in a way of praise and thankfulness, for the mercies promised and received. Hezekiah simply did not know what to say. He wanted words to express the gratitude of his heart for the kindness bestowed upon him. What could he render to God for all His marvelous benefits? One version says: what praise shall I utter, and what will I say before him?
he hath both spoken unto me, and himself hath done it . . . the Lord had sent him a message by the prophet Isaiah, assuring him that he would recover, and on the third day, he was to go up to the Temple; and now he had performed what he had promised, he was restored, and was come to the house of God with his thank offering. Dear one. . . . whatever the Lord says, He does; IF He makes a Promise, He will bring it to pass! Count on it!
I shall go softly all my years in the bitterness of my soul. . . he promises himself to keep in mind the impressions of his affliction. I shall go softly, as one in sorrow for his sinful doubts and murmurings under his affliction, being careful to make suitable returns for God's favor to him and to make it clear that he had received good by the things he had been under. I shall go softly, thoughtfully and respectfully, with thought and planning, or I will walk cheerfully with the Lord in a holy lifestyle, for I have tasted just how gracious He is. I shall go softly, even after the bitterness of my soul, when the trouble is over I will strive to remember the impression of it, and to have the same thoughts of things that I had then, for before he did not think that he had a day to live, where now he speaks of his years, having fifteen added to his life, during which time he would go softly, in a reflecting frame of mind, often recalling his bitter affliction, and recovery out of it, and recognizing the goodness, kindness and mercy of God to him. He would live day by day, step by step, without fear of any enemies, dangers or death, having a Promise by a God who cannot lie (Tit.1:2), of such a length of time to live. He would go pleasantly and
cheerfully, after the bitterness of his soul, and he would serve the Lord and be grateful to Him for all the years He had added to his life, and had delivered him from the bitterness of his soul.
Isaiah 38:16 O 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. (KJV)
O Lord, by these things men live . . . not by bread alone, but by the Word of God: by the Promise of God, and by His power performing it; and by His favor and goodness continually bestowed. The Lord will restore me, and make me to live; not only restore me from this illness, but make me to live through the years assigned me. By having this heart-felt hope, he encourages himself and others with the experiences he had had of the goodness of God. By these things which the Lord has done for me, the people live and the kingdom lives (for the life of the kingdom is in the life of the king). All that hear of it shall live and be comforted; by the same power and goodness that have restored me all men have their souls held in life, and they should acknowledge it.
And in all these things is the life of my spirit . . . in all these things is my spiritual life that is supported and maintained by what God has done for the preservation of my natural life. The more we taste of the loving-kindness of God in every part of our lives, the more our hearts shall be enlarged to love Him and live to Him, and the life of our spirit is praising Him.
So wilt thou recover me, and make me to live . . . for the Lord had not only promised it, but He has done it (vs.15), and has quickened me, and sustained me.
Isaiah 38:17 Behold, 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. (KJV)
Behold, for peace I had great bitterness . . . for peace, instead of the prosperity which he had before, he had great bitterness . . . literally, expressing intense emotion.
But thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption . . . in love, literally attachment, such as joins one to another tenderly . . . Thou hast been lovingly attached to me from the pit . . . Thy love has gone down to the pit, and drawn me out of it. The pit here is simply death. Hezekiah realized in its fullness only in reference to the soul's redemption from Hell by Jesus Christ (Isa.61:1), who went down to the pit for that purpose Himself (Ps.88:4-6; Zec.9:11-12; Heb.13:20). Sin and sickness are connected (Ps.103:3; Isa.53:4; Mat.8:17; 9:5-6), especially under the Old Testament dispensation of temporal authorizations; but even now, sickness, though not invariably arising from sin in individuals, is connected with it in the general moral view. The grave is where bodies rot and corrupt (Ps.30:3). This seems to be a reference to a tender parent, seeing his child sinking in a pit, runs with open arms to him, grabs him and jerks him out of danger. This may be applied to a state of nature, out of which the Lord in love delivers His people; which is indicated by a pit, or dark dungeon, a filthy, lonely place, a very uncomfortable one, where they are starving and famishing; a pit, where there is no water (Jer.38:6; Zec.9:11; Lk.16:24), and may rightly be called a pit of corruption, because of their corrupt nature, thoughts and actions . . . and it is out of this that the gracious Lord brings His people at conversion, and that because of His great love for their souls, and His pleasure in them; it may be applied to their deliverance from the bottomless pit of destruction, which is owing to the Lord's being gracious to them, and having been paid a ransom for them, His own Son (Job 33:24). In love to their souls, that they may not perish, He redeems their souls from sin, Satan and the law; He regenerates, renews and transforms them, and preserves them safely to His everlasting kingdom and glory (Ps.145:13; Dan.4:3; 7:14,27; 2 Pet.1:11), in order to prevent their going down to the pit, they are put into the Hands of Christ, redeemed by His precious Blood (1 Pet.1:18-19), and are removed from the broad road that leads to destruction (Mat.7:13-14), and put on the narrow road of light with Jesus.
For thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back . . . the Lord casts all my sins behind His back as being loathsome and abominable, so He cannot see them (1 Ki.14:9; Neh.9:26; Ps.50;17; 90:8)! For although Almighty God sees ALL the sins of His people with His omniscient eye, and in His providence takes notice of them, and chastises them, yet He sees them NOT with His eye of avenging justice; because Christ has took those sins on Himself, at the cross, and made satisfaction for them, and they are removed from them as far as the east is from the west (Ps.103:12), and has cast them into the depth of the sea (Mic.7:18-19), nor will He remember them NO more (Jer.31:34; Heb.8:12; 10:17). This expresses the FULL forgiveness of sins (Ps.85:2-3), of all confessed sins (1 Jn.1:8-9). The main purpose of God's love is the souls of His people; the example of His love is the delivery of them from the pit of corruption; the evidence of that love is the pardon of their sins.
Isaiah 38:18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. (KJV)
For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee. . . those that are in the grave, and under the power of death, cannot celebrate the blessings of God with their bodily organs. Those in the grave cannot praise Him until resurrection morn (Dan.12:2; Mat.25:46; Jn.5:28-29; Acts 24:15), or as long as they are under the dominion of the grave. There are TWO resurrections . . . one for God’s TRUE people (believers), and one for those who are considered wicked by God (unbelievers).
They that go down to the pit cannot hope for thy truth . . . for the performance of promises, in which the truth and faithfulness of God appear; or for the Messiah, the Truth of all the types of the former dispensation; those that go down to the pit of the grave, or are carried and laid there, can have no exercise of faith and hope concerning these things.
Isaiah 38:19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth. (KJV)
The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day . . . every one of the living, or such who are both bodily and spiritually alive; and therefore the word is repeated. None but those who are alive in a bodily sense can praise the Lord in this world; and none except those who are spiritually alive can praise Him rightly, and these do so under a true and grateful sense of the greatness of His mercies, and of their own unworthiness . . . and such a one was Hezekiah. As I do this day . . . meaning that he is alive in both the above senses; and he praised God in such a beautiful spiritual manner, even on the day he committed this to writing, and was now in the Temple offering up this thanksgiving.
The father to the children shall make known thy truth . . . not meaning himself, for at this time he had no children; although, no doubt, when he had any, as he afterwards had, mainly Manasseh (Jer.15:4), he took great care to acquaint him with the truth and faithfulness of God in the fulfilling of His promises to Him; and which every religious parent should do, to transmit the memory to future ages.
Isaiah 38:20 The 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.
The Lord was ready to save me . . . or He both is able and willing to save him; He was a present help (Ps.46:1) in time of need; He arose to help him, and that right early; He very quickly delivered him out of his distress; he, who one day expected death every moment, was the next day in the Temple praising God:
Therefore will we sing my songs . . . which were made by him, or concerning him, or which he ordered to be sung, as were the Psalms of David (2 Chron.29:30).
To the stringed instruments . . . which were touched with the fingers, or struck with a quill or bow; which separates them from wind instruments, which were blown with the mouth; each of these were used in the Temple service.
All the days of our life . . . he had before said we will sing, meaning his family and his friends with him, his courtiers, princes, and nobles, or he and the singers of Israel; and this he determined to do as long as he and they lived; indicating, that the mercy granted to him would never be forgotten by him, as well as there would be new mercies every day, which would call for praise and thankfulness: and this he planned to do.
In the house of the Lord . . . in the Temple; not only privately, but publicly; not just in his closet and family only, but in the congregation of the people; that the goodness of God to him might be more widely known, and the praise and glory given Him be all the greater.
Isaiah 38:21 For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaister upon the boil, and he shall recover. (KJV)
For Isaiah had said . . . before the above writing was made, which ends in verse 20; for this and the following are added by Isaiah, or some other person, taken out of: 2 Kings 20:7 And Isaiah said, Take a lump of figs. And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered. (KJV)
Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaster upon the boil, and he shall recover . . . which was done, and Hezekiah did recover. Dear one, it was NOT from the natural force of these figs, but by the power of God, that this cure was effective . . . for without that, it was impossible that such a malignant ulcer and so deadly a sickness as Hezekiah's were could have been cured, and especially so suddenly. These figs were not used as a medicine, but as a sign of recovery, according to the Lord's Promise, and as a means of assisting Hezekiah's faith in it.
*****Isaiah did the two things that James recommends: James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: (KJV) . . . This anointing is not religious nor ceremonial. The oil is for healing; it is medicine. And the elders are to pray for the one who is sick. What God said through Isaiah and through James is the same. When you get sick, pray and go to the doctor. God expects us to use common sense!
Isaiah 38:22 Hezekiah also had said, What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the LORD? (KJV)
Hezekiah also had said . . . unto Isaiah, as in: 2 Kings 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? (KJV)
What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the Lord? . . . both of his health, and of his going up to the Temple with thanksgiving for it; although his health is not here mentioned, as it is elsewhere; partly because it is thought to be in the latter, for without his health, he could not have gone up to the Temple; and partly because he was more concerned for the worship and honor of God in His House, than for his health.
*****The main result we should aim for, in desiring life and health, is that we may glorify God, and do good, and improve ourselves in knowledge, grace and fitness for Heaven. When Hezekiah asked, What is the sign that I shall recover? He meant . . . What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the Lord, to honor God, to keep contact and communion with Him, and to encourage others to serve him? It is taken for granted that if God would restore him to health he would immediately go up to the Temple with his thank-offerings. It was there Christ found the impotent man whom He had healed (Jn.5:14). The movements of faith are so much the business and delight of a good person, that to be restrained from them is a protest of his being afflicted, and to be restored to them is a great comfort, for then we feel our soul is alive and well, and it shall so willingly praise and glorify the Almighty Lord and Creator of the Universe.
Psalm 116:1-19 I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. 2 Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. 3 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. 4 Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. 5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. 6 The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. 7 Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee. 8 For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. 9 I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living. 10 I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted: 11 I said in my haste, All men are liars. 12 What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? 13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. 14 I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people. 15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. 16 O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds. 17 I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD. 18 I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people, 19 In the courts of the LORD'S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD. (KJV)
Book of Isaiah . . Isaiah's Mini-Bible
Isaiah Ch.1 . . Isaiah Ch.2 . . Isaiah Ch.3 . . Isaiah Ch.4 . . Isaiah Ch.5 . . Isaiah Ch.6 . . Isaiah Ch.7 . . Isaiah Ch.8 . . Isaiah Ch.9 . . Isa.Ch.10 . . Isa.Ch.11 . . Isa.Ch12 . . Home Page
JUDGMENT ON THE NATIONS . . . . . Isaiah Ch.13 . . Isaiah Ch.14 . . Isaiah Ch.15 . . Isaiah Ch.16 . . Isaiah Ch.17 . . Isaiah Ch.18 . . Isaiah Ch.19 . . Isaiah Ch.20 . . Isaiah Ch.21 . . Isaiah Ch.22 . . Isaiah Ch.23 . . Home Page
ISAIAH’S APOCALYPSE . . . . . Isaiah Ch.24 . . Isaiah Ch.25 . . Isaiah Ch.26 . . Isaiah Ch.27 . . Home Page
ISAIAH'S SIX WOES . . . Isaiah Ch.28 . . Isaiah Ch.29 . . Isaiah Ch.30 . . Isaiah Ch.31 . . Isaiah Ch.32 . . Isaiah Ch.33 . . Isaiah Ch.34 . . Isaiah Ch.35 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Historic Part . . Isaiah Ch.36 . . Isaiah Ch.37 . . Isaiah Ch.38 . . Isaiah Ch.39 . . Home Page
Isaiah Speaks of Messiah's Incarnation. . Isaiah Ch.40 . . Isaiah Ch.41 . . Isaiah Ch.42 . . Isaiah Ch.43 . . Isaiah Ch.44 . . Isaiah Ch.45 . . Isaiah Ch.46 . . Isaiah Ch.47 . . Isaiah Ch.48 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Introduction to the Suffering Servant
Isaiah's Suffering Servant Prophecy. . . Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Isaiah's Redemption Through the Suffering Servant . . . Isaiah Ch.49 . . Isaiah Ch.50 . . Isaiah Ch.51 . . Isaiah Ch.52 . . Isaiah Ch.53 . . Isaiah Ch.54 . . Isaiah Ch.55 . . Isaiah Ch.56 . . Isaiah Ch.57 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Vision of the Dispersion . . . Isaiah Ch.58 . . Isaiah Ch59 . . Isaiah Ch.60 . . Isaiah Ch.61 . . Isaiah Ch.62 . . Isaiah Ch.63 . . Isaiah Ch.64 . . Isaiah Ch.65 . . Isaiah Ch.66 . . Home Page