Today’s reading is 1 Chronicles 11:1-12:18, Acts 28:1-31, Psalm 9:1-12, Proverbs 19:1-3.
Today, I am still thinking about the story of Hezekiah we read last week. You remember the one, don’t you? Hezekiah is listed among the “good” kings–and there weren’t very many of those. He was a king of Judah, during the time of the divided kingdom. This is what scripture says about him.
5 Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. 6 He held fast to the Lord and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses. 7 And the Lord was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook.
2 Kings 18:5-7
But, just because you are good does not mean you escape the difficulties of the world or the discipline of the Lord. Good is not perfect. Good is truly not good enough. That is why we need Jesus and His finished work in order to please God, in order to be all that we were created to be, and in order to ultimately spend our eternity in heaven. Jesus lets us tap into His perfection. What love! What grace!
Even still, we are not home yet. The major spiritual life and death issues are no longer a problem for us when we decide to trust and follow the Lord. However, we still live in a fallen world. We still live in a broken reality of heartache, trouble, sickness, disease, and physical death. Our “goodness” does not change that. I believe wholeheartedly that God can and often does physically heal us. He is the Great Physician. He may use modern medicine. I am married to a doctor, and believe that this is my husband’s ministry. I believe God uses him to heal. But sometimes, modern medicine can’t do for us what we desire. And in those cases, I truly believe that God can miraculously heal. I have seen it in my own family. Such was the case in the story of Hezekiah.
Hezekiah was told he was going to die. He was told to get his affairs in order. He was told that his earthly hopes and dreams and desires were going to end—and very soon. And what did Hezekiah do? He turned his face to the wall.
In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”
2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
2 Kings 20:1-3
He turned his face to the wall to block out all distractions, all speculations, all opinions, all gossip, all words from others. He turned his face to the wall so that all was blocked out and he was alone, face to face with his God. He turned his face to the wall as an act of faith, as a display of his trust in God alone. He did not seek the advice, opinion, or even comfort of others. He went straight to the Lord. And God heard. And God healed. Hezekiah was given 15 extra years to live. And he was promised peace in those years.
I think it is important to point out that Hezekiah did eventually die–fifteen years later. God numbers our days, as well as the hair on our head. I have seen God miraculously heal, and I have seen people die despite my fervent prayers. Even if He does not answer as we ask, as we desire, He is still a good God, a good Father. He still heals, and the ultimate healing for a believer is eternal life. And whether he heals physically or not, we still turn our face to the wall, seeking Him alone, trusting in Him alone.
I have never had a life-threatening illness. But there have been many times I turned my face to the wall. There have been many seasons of worry and fear and poor prognosis of various situations in my life. There have been many times that I have turned my face to the wall, knowing that my help could only come from the Lord–that if a situation would turn out well, it would only do so through the help and strength of the Lord. There have been many times that I declared aloud, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Mark 10:27
Do you have an overwhelming situation? Do you have a struggle, an addiction, a broken relationship, a broken heart? Are you sick or angry or bitter or afraid? If so, turn your face to the wall. Trust only in God. Turn only to Him. Block out everything else and seek Him and His comfort. Seek Him and live—live peacefully, confidently, and powerfully.
Those who trust in the Lord will not be disappointed. (Isaiah 49:23)