Go and tell Hezekiah, 'This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. (Isaiah 38:5)
Hezekiah, king of Judah, became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah 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."
What does one do when dire tidings such as this comes? The verdict was given. No, it was not from the doctors, but from the Most High. Who could or what could challenge it?
Yet, Hezekiah made one last and desperate plea to the one who controlled all.
The Bible says,
Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, "Remember, O 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. (Isaiah 38:2, 3)
God heard and he saw, and he changed his decision. He decided that the prayers and tears were worth another 15 years of productive life. Praise the Lord.
The Lord sent Isaiah the prophet back to the king to give him a brand new prophecy.
He would live...15 more years.
The equation looks wonderful..
Prayers heard+Tears seen=15 years of life.
The prescription for his illness also came from the prophet, as given from heaven...
Isaiah had said, "Prepare a poultice of figs and apply it to the boil, and he will recover." (Isaiah 38:21)
None can challenge the verdict of heaven, but heaven opens up to prayers and tears; that is for sure.
It has happened before, it can happen in your lives now.
Believe in the one who said,
"I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? (Jeremiah 32:27)
Then the woman said to Elijah, "Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth." (1 Kings 17:24)
The woman in question here (1 Kings 17:8-24) had already experienced a great miracle in her life; yet she waited for another miracle to acknowledge the integrity of the prophet.
Elijah came to her home, sent by God, at a time when she thought that she was going to have her last meal and then die. The prophet prophesied blessings and they happened. When the land was gripped with famine, she and her son were provided for, miraculously by God. The promise prophesied by the prophet was this.....
"The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land." (1 Kings 17:14)
The outcome of the promise, recorded in the Word of God, is this....
So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.(1 Kings 17:15, 16)
Was not this miracle enough for her to believe that Elijah was a man of God?
Later her son died and God raised him from the dead when Elijah interceded for him; that was when she exclaimed that...
"Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth."
How many miracles does it take for one to believe?
Did not the food that she and her son ate during the famine inspire her to believe? No, it did not, because when her son died, she accused Elijah and said, "What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?" (1 Kings 17:18)
Perhaps she spoke from the bitterness of the tragedy, yet there seemed to be ingratitude inside of her towards the prophet.
God loves a grateful heart.
We must meditate on the miracles God has already done for us, be grateful to God for them and God will bless us again.
God is good and his promise is that he will never leave us nor forsake us, if we have trusted in Jesus Christ's sacrificial work on the cross and are living a life obeying the Word of God.
Also, we must learn to respect them who pray and intercede for us.
As for the saints who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight. (Psalm 16:3)
Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God..................... (1 Peter 2:17)
Because the Lord kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelite's are to keep vigil to honor the Lord for the generations to come. (Exodus 12:42)
How wonderful to read that the Lord kept vigil for his children. The Lord stayed alert to guard them, watching carefully and protecting them.
Do you believe that God is keeping vigil over you and your family each day?
The Psalmist says,
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. (Psalm 34:7)
Do you fear the Lord? meaning "do you honor him and his Word and have you committed yourself to lead a holy life?
If yes, the Lord is keeping vigil over you.
Moses once exhorted the Israelites in their wilderness journey in this manner.....
For the LORD your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you. (Deuteronomy 23:14)
The faithfulness of God who delivered his people is evident in this testimony given by them..
It was the LORD our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled.(Joshua 24:17)
Notice the words....He protected us on our entire journey.......
Wherever you are at this point in your journey to the Heavenly Canaan, as a child of God remember that God is keeping vigil over you and your family. You need to stay in close fellowship with him. He will speak to you with his still small voice as you meditate upon his Word and seek his face.
Pray and cover yourself, your family and all that God has given you with the blood of Jesus each day.
God is faithful. He will protect you on your entire journey.
For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever ............. (Psalm 37:28)
Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey - whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:16)
The question "Have you ever been a slave?" might bring about a smirk from the rich and a quizzical look from, others not so rich. The Bible though, is emphatic, in saying that we were and are slaves and we have masters.
The Apostle Paul, writing to the Romans, explains how this happens to be. There are masters that we have all served and are serving. The masters here are sin and obedience. So now the question becomes easier to answer. Are we slaves to sin or to obedience?
Perhaps some of us were slaves to sin earlier but now have become slaves to obedience. There are others around us who are still slaves to sin. And there is a third category too. Them who are supposed to be slaves of obedience but are still serving as slaves to some sin that has caught hold of them.
The Apostle details what the ultimate results are of serving these 2 masters. Regarding being a slave to sin, he writes,
What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! (Romans 6:21)
If one is a slave to sin and does not repent and become a slave of obedience to the Word of God, his/her ultimate state is eternal death.
What about the one who is a slave to obedience? Paul writes thus,
But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (Romans 6:17, 18)
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. (Romans 6:22)
The matter then is clear...
Slave to Sin....Without Repentance=Eternal Death
Slave to Obedience.....Slave to Righteousness.....Holiness=Eternal Life
What about you? Can you confidently say that you are a slave to obedience/righteousness?
If yes, the Bible calls you "blessed".....
But if you are still a slave to sin, God calls you to repent and become a slave of righteousness. Will you heed his call?
.....the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
So the people took their dough before it was leavened, having their kneading bowls bound up in their clothes on their shoulders. And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they had brought out of Egypt; for it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared provisions for themselves. (Exodus 12:34, 39)
Must have been quite a sight; some of them carrying their kneading bowls bound up in their clothes on their shoulders. And the first stop to bake unleavened cakes must have been exciting. The excitement of freedom coupled with that must have been exhilarating.
None of them knew then that this was going to be a long journey; one that would last 40 years. Some of them must have dreamed of settling soon in the land flowing with milk and honey, but it was not to be so easy or so near.
Hunger was one thing that the Israelite's could not cope with in their wilderness journey and often they grumbled about it on their long trek. Another thing that equally troubled them was thirst and a lack of water.
Regarding this, Moses, who lead them had this to say before they entered the promised land.
So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 8:3)
Also.....who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end. (Deuteronomy 8:15, 16)
God allowed them to hunger and thirst...what for....to humble them....to test them...and finally.....to do good to them in the end.
The question that haunted many in their walk through the wilderness was whether God would provide. Provide he did, but their doubts persisted, so they grumbled and were punished for it.
We, as believers, can learn much from the way that the Israelite's responded to their needs in the wilderness and also how God dealt with them and their needs.
Moses had to bear the brunt of their verbal attacks and sometimes he grew weary. But God did not let him down when he cried out on their behalf. He responded with miracle after miracle, though sometimes he punished them for their arrogance and lack of faith.
You, as a child of God, must know that the Lord Jesus Christ who gave himself up on the cross for your sake will provide for you and your family in this wilderness journey of yours.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)
Paul the Apostle, wrote to the believers in Philippi,
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
To the believers in Rome, he wrote,
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32)
You must remember that,
God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:9)
Trust in him; he will never leave you nor forsake you.