Isaiah 38

Before Reading.

  • Centering prayer— Pray for illumination, “Lord, open my heart and mind by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and remain in silence.

Reading.

  • Read slowly, keeping any words or phrase that come to your mind, and mark on them.
  • Close eyes and meditate on what you read.
  • Take a note if you have question, inspiration.   

Read Isaiah 38

Overview.

 Chapter 38 is the story of King Hezekiah, his illness and recovery, and how God answered his prayer. This story must be an event before the invasion of Assyria happened (v.6). King Hezekiah got ill to the point of death, and he prayed to God bitterly for saving his nation and his own life. And God answered his prayer with two signs; extending his life 5 more years and turning sun ten steps back.

“steps” were believed to refer to steps leading up to the Temple or the altar or Jerusalem and some architectural feature of the palace, visible from Hezekiah’s bedroom for him to see the shadow of the sun. The text of one ancient Hebrew manuscript, the Dead Sea Scrolls, interpreted this way, “Behold, I shall turn back the shadow of the steps down which the sun has moved on the steps of the roof chamber of Ahaz your father, I will cause the sun to move backward ten steps. And the sun moved back ten steps on the steps down which the shadow had descended.”

These two signs validated the Lord’s promise through Isaiah that Hezekiah would not die but would live fifteen more years.

When he heard the oracle of healing of God from Isaiah and was recovered from his illness, King Hezekiah wrote the words in poetic forms, pleading to God, confessing his faith, and praising God. The form of Hezekiah’s prayer for recovery is found in the Psalms 6.

His words are about the power of prayer affecting the destiny of his nation and for its own sake out of God’s compassion, love, and mercy.

Reflection.

 1. What does this passage tell you about God?

 2. What does this passage tell you about people.?

3. What does this passage tell you about yourself and God’s will for you?  

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