The Lord Hears Hezekiah’s Prayer
38:1 In those days Hezekiah was stricken with a terminal illness. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz visited him and told him, “This is what the LORD says, ‘Give instructions to your household, for you are about to die; you will not get well.’” 38:2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, 38:3 “Please, LORD. Remember how I have served you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion, and how I have carried out your will.” Then Hezekiah wept bitterly.
38:4 The LORD told Isaiah, 38:5 “Go and tell Hezekiah: ‘This is what the LORD God of your ancestor David says: “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will add fifteen years to your life, 38:6 and rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will shield this city.”’” 38:21 Isaiah ordered, “Let them take a fig cake and apply it to the ulcerated sore and he will get well.” 38:22 Hezekiah said, “What is the confirming sign that I will go up to the LORD’s temple?” 38:7 Isaiah replied, “This is your sign from the LORD confirming that the LORD will do what he has said: 38:8 Look, I will make the shadow go back ten steps on the stairs of Ahaz.” And then the shadow went back ten steps.
Hezekiah’s Song of Thanks
38:9 This is the prayer of King Hezekiah of Judah when he was sick and then recovered from his illness:
38:10 “I thought,
‘In the middle of my life I must walk through the gates of Sheol,
I am deprived of the rest of my years.’
38:11 “I thought,
‘I will no longer see the LORD in the land of the living,
I will no longer look on humankind with the inhabitants of the world.
38:12 My dwelling place is removed and taken away from me
like a shepherd’s tent.
I rolled up my life like a weaver rolls cloth;
from the loom he cuts me off.
You turn day into night and end my life.
38:13 I cry out until morning;
like a lion he shatters all my bones;
you turn day into night and end my life.
38:14 Like a swallow or a thrush I chirp,
I coo like a dove;
my eyes grow tired from looking up to the sky.
O sovereign master, I am oppressed;
38:15 What can I say?
He has decreed and acted.
I will walk slowly all my years because I am overcome with grief.
38:16 O sovereign master, your decrees can give men life;
may years of life be restored to me.
Restore my health and preserve my life.’
38:17 “Look, the grief I experienced was for my benefit.
You delivered me from the pit of oblivion.
For you removed all my sins from your sight.
38:18 Indeed Sheol does not give you thanks;
death does not praise you.
Those who descend into the pit do not anticipate your faithfulness.
38:19 The living person, the living person, he gives you thanks,
as I do today.
A father tells his sons about your faithfulness.
38:20 The LORD is about to deliver me,
and we will celebrate with music
for the rest of our lives in the LORD’s temple.”