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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

April 28, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again


Daily Reading: II Kings 20-22

 

II Kings 20:1

In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.

 

The ways of God are fluid, meaning that He moves, He changes His mind, He alters course, He is the ultimate real time manager on the scene. As things change, His plans change. Yes, He knows all things; yes, He is unchangeable in His person; and yes, He is the same yesterday, today and forever. But another aspect of Him is that He is fluid. He responds to individuals in regard to their actions toward Him. Nowhere is this truth better illustrated than in the life, and death, of Hezekiah.

 

The story of God adding fifteen years to the life of Hezekiah is a popular one. The sundial going backwards ten degrees is a miracle of the first degree. In order for this to happen, the sun had to move from west to east instead of its normal track of east to west. It is a fact that during Hezekiah’s extra fifteen years a son was born to him by the name of Manasseh. Manasseh is marked by two distinctions: he was the longest serving king of the Southern kingdom (55 years), and he was the most wicked of them all. These are all well-known facts about this story.

 

But there are two aspects of this story that are not so well known. One part is about Isaiah, the man of God. God must have told Isaiah that Hezekiah would die. Being the faithful spokesman for God that he was, the prophet told the king that sad reality. Yet, in verse 4, while Isaiah was walking through the court, the Word of God came to him again with another message. Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord. (vs. 5) The second part is that a careful reading of these verses will prove that Hezekiah’s prayer was not to postpone death, but that God would remember him (vs. 3).

 

God changed His mind and His action toward Hezekiah, meaning that the man of God’s message was changed. As far as we know in Scripture, Isaiah did not balk, rebel, ask questions, or challenge God’s will. He simply delivered the new message to the king.

 

There is another story that is similar. That is the story of Nathan and David concerning David’s desire to build the great Temple. At first Nathan told David, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the Lord is with thee. II Samuel 7:3 But, overnight, God gave Nathan another message to David that he was not to build the Temple, but that his son, Solomon would. Like the story of Isaiah and Hezekiah, we have no Scriptural evidence that God told either of the first message, but it is clearly seen in both stories that God had them deliver the second one.

 

Either the men of God were wrong at the first, which knowing the character of both is doubtful, or God changed His mind. On this side of eternity, we will never know, but this is known; God changed a course of action on earth in both cases. Yes, He is fluid, He moves. To this writer this truth has been proven over and over again with the Living Word of God. While it never changes, the way we receive it changes. For example, many have experienced this. They have read a story or a verse dozens of times, but when needed, that part of the Word of God takes on a new, real, and very personal meaning. Usually because they need something at that particular time from God and He uses His living Word to speak to them in a real and meaningful fashion.

 

Yes, God is fluid. Sometimes He changes His mind and plans (not His person or character) based upon a person’s free will actions toward Him. Hezekiah prayed and God changed His course of action. Of this the Bible is clear.

 

Dr. William T. Howe

 

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