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Hezekiah was a very special king in God’s eyes. He obeyed God and God saw just how much Hezekiah trusted Him.
So, when Hezekiah became sick — and not just a little sick, like a runny nose or a sore throat, but so sick that he was going to die — God sent His prophet Isaiah to the king.
Isaiah went to Hezekiah’s room and said to him, “Hezekiah, you are a very sick man. God told me that you are going to die soon. So, make sure that you write down who you want to get your stuff when you die — your house, your toys, your king’s crown — because you are going to die from this sickness and not get better.”
Once Isaiah left, King Hezekiah did what he had done many times before — he talked to God. He turned his face towards the wall in his room and prayed to God about his sickness.
“God,” he said, “remember how I have obeyed You with my whole heart and done things that You said are good to do.” And then Hezekiah cried really hard.
As the king was talking to God, Isaiah was leaving the palace. But as he was walking along, God spoke to Isaiah and said, “Isaiah, go back and tell Hezekiah something for Me. Tell him that I have heard his prayer and seen him crying really hard. Tell him, ‘I want to make you better now. You won’t die! On the third day from now, you will go to My House — the Temple — and I will let you live 15 more years!’”
So Isaiah went back to Hezekiah’s room and told him what God had said. He also told the king’s servants how to make medicine for Hezekiah’s sickness.
After all this, the king had a question for Isaiah, “Can you show me a sign so that I know that God will make me all better? How will I be sure that I will be well enough to go to God’s House three days from now?”
Do you remember how Hezekiah’s daddy, Ahaz, refused to ask God to do anything to prove His words true? Could it be that this is Hezekiah’s way of saying, “God, I’m not going to be like my father who refused to ask You for a sign even when You told him to. I believe what You say! So, do You wanna give me a sign? Just for fun.” I hope that’s what he was saying to God.
Isaiah told Hezekiah, “Yes! God is going to do what He has promised and this is what the sign is: You know how the sun makes a shadow on the ground as it goes across the sky? Do you want it to go forward 10 steps or backward 10 steps?”
“I want to see it go backward 10 steps,” said Hezekiah, “because it always goes forward 10 steps in a day, but I have never seen it go backward.”
Do you know that way back a long time ago people did not have watches or clocks? They would tell time by the shadows the sun would make as it moved across the sky!
So Isaiah asked God to make the shadow on the stairs go backward in time 10 steps, and it did! It was like pushing rewind on the sun that day.
And, of course, Hezekiah got better. Because God is so powerful that He can make the sun go backwards or make our sicknesses better. Nothing is too hard for God to do, and He listens closely when people who trust Him with their whole hearts talk to Him.