e hënë, 21 prill 2008

Isaiah 38:14-21

Isaiah 38:14-21
Hezekiah’s Sickness and Recovery.
14 Like a swallow or a crane I chirp;
I moan like a dove.
My eyes are weary with looking upward.
O Lord, I am oppressed; be my pledge of safety!
15 What shall I say? For he has spoken to me,
and he himself has done it.
I walk slowly all my years
because of the bitterness of my soul.
16 O Lord, by these things men live,
and in all these is the life of my spirit.
Oh restore me to health and make me live!
17 Behold, it was for my welfare
that I had great bitterness;
but in love you have delivered my life
from the pit of destruction,
for you have cast all my sins
behind your back.
18 For Sheol does not thank you;
death does not praise you;
those who go down to the pit do not hope
for your faithfulness.
19 The living, the living, he thanks you,
as I do this day;
the father makes known to the children
your faithfulness.
20 The LORD will save me,
and we will play my music on stringed instruments
all the days of our lives,
at the house of the LORD.
21 Now Isaiah had said, "Let them take a cake of figs and apply it to the boil, that he may recover."
22 Hezekiah also had said, "What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the LORD?"

Journal: There is always a reason for the existence of sorrow and suffering. It does not happen in a vacuum or in isolation to God's sovereignty. There is no blind spot to God's vision. [v. 17 - "Behold, it was for my welfare that I had great bitterness . . ."] Yet, there is more to it than simply God proving His sovereignty. God corrects us for our profit. And our profit leads to His glory. [Lam. 3:31-33 -- "For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men."] God need not prove His power; yet, it is in His power that men see the folly of their own pride.

This is why praise is the correct response to sorrow and suffering. Pride has no foothold, and yet praise provides a sturdy landing. Unfortunately, we will discover in Chapter 39 that King Hezekiah allows his praise to return to pride as God's miraculous answer to his prayer is deposited into a fading afterthought. I know that my ever present pride is a constant stumbling block, a faltering foothold. I am prideful far too much and I am praising God far too little. This is why it would not be surprising to find sorrow and suffering around the next bend. The real issue is will I be able to praise God in the midst of the "bitterness" that is brought for my "welfare." The fall of man is a devastating thing and, at times, it is in sorrow and suffering that we find our landing and foothold. ["For Sheol does not thank you; death does not praise you; those who go down to the pit do not hope for your faithfulness."] It is far better to be reminded of salvation in the midst of sorrow than to fall "down to the pit" whistling a happy and hopeless tune.