Medicine for a Sick Soul: The God who hears and sees.



“None can believe how powerful prayer is, and what it is able to effect, but those who have learned it by experience. It is a great matter when in extreme need to take hold on prayer.” – Martin Luther

"Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, and said, “Please, O Lord, remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly."


Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: “Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and will defend this city.

Isaiah 38:2-6


Theological Foundation

Immutability v. Immanence.

Isaiah 46:9-11 “remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.”


Immutability:

God’s quality of not changing


English Puritan Stephen Charnock (1628–80). God is “without any new nature, new thought, new will, new purpose or new place.” In other words, “God is a necessary being; he is necessarily what he is, and therefore is unchangeably what he is.”“What comfort would it be to pray to a god that, like the chameleon, changed colors every day, every moment?”


James P. Boyce , "By the immutability of God is meant that he is incapable of change, either in duration of life, or in nature, character, will or happiness."


Malachi 3:6 God affirms, "I the Lord do not change."

Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?”

Speaks to his perfection. “If anything changes, it must change for the better or the worse, because a change that makes no difference is not a change. For change to take place, either something that is needed is added, which is a change for the better; or something that is needed is lost, which is a change for the worse. But, since God is perfect, He does not need anything. Therefore, He cannot change for the better. If God were to lose something, He would no longer be perfect; therefore, He cannot change for the worse.”

Immanence:

“God’s immanence refers to His presence within His creation. (It is not to be confused with imminence, which refers to the timing of Jesus’ return to earth.) A belief in God’s immanence holds that God is present in all of creation, while remaining distinct from it. In other words, there is no place where God is not. His sovereign control extends everywhere simultaneously.

Pantheism and deism twist many people’s view of how God relates to His creation. Pantheists believe that everything is God or is a part of God, making Him equal with His creation and unable to act upon it. Deists hold that God is distinct from His creation but deny that He plays an active role in it.


Enter Hezekiah...

God hears our prayer and sees our tears.

“I have heard your prayer”

“Prayer makes a godly man, and puts within him the mind of Christ, the mind of humility, of self-surrender, of service, of pity, and of prayer. If we really pray, we will become more like God, or else we will quit praying.” – E.M. Bounds

Just like when he prayed before: 2 Kings 19:20 “Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Your prayer to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard.”

Solomon: 1 Ki 9:1–3. “As soon as Solomon had finished building the house of the Lord and the king’s house and all that Solomon desired to build, 2 the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3 And the Lord said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you have made before me. I have consecrated this house that you have built, by putting my name there forever.”

Not just of Kings: 2 Ch 30:27.Then the priests and the Levites arose and blessed the people, and their voice was heard, and their prayer came to his holy habitation in heaven.

Jesus: Heb 5:7.In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence”

Zacheriah: Lk 1:13. “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.”

Cornelius: Acts 10:30-31 “And Cornelius said, “Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God.”

New Testament:

  • 1 Pet 3:12 “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.””

  • 1 John 5:15 “And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”

  • Ps 34:17 “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.”

  • John 16:24 “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

  • Ps 145:19 “He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.”

  • 1 John 5:13-14 “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”

“Have you any days of fasting and prayer? Storm the throne of grace and persevere therein, and mercy will come down.” – John Wesley

Ralph Wilson: Why did God answer Hezekiah?:

  • Hezekiah prayed. If he hadn't asked, God would have continued with the plan announced by Isaiah -- an early death. James says, "You do not have, because you do not ask God...." (James 4:2b).

  • Promises made to David centuries before. The Lord identifies himself as "the God of your father David..." (verse 5b) and says he will defend the city "for the sake of my servant David" (verse 6b). Manasseh…Christ… Throne of David.

  • Respect for Hezekiah's leadership role. "Hezekiah, the leader of my people" (verse 5a).

  • Concern for Jerusalem's welfare. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city...." (verse 6).

  • Honor for Hezekiah's upright life. "I have heard your prayer," indicates that he has heard Hezekiah's implied prayer and honored the basis on which he made it, an upright life.

  • Love for Hezekiah. "I have heard your prayer and seen your tears" (verse 5c). Hezekiah loves God and God loves Hezekiah. The Father has seen his child's tears and responded.

Prayer is the mightiest weapon that God has placed in our hands. It is the best weapon to use in every difficulty, and the surest remedy in every trouble. It is the key that unlocks the treasury of promises, and the hand that draws forth grace and help in time of need. It is the silver trumpet that God commands us to sound in all our necessity, and it is the cry He has promised always to listen to, just as a loving mother listens attentively to the voice of her child. J.C. Ryle



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