Seven times in Genesis 1 we read the exact phrase, "And God saw," yet we only see it two more times in the entire book of Genesis and only two more time in the rest of the Old Testament. Even if we substitute "the Lord" or pronouns referring to God or the Lord, we only have an additional ten instances. So why so many in the first chapter and so few thereafter?
Answered Prayer but Still Unfulfilled (Part 2)
Review of Part 1
In Part 1, we saw King Hezekiah get some bad news from the prophet Isaiah. It was basically a death sentence. Through the esteemed prophet, God told him that he was a dead man. Hezekiah, the 39-year-old king, immediately cast himself upon the Lord in brokenness and tears and appealed to him to reconsider. His tearful plea included a reminder of his integrity and his good deeds. His appeal to his own successful track record apparently did not impress God. But as we’ll discuss below, his brokenness did.
Isaiah 38 teaches, among other things, that God is a compassionate God and is not impassive to someone’s suffering and tears. This was the case with Hezekiah. After Isaiah delivered the bad news, the text says, “Hezekiah turned his face to the wall” (v. 2). My understanding of that phrase is that the king simply doesn’t want anyone to see him cry, so he...
Answered Prayer but Still Unfulfilled (Part 1)
I’ve recently been pondering the story of King Hezekiah’s deathly sickness as recorded in Isaiah 38. Scholars tell us that he was 39 years old when Isaiah the prophet came to him with this somber message (verse 1, English Standard Version, hereafter, ESV):
“Thus says the Lord: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover.’”
What happens next is probably what any believer would do upon receiving such news. Hezekiah immediately prays to the Lord, and this is what he says (verse 3):
“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.
God sees Hezekiah’s response and is deeply moved by it. So he sends Isaiah back to the King of Judah with these words (verses 5–8):
5 "Thus says the Lord, the God of David...