Hezekiah was one of the godly kings in the Southern Kingdom called Judah. Since Solomon’s days there had been several kings who did not really care about the God of their fathers. Some of them were worshipping other gods. But Hezekiah used to pray to the God of Israel.
One day Hezekiah was seriously ill. In fact he was close to death.
A man of God, a prophet came to him. His name was Isaiah, son of Amoz. He was the same Isaiah to whom the longest prophetical book in the bible is attributed. (cf. Isaiah 1:1).
Hezekiah was one of those kings who did respect the word of God. He was a king who would readily listen to what men of God had to say to him.
Customarily anybody who would approach a king would respect this ruler. So it is likely that Isaiah had a loving attitude towards the king.
Isaiah’s message was a very earnest one: “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” (2 Kings 20:1b/NIV). On the one hand Isaiah had to tell the king what he needed to do in the days remaining to him. On the other hand Isaiah had a prediction for Hezekiah: “You will not recover”.
In the next verse we learn how Hezekiah reacted to this message. He did not fall into deep despair. He did not feel condemned. So we might conclude that Isaiah had been speaking to him in a loving manner. Isaiah prophesied and he had love.
Hezekiah prayed earnestly: “Remember, O Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” Then Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Isaiah had not yet left the palace compound. He was still in the middle court, when God again spoke to him. Isaiah was a loving person. He was prepared to go back and to see the king again and to tell him what God wanted to say to him now: “This is what the Lord, God of your father David says: I have heard your prayers and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.” (2 Kings 20:5+6/NIV).
“Then Isaiah said: ‘Prepare a poultice of figs.’ They did so and applied it to the boil, and he recovered.” (2 Kings 20:7/NIV).
I have related this incident in order to illustrate the second verse of 1 Corinthians 13. This is my fourth post dealing with that verse:
“If I have the gift of prophecy, and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge… but have not love, I am nothing.” (NIV)