Isaiah 38

1At that time, Hezekiah became sick and almost died. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to see him. Isaiah told the king, “The Lord told me to tell you these things: 'You will die soon. So you should tell your family what they should do when you die. You will not become well again.’” 2Hezekiah turned toward the wall ˻that faced the temple˼ and began praying. He said: 3“Lord, remember that I have truly served you with all my heart. I have done the things that you say are good.” Then Hezekiah cried very hard. 4Isaiah received this message from the Lord: 5“Go to Hezekiah and tell him that the Lord, the God of your ancestor David says, 'I heard your prayer, and I saw your tears. I will add 15 years to your life. 6- 22I will save you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will protect this city.’” But Hezekiah asked Isaiah, “What is the sign from the Lord that proves ˻I will become well? What is the sign that proves˼ I will be able to go to the Lord’s temple?” This is the sign from the Lord to show you that he will do the things he says: Look, I am causing the shadow that is on the steps of Ahaz to move back ten steps. The sun’s shadow will go back up the ten steps that it has already been on.” Then Isaiah told Hezekiah, “You should crush figs together and put them on your sore, then you will become well.” This is the letter from Hezekiah when he became well from the sickness: I told myself I would live to be old. But then it was my time to go through the gates of Sheol. Now I will spend all of my time there. So I said, ”I will not see the Lord Yah in the land of the living again. I will not see the people living on earth. My home, my shepherd’s tent, is being pulled down and taken from me. I am finished like the cloth a man rolls up and cuts from the loom. You finished my life in such a short time! All night I cried loud like a lion. But my hopes were crushed like a lion eating bones. You finished my life in such a short time! I cried like a dove. I cried like a bird. My eyes became tired, but I continued looking to the heavens. My Master, I am so depressed. Promise to help me.” What can I say? My Master told me what will happen. And my Master will cause that to happen. I have had these troubles in my soul. So now I will be humble all my life. My Master, use this hard time to make my spirit live again. Help my spirit become strong and healthy. Help me become well! Help me live again! Look! My troubles are gone! I now have peace. You love me very much. You did not let me rot in the grave. ˻You forgave all my sins.˼ You threw my sins far away. Dead people don’t sing praises to you. People in Sheol don’t praise you. Dead people don’t trust you to help them. They go into a hole in the ground, ˻and never speak again˼. People that are alive— like me today— are the people that praise you. A father should tell his children that you can be trusted. ˻So I say:˼ ”The Lord saved me. So we will sing and play songs in the Lord’s temple all our lives.”

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