Isaiah 38

Hezekiah becomes ill

38:1In Part 4 (Isaiah chapters 38—55) God's Servant saves God's people.

1 At that time, Hezekiah was very ill. He nearly died. And Isaiah the prophet, who was the son of Amoz, went to Hezekiah. And Isaiah said to Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord says. “Make everything ready for your son, because you will die. You will not get better.” ’ 2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and he prayed to the Lord. 3 And he said, ‘Please remember, Lord, that I have been your good servant. I have always obeyed you. I have worked for you with all my power. You have seen that I did good things.’ And Hezekiah wept sad tears. 4 Then the Lord again told Isaiah what he should say. 5 ‘Go and say this to Hezekiah. “This is what the Lord says. The Lord is the God of your ancestor David. I have heard what you prayed. I have seen your tears. So, I will let you live for 15 more years. 6 I will save you and this city from the power of the king of Assyria. And, I will keep this city (Jerusalem) safe.” ’ 7 And Isaiah said, ‘The Lord will do what he has promised to do. And the Lord will do something to show that to you. 8 You can see the shadow of the sun when it falls on the stairs. They are the stairs that King Ahaz built. I will cause the shadow to go back ten steps on these stairs.’ And the shadow did go back ten steps!

9 This is a poem that Hezekiah, the king of Judah wrote. He wrote it after he got better from his illness.

10 I said, ‘I hope that I will not really go through the gates of Sheol during the best days of my life.

I hope that death will not take from me my other years.’

11 I said, ‘I will not see the Lord again.

I will not live on this earth and see the Lord.

I will never see these people again.

I will never be with the people who are living in this world.

12 The Lord has knocked down my house and he has taken it from me.

He did it as easily as someone packs away the tent of a sheep-farmer.

He has caused my life to come to an end.

It is like when someone finishes making a carpet. He rolls it up.

It is like when someone has made some cloth.

He cuts it away from the machine that he made the cloth with.

In a day and in a night God brought me to my end.

13 I waited quietly until the dawn.

Then, like a lion does, God broke all my bones.

In a day and in a night God brought me to my end.

14 I cried like a thrush.

I made a sad noise like a dove makes.

My eyes became weak while I looked to the skies.

Lord, save me from my trouble!

15 I do not know what I can say. The Lord has spoken to me.

And the Lord has done everything that he said.

I will live quietly, because I felt so sad inside me.

16 Lord, by these things, people have life.

By all these things, my spirit has life.

You gave my health back to me and you have let me live.

17 Really, it was good for me to have such trouble.

You saved me from the deep hole of death,

because you no longer thought about my sins.

18 People who are in Sheol cannot thank you.

Dead people cannot sing and they cannot praise you.

People who go down into the deep hole of death cannot enjoy your love.

19 People who are alive and not dead can thank you.

I am doing it today.

A father tells his children about your love.

20 The Lord will save me from death.

Then we will sing in the temple of the Lord every day of our lives.

We will sing with the music of stringed-instruments.’

21 Now Isaiah said this earlier. ‘Make a hot cake of figs and put it on the bad place on Hezekiah's skin. Then he will get better.’ 22 And Hezekiah had asked, ‘What will show me that I will be able to go up to the temple of the Lord?’