“THE WORKING OF A MIRACLE”                         By Pastor YAU

2 Kings 20:1-7. (Ref: 18:1-7; 19:14-19)                            May 29, 2005

 

INTRODUCTION:  When people are in a desperate situation, most of them will desperately seek for a miracle: a terminal sickness, a breaking marriage, a wayward child or the need of a long-waited job. We will pour out our hearts and cry out to God for a miracle. Sometimes God may answer our prayers in ways not exactly what we asked for, other times we feel that He keeps us in the dark with silence. Some may wonder if God is truly a God of miracles.

       The Scripture reference quoted here is a true record of a miracle God had performed in the healing of King Hezekiah, one of the kings in the Old Testament. Read the passage and follow the outline to see HOW and WHY God did what he did in this case. Knowing the principles of miracles God employed here may help us understand God better next time when we ask for a miracle.

 

WHO IS HEZEKIAH?  Almost all people, Christians or non-believers, dedicated or nominal, all will cry out to God when they have run out of their own power and have come to the end of their own ropes. Although God is not obligated to anyone that He must do something because of human “merits”, He will never do anything without a good reason. Why did God choose to perform a miracle for Hezekiah?

1)   He did what is right in the eyes of the LORD: (18:3) Most of the miracles God had performed on people who do not believe in Him or commit to His way of life do not bring desired results. Often times we hear people who never believe in God said that if God would do this or that for them then they will believe. We may have prayed for a non-believer friend that God will provide him a long-waited job or heal his sickness and God did but we don’t see that person becomes a faithful believer. Although nothing we do may qualify us for a miracle, we do have to live a life that is sensitive to God’s heart. King Hezekiah had aligned his life with God that put him in the right position to receive a miracle. In the days of Jesus, the Jews had seen many miracles and yet most of them still cried to crucify Him. Miracles seldom do any good for those who do not have God in their hearts.

2)   He poured out his heart before God: (20:2-3) If you read these 2 verses, you will see how humble and persistent he was when he pleaded to God for His mercy. His turning to the wall symbolized his surrendering of all human hopes or efforts. His plead for God to remember how he lived his life and his bitter wept and tears all represented his most earnest cry for mercy. It is his faith in the all merciful and righteous God that “twisted” the arm of God to hear his prayer and changed God’s mandate to lengthen his life for 15 more years. The Bible says, “The Lord hears the prayer of the righteous.” (Proverbs 15:29) There must be faith and humility to accompany a miracle to bring the desired results that God and His name will be glorified.

 

WHAT DO WE LEARN IN THIS MIRACLE: (20:4-6) Often times we will think that the whole purpose for God to perform a miracle is for the good of the person or the matter we pray for. If that is all we know and want, we have mistaken God and His purpose of performing miracles. The well being of the miracle recipient is the by-product of miracles. God’s purpose in performing miracles is far bigger and better than the object we pray for. God wanted to teach Hezekiah and all readers of this story to know more about Him:

1)   God hears our prayers and sees our tears:  Our God is a personal and merciful God who hears and sees us as His children. Just as He heard the cries of the Israelites in Egypt under the oppressive treatment of their masters, our God still hears our cry of the heart and sees our every tear as we go through the struggles of life. We should never forget that this God is compassionate and full of love. He knows the cries of your soul.

2)   God allows bad things happen to His people:  No one is sure what kind of a boil it is in this story. One thing for sure is it is a deadly disease. Because of this boil the king was going to die. We may doubt the fairness or wisdom of God in allowing such a terrible thing to happen to His beloved king. One thing we always have to remember is that we live in this wicked world, a world full on sickness and pain. Being righteous in the eyes of God doesn’t exempt us from suffering. It is not in a pain-free life we may grow stronger and be more faithful. It is through the tunnel we see the importance of the light.

3)   God can do things no one else can: God turned a hopeless disease and certain death into the blessing of 15 years of life. From this miracle, Hezekiah and all readers of this story will know that it is God who gave life in the face of death. He wants us to have hope in the face of hopelessness. If there were no disease in the life of Hezekiah and he continued to live as nothing had happened for 15 more years, no one will know that this is a miracle and God is the one who gave life in the face of death. God can use an ordinary or extra-ordinary event in our life, even a tragedy, to show us His all surpassing power. Our faith in God should never flicker.

4)   God doesn’t see things the way we see: When Hezekiah made his plead to God for healing, he listed all the good things he did: “Remember, O Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” (20:3) But when God sent Isaiah to announce His mercy and healing, God said, “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord…And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake.” (vv. 5-6) Hezekiah presented his good works before God hoping that God will see it and heal him because he deserved it. But God had different reason for healing Hezekiah. He did this to protect His city and to show His mighty power to the godless king of Assyria for His own glory. No one should think he is so good that he deserves a miracle from God.

 

THE MEANS OF THE MIRACLE: (20:7) No one may predict what God may use in performing a miracle. Jesus healed the lame man by forgiving his sins. (Matt. 9:2) He healed the bleeding woman by a touch on the edge of his cloak. (Matt. 9:20-21) He healed the blind man with the most unorthodox method no one would ever imagine. (John 9:6) God used agents to do His work few people would think they could.

1)   God used a prophet instead of a medicine man. We all will agree that Hezekiah would have all the medical help he could summon for his disease but none was able to do any good for him. God then used someone who had no knowledge or skill in medicine or disease to do His work of healing. He used a prophet, the same man who had just delivered the death sentence only moments ago. (v.1) God always have His wisdom in using whoever He is pleased to deliver a miracle if we can trust His wisdom and power. In fact only a messenger of God can bring us relief and healing to many emotional and spiritual sicknesses. Do not ignore those who come from God to bring healing to your heart and soul. He may be your only hope. 

2)   God used common means to accomplish uncommon results: Figs in many forms was a common food item for the Israelite for thousand of years. A bowl of smashed or poultice figs was so common even the poor could have. But that’s exactly what God used to heal the deadly boil of the king. Too often, we will look for spectacular means or methods to accompany miracles. Few people will trust God that He may do extra-ordinary things in our lives with ordinary means and methods and we have missed so much of His blessings by holding to our disbelief. It is NOT what God uses that brings results. It is our FAITH in His POWER that brings us healing and relief. We need to change our mindset.

 

CONCLUSION: 

1)    Miracle is not a thing of the past: Miracles, big and small, are still happening everyday in many lives to those who believe. God is not a God of the past. He is also a God of today and tomorrow. His power will not shrink because of time or condition. If you can follow the example of Hezekiah, God is still able to do a miracle to meet your needs, be it physical, emotional or spiritual.

2)    You need the ultimate miracle for your life: That is the power of God to change your life, to make you a new person, to forgive your sins and give you eternal life, to show you new purpose and future and to bring you to be with Him in His Kingdom. That miracle had happened some 2,000 years ago when Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead to claim victory over sin and evil. You could receive that miracle if you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior today. Ask Him to enter your heart and you will receive healing of your soul.