Have you ever been part of a discussion where the topic is “whether God ever changes his mind?” This is especially a key concept for our prayer lives. Hezekiah didn’t want to die, and he made that abundantly clear to God in his prayers. God’s mind had been made up, as we can see through Isaiah’s prediction of Hezekiah’s death.
This notion the king wouldn’t survive this illness wasn’t Isaiah’s idea. Nobody just makes up the idea somebody else is going to die and then say it’s a word from God. Do they? No, Hezekiah’s time was coming, and God wanted him to know. Knowing when you’re going to die, that, in and of itself is amazing! How many people get privy to “intel” like that? I’m sure it was infrequent in Hezekiah’s day, too.
Think of a time when you finally received a good word after spending hours (maybe even days) on pins and needles because of an unfolding catastrophe. And then it happened. A resolution. A light seen at the end of the tunnel. Remember that sense of being free to breathe, like a weight had just been removed from your chest?
Do you think that’s what Hezekiah may be feeling when he finally hears from Isaiah? We know Hezekiah’s heart has been extremely troubled, feeling torn into different directions. Sometimes we have a pull on our own loyalties. What happens if your loved one doesn’t believe in Jesus like you do?
David has a strong network keeping him safe. Yet, the one who is truly in charge is God.
It’s like that for us, too. We have family and friends cheering us on, keeping our best interests in mind. Even more important, God is present, hovering and protecting. His protection can often involve a learning experience.
What do you think of David’s daringly effective intelligence network? Brilliant together, yet each has a job to do–a bit of espionage in this story of David and Absalom’s dispute. I’m not sure David is as upset with Absalom as it appears Absalom is with his father. What brought that on, do you suppose? Could it be that David ignored the situation when Amnon raped Absalom’s sister?
Can you recall a time when you cried out to God, wanting something so desperately, only to have your prayer answered differently than you wanted? I’m guessing that’s a common occurrence. In today’s reading, we see how David responds.
In the time of earnest asking (or pleading), David kept himself set apart from his normal routine. He was fervent in his plea to God to spare his son. David knew God’s proclamation of death for the child was a result of his own sinfulness. We see David acknowledge his wrongdoing when he confesses to Nathan.
What struck me in this reading is how the relationship between David and God seems so natural, almost like they’re old friends. I have not personally had a conversation like that with God where I am totally clear on a particular life or death, what should I do next, kind of question.
We see first the victory over the Philistines. We didn’t see David rushing ahead before God with confidence and might. David prayed. First and foremost we need to keep that model in mind. Before rushing forward with decisions in our life, we need to get on our knees.