Hezekiah was told by Isaiah, to set matters in order as he was going to die. That way, the Lord, through his mouthpiece Prophet Isaiah, was kind to King Hezekiah. Now, King Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. Hezekiah had 2 options: a) to receive the word released by the prophet & start acting on it or b) to make a choice to request for a change.
Ideally, King Hezekiah should have taken the instruction & gone ahead by organizing his Kingdom’s administrative matters, assigning responsibilities, equipping his deputies and sharing his vision for the nation with the next in line as well as the ministers. He would also have had many personal matters to settle – assigning people in his family various responsibilities and blessing his relations & friends – as he was preparing for the trip to his heavenly abode.
You can read this from the Book of Isaiah, chapter 38 verse 1 the following.
Now, Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, came and prophesied to him, saying, “This is what Yahweh has to say to you: Set your affairs in order, for you will not recover from this illness. You are going to die.” (Note: I referred to The Passion Translation version of the Bible in this chapter. You can find it online)
Isaiah started crying and pleading with the Lord. Without judging what he did was right or wrong, let us see what happened. The Lord who heard King Hezekiah’s cry & prayer obliged.
The Lord gave the King 15 additional years. Reading from verse 4 of chapter 38 from Book Of Isaiah we have:
4 “Then Isaiah received another prophetic word for Hezekiah. Yahweh said to him”
5 “Go deliver this message to Hezekiah: ‘This is what Yahweh, the God of your ancestor David, has to say to you: I have heard your heartfelt prayer and I have seen you cry tear after bitter tear. I will give you another fifteen years.”
6 “I will defend Jerusalem, and I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria.”
King Hezekiah was glad, rather he was much relieved, nonetheless, he wanted a sign from the Lord. The Lord obliged. When signs are asked, essentially they are a confirmation sign to what the Lord has told would happen. Thus, the confirmation sign also requires to be unique such that only the Lord can do it.
This was an extraordinary sign. Let us see what it was.
Continuing from Chapter 38, verse 7.
7 “This will be a sign to you from Yahweh as a confirmation that I will do for you what I have promised”.
8 “I will cause the sun’s shadow to retreat ten steps on the stairway of Ahaz.”
So… something contrary to the norm of the Solar System happened.
Chapter 38, towards the end of verse 7, goes like this… “Then the sunlight went back up the ten steps it had gone down”.
In an earlier instance, King Ahaz, the King of Judah, the southern kingdom was under attack from the King of Syria & King of Israel. King Ahaz trembled with fear. Then the Lord God spoke to Prophet Isaiah, asking him to go and meet King Ahaz. The Lord gave the precise location where the prophet could find the King, on the road to the Washerman’s Field.
The Lord asked the Prophet to give the King the following message. “Stay calm! Be quiet and guard your heart! Don’t panic or be discouraged over these two smouldering stubs of firewood.” (meaning kingdoms of Syria & Israel)
It’s interesting here the Lord wanted King Ahaz to ask for a sign. Quoting from the Isaiah Chapter 7, from verse 10, Then the Prophet asked King Ahaz: “Go ahead—ask for a sign from Yahweh, your God. Ask for something big, so miraculous that you will know only God did it!”
King Ahaz answered, “I will not ask. I won’t attempt to test the Lord Yahweh.”
So Isaiah said, “Pay attention, family of David. It’s bad enough to try the patience of a prophet but even worse when you try the patience of my God as well! The Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold—the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will name him God Among Us.”
So, when the Lord prompts you in a specific direction or action plan, you can ask from Him a sign. It’s like this provided you have a close walk with Him. You can ask HIM & you can be certain to have eyes to see, ears to hear & a heart to comprehend.