Hezekiah was sick near death. He had a boil, which some believe could have been a tumor. Isaiah gave him the message to get his house in order, for he would die. Hezekiah prayed and wept to the Lord, and God sent Isaiah back to tell him that He was adding fifteen years to the king’s life, and that He would protect them from Assyria. Hezekiah asked for a sign of this promise, and God made the shadow on the sundial to go backwards ten degrees. The king of Babylon sent messengers with a gift to Hezekiah, since he heard he was sick. Hezekiah was so thankful that he showed the messengers of Barodach-Baladan of Assyria everything that was in the treasures of Judah. When Isaiah asked what they had asked for and what they had seen, Isaiah gave Hezekiah a word that everything would eventually be carried away to Babylon, and nothing of the treasures would be left. They would even take away some of his sons. Hezekiah received the word as good.
Two things specifically jump out of this story. The first is the power of prayer. Hezekiah cried out to God in faith, and God responded with a miraculous healing. The prophet did not even get out of the palace before God sent him back to the king. Although God did use a poultice or lump of figs to treat it, it was still the hand of God that healed Hezekiah. Since the healing was prophesied and would come over time, Hezekiah asked for a sign. Many Old Testament stories speak of a person asking for a sign. Even Jesus’ disciples asked what the sign of His coming would be. God responded with a sign which was a faith-building opportunity. However, a sign should not be necessary if one truly has faith in God. Believe in Him, whether He rights a message in the sky or not. The second thing is the need to be careful when enemies come around. Don’t be naive or unwitting. Rather, be aware of what he enemy may do in the name of a gift. Be sure that you do not give the enemy, Satan, ammunition with which to destroy you. Stand in faith for the Lord, and stand in opposition to Satan at every turn!