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Isa. 38:17-20 THE PSALM OF THE RESCUED SAINT
Intro: King Hezekiah was one of the greatest kings in the history of Judah. He was born in 740BC and he died in 686BC. He was the king for 29 years. Under his leadership the nation of Judah experienced many great religious reforms. His reign is summarized in 2 Kings 18:1-7.
Not only was he a godly king, but there were some amazing miracles associated with the reign of Hezekiah. When the Assyrian king Sennacherib surrounded Jerusalem, Hezekiah prayed and God sent His angel during the night and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers, thus saving His people. In this chapter, Hezekiah falls ill and is told by the prophet Isaiah that he is going to die, v. 1. Hezekiah takes the matter to the Lord in prayer, v. 2. God hears him and before Isaiah can even leave the palace, 2 Kings 20:4, God answers the prayer and sends Isaiah back to tell the king that he will recover and live another 15 years. Hezekiah asks for proof that God will do this amazing thing and asks the Lord to move the sun backward 10 degrees, or about 20 minutes and God answers this prayer too.
So, the king recovers and he writes a psalm of praise to the Lord Who delivered him, v. 9-20. While the words of Hezekiah’s song of praise are all noteworthy, the words of verses 17-20 are especially relevant to those who have been delivered from the sickness of sin. In Hezekiah’s words of praise to the Lord, we are reminded of what He did for us when He saved us and delivered us from our sins. I want to take Hezekiah’s song of praise and preach on The Psalm Of The Rescued Saint. I want to show you that, if you are saved, you have ample reason to sing your own psalm of praise to the Lord for all He has done for you. Notice the stanzas of The Psalm Of The Rescued Saint.
I. v. 17 HEZEKIAH’S TRAGIC CONDITION
(Ill. Hezekiah takes us into his sickroom. He describes his approaching death.)
A. The Grief Of His Condition He describes his condition as bitterness. This word refers to the emotional response to a destructive, heart-crushing situation.” The Hebrew word is “Marah and means bitter. (Ill. In the Hebrew, the word marah appears twice: bitter, bitter. It speaks of the great depths of his pain.) (Ill. When Israel crossed the Red Sea, they needed water, but the first pool they came to was the pool of Marah, Ex. 15:23-25. They, like Hezekiah, felt that their situation was hopeless. That is the idea contained in this word.) (Ill. What a picture of the lost soul – Eph. 2:1-3. Can you remember the hopelessness of sin? Ill. Isa. 51:1; Eph. 2:11-12.)
B. The Gravity Of His Condition He was headed to the pit of corruption. The word pit refers to a trap set to catch an animal. The word corruption means to wear out; destroy; to bring to nothing. Hezekiah was headed toward a meeting with death! His life was over; he was about to be destroyed; he was about to be brought to nothing! (Ill. Again that is a picture of the poor lost soul, Eph. 2:3; Rom. 6:23. Before Jesus saved us, we were headed to an eternity in Hell. Can you remember?
II. v. 17 HEZEKIAH’S TREMENDOUS CONVERSION
(Ill. Now, Hezekiah recalls how the Lord intervened in his situation and changed his life.)
A. It Involved God’s Purposes The phrase for peace I had great bitterness means for my welfare I had great bitterness. Hezekiah came to realize that his sickness was really the grace of God in action. Had he not been afflicted, he would never have known the grace of God in his deliverance. (Ill. Conviction It is a horrible thing when you are in sin, but it is conviction that causes the sinner to look for help from the Lord, John 16:7-11. Conviction brings bitterness, but the end result is peace with God! No one comes to God apart from His conviction, John 6:44.) (Ill. All designed to bring you to Him!)
B. It Involved God’s Power Hezekiah recognizes that it was power of God that delivered him from his sickness. (Ill. God has the power to deliver the soul from the threat of Hell. Ill. The same power God used in creation is brought to bear in salvation. He makes the repenting sinner a new creature, 2 Cor. 5:17. He is able to invade the sinner’s deadness and darkness and deliver them from their horrible condition, Eph. 2:4-10.)
C. It Involved God’s Passion All of this took place because God loved Hezekiah. The king did not deserve this kind of love. But, it was given anyway! (Ill. Thank God for His love – Jer. 31:3; 1 John 4:19; John 3:16. His love prompted Him to send His Son to die for us, 1 John 4:9-10. His love looked passed our sin and our condition. His love reached out in mighty power to save our souls, Eph. 2:4-6.) (Ill. 11 y.o. girl who saved baby.)
D. It Involved God’s Purification Not only did God spare Hezekiah, which was mercy; God also took all of his sins and threw them behind his back! God delivered him from death and from his sins! (Ill. When the sinner comes to Jesus, all of our sins are taken away. Ill. The word all means perfect. God took every single sin, past, present and future and removed them from us forever! Praise God, they are gone! Ill. 1 John 1:7; Psa. 103:12. Ill. My E-mail regarding sin – All my sins were future when Jesus died for me!) (Ill. King Louis XII and the “Red Crosses”)
III. v. 18-20 HEZEKIAH’S TRIUMPHANT CONFESSION
(Ill. Because God has performed such a miracle in his life, Hezekiah is determined to praise the Lord. He gives is a three-fold lesson in praise and thanksgiving.)
A. v. 18 There Is A Lesson About The Lost The dead cannot praise the Lord, their voices are silenced. (Ill. Those who are dead in sin have no desire to praise the Lord. They are dead to Him and to all He can do for them. They are alive only to the world! There is no praise in their hearts and no praise for the Lord, until they experience His grace.)
B. v. 19 There Is A Lesson About The Living Those who are alive and know the Lord will lift up their voices to praise the Lord. (Ill. Those who have been delivered from the sickness and death of sin have every reason to praise the Lord, Luke 10:20. When the Lord and His blessings are real to your soul, you will have a desire to magnify His; to tell others about Him and to testify to His greatness and glory. Ill. He is worthy! Ill. Psa. 135:1-6; Psa. 47:1; Psa. 7:17; Psa. 113:1-9; Heb. 13:15.)
C. v. 20 There Is A Lesson About The Lord Hezekiah praises the Lord because He found the Lord ready to move on his behalf. He didnt have to beg; he only had to believe! (Ill. The same is true for you and me! When I bowed for salvation, I found that He was ready, willing, and able to save me and deliver me! Praise His name, John 6:37!)
Conc: Every child of God has a similar song to sing. David gave voice to his song of praise in Psa. 40:1-3. Has He delivered you from that horrible pit of corruption? Have you allowed your song of praise to be heard? Are you in the business of praising the name of the Lord Who loved you and gave Himself for you? Wouldn’t you like to pause today and give Him thanks for His grace?