Archive of Pastor Darby's Sermon Notes, transcribed from his original typewritten documents

II Kings 20,
Isa 38

FAITH TO MOVE A SUNDIAL

May 23, 1971 am


THERE ARE SOME DRAMATIC EVENTS AND SOME OUTSTANDING PROBLEMS IN THE BIBLE - NOT HIDDEN

  • Every problem presents an opportunity for revival or ruin - Hezekiah was a revival King-
  • But how did Isaiah have faith enough to ask God for such an impossible miracle?
  • It must have been of God- for no man in his right mind would make it - or report it!

THE HISTORY OF HEZEKIAH - II KI 18, ISA 38, II CHRON 29

In a time of darkness, troubles on every hand, defeat certain- yet God gave revival

THE NATION OF JUDAH WAS IN A TIME FOR JUDGMENT, AND GOD WAS JUDGING THE SINS OF THE PEOPLE

  • The empire had been divided- Israel already gone (17), Judah in path of 3 empires (Assyria, Babylon, Egypt)
  • Idolatry, intrigue, sin, cruelty, oppression, led in reading of the word of God.
  • The father of Hezekiah - Ahaz - had been wicked - II Chron 28:1-4 - what chance for life?  Faith?

BUT HEZEKIAH DID THAT WHICH WAS RIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD - FOLLOWED DAVID, NOT AHAZ!

  • II Ki 18:2,3 as a young man - 25, Hezekiah ascended to the throne, and led in revival-
  • He cast down their idols - v.3, and had the temple cleaned - II Chron 29, even Passover - 30
  • He was a man who sought out what was right - and did it!  But also led others to do right, too!

BECAUSE OF HIS SPIRIT, GOD BLESSED HIM AND GAVE HIM VICTORY IN MANY OF HIS ENDEAVOURS

  • 18:7- the Lord was with him, prospered him, as a warrior against the Philistines - v.8
  • As a builder, Siloam tunnel - 20:20 - and organizer - restored the rituals of temple worship
  • And God blessed him as a prayer warrior - 19:1, 14, 33 - and insulting Sennacherib fled and died.

Hezekiah could know full well the power of God and the glory of God - preparation for later

THE PROPHESY OF DEATH FOR HEZEKIAH - 11 KI 20:1, II CHRON 32:24

Great battles can be fought and won with others, and physical strength gives great courage, but -

HEZEKIAH HIMSELF BECAME ILL, AND IT WAS A SIMPLE BOIL, BUT GOD SAID "THOU SHALT DIE" - II KI 20:1

  • When a man is personally touched with sickness - and a boil can kill!  Blood poison!  I have scars.
  • God sent him a message, clear and plain!  Could I give such a message - "set your house in order!"
  • V. 2,3 shows a simple, straightforward way to face a crisis - how do you face troubles?

WHY SHOULD HEZEKIAH BE SO SHAKEN?  HE HAD NO HEIR TO TAKE HIS PLACE ON THE THRONE

  • He pled with God- "Remember" - He was not a fatalist!  Did not give up, nor get angry - PRAYED.
  • He stated his cause - "I have walked" - and we need to take inventory - Godly life great asset!
  • He wept - for himself, or his lack of heir?  But greatest can bring greatest blessing.

THE MIRACLE OF ANSWERED PRAYER, FAITH TO WRESTLE WITH GOD, FAITH TO BE ANSWERED!  WE NEED IT TODAY!

  • God sent word to Isaiah - stopped him in the court - "Go back," hard on preacher!  Obedience.
  • God gave him medicine - a lump of figs!  So common, but medically OK, not like Penicillin!
  • But Hezekiah was not satisfied - he wanted a sign that the Lord had heard his prayer!

We lack the faith to lay hold on the promises of God - but to ask for a sign?  Wow.

THE BACKWARD SUNDIAL - II KINGS 20:11 - AND OTHERS

With all the problems of the scripture, Hezekiah had to add this one to history - and self

IT WAS ISAIAH THE PROPHET THAT GAVE HEZEKIAH THE CHOICE OF THE SIGN HE SHOULD ASK FOR!  V.9

  • It is one thing to counsel and tell people what to do - quite another to suggest a miracle!
  • We need to have men today who will expect God's power even in days of spiritual depression.
  • God used a gift from a pagan king - Sundial of Ahaz - given by Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria!

HEZEKIAH CHOSE THE THING MOST IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD TO DO, DID NOT MAKE THINGS EASY!  V.10

  • Light thing for the sun to go down 10o - just blink your eyes and time goes by fast!  And faster!
  • But to ask a sundial to go backwards was beyond reason.  We are too easy on God!  Apologize for him.
  • Many of us would like to turn time back - simple days of youth, slop hogs, herd cows, school!

ISAIAH HAD FAITH ENOUGH TO ASK GOD FOR THE IMPOSSIBLE AND GOD GAVE HIM THE ANSWER!  V.11

  • The real miracle was not a sundial (nature belongs to God anyway) but would you pray publicly?
  • Would you pray for God to save a soul? Change a life? Revive a church?  And mean it?  Serious?
  • If there has ever been a time when we have needed men and women of faith - it is now!

Some of you have the marks of suffering and death because of sin (yours and national) - what now?

WILL YOU LAY HOLD ON GOD IN PRAYER TO SPARE YOUR LIFE, YOUR NATION'S LIFE, GIVE REVIVAL?

  • For some - it means to start by confessing Christ as Saviour!  Do so now!  Publicly!
  • For some - it means cleaning up your life - get where you have a right to pray as Hezekiah!
  • For some- it means to start really wrestling with God- for souls of men.

Do you have any spiritual children?  If you have none, you're in worse shape than Hezekiah.