April 25 I Wednesday
2 Samuel 21-22
“And He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” —Psalm 106:15 KJV
When Isaiah informed Hezekiah of his imminent death, Hezekiah wept bitterly and prayed with his face to the wall. God took compassion on him, and before Isaiah had left the palace grounds, the word of the LORD came to him again. He returned to tell Hezekiah that God was going to remove his illness and add fifteen years to his life. Hezekiah recovered and continued to faithfully serve God. At the end of fifteen years, he went to bed and died in his sleep.
His son, Manasseh, became king and ruled over Judah for the next 55 years. But where Hezekiah was faithful to God, Manasseh “did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites” (2 Kings 21:2). He rebuilt the high places of heathen worship his father had torn down and erected altars to Baal. He engaged in witchcraft, sorcery, Spiritism and sacrificed his son on a pagan altar he had built in the temple of the Lord. He turned the people against God, encouraging idol worship and undoing all the good his father had done.
Manasseh inherited the throne at twelve years old, but had Hezekiah died in God’s timing, Manasseh would never have been born! Judah would have been spared the most evil king in its history and the judgment of God brought upon them. If Hezekiah could look back, would he have regretted praying for healing?
I remember attending a prayer meeting for a man in our church who had leukemia. He asked to speak at the beginning of the service, and expressed his gratitude for the many who had come out to support him, his wife and four children. He then quoted the opening Scripture verse and said, “As you pray for my leukemia, I do not want God to heal me and send leanness into my soul or the souls of my family. Pray for God’s will to be done.” This man had a wisdom that Hezekiah did not.
A conflict between our will and God’s will can often arise, especially for those who have trusted God in the bigger issues and have seen His work accomplished through them. We cannot departmentalize when it comes to the will of God. He enters our lives to bring about His will in every area, private or otherwise. If we insist on our own way with God, we run the very real danger of having devastating repercussions down the road that will ultimately bring “leanness to the soul.” Trust God for His purpose and with gracious acceptance of His will for us, we will find our souls at peace and strengthened.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive me for wanting what may be outside Your will. Strengthen my soul and resolve to trust in You, regardless of my circumstances. Thank You, Lord.