23rd January 2019

God’s Compassion

“But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.”
Psalm 86:15 (NKJV)

In 2 Kings 20:1 we’re told that the prophet Isaiah had received a message from God to be delivered to King Hezekiah who was sick and near death. Isaiah arrived at the King’s bedside without a basket of fruit or a Get Well card, but with this blunt message from God: “Thus says the Lord: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.’”

Reading 2 Kings 18:1-7 we can see that Hezekiah was a dedicated follower of God. He was 25 years old when he became king and he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done. Hezekiah removed the high places and destroyed the idols. He trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any who were before him. He held fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses. The Lord was with him and he prospered wherever he went.

Moving forward into Chapter 20 again, King Hezekiah at about 39 years old was told he was going to die. In verses 2 and 3 we can see his reaction to the blunt message from God—“Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, ‘Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in your sight.’” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

His simple prayer and tears touched God deeply because He responded immediately. Verses 4-7 tell us that Isaiah was sent back with another message to the king saying that God had heard his prayer, had seen his tears, and in three days he would be healed and 15 years would be added to his life.

God’s instant response to Hezekiah’s prayer and tears is an example of David’s observation in Psalm 86:15, “But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.”

Merciful God, thank You that You are a compassionate Father and that there are situations when You will change your mind in response to heartfelt prayer and tears. In Jesus’ name.

Study by Diana Hall

About the Author:
Diana Hall attends the Southampton Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God, UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Southampton
Tauntons College
Hill Lane
SO15 5RL

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Peter Noon
Email: peter_noon@wcg.org.uk

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