Around the Word in 365 Days, by Linda Sommer

Turning the Clock Back

2 Kings 20:1-22:2 How many times have you thought, I wish I could turn the clock back to the good old days of my youth when there were solid values and virtues? I know I have thought many times of my high school years when drugs were only done by what we considered the "weirdos" and sex outside of marriage was taboo. What happened to those days of innocence?

There are many reasons we might want to turn the clock back. Maybe we want to relive the good times or redo some mistakes we have made. In the passage today we see how God was able to turn the clock forward and also backward. There is something we forget about God, and that is there is no time or space with Him. He is infinite, eternal and omnipresent. As human beings we often become servants of time, but God never intended man to live this way. He created us to be eternal beings, but after the Fall we became time conscious and time bound.

Hezekiah asked God for more time, and God granted his petition. Isaiah had just given Hezekiah the news that he would soon die. In response to this prophetic word, Hezekiah began to weep and pray to the Lord. He beseeched the Lord to remember how he walked before Him in truth and with a perfect heart and had done that which was good. Isaiah was on his way out of Hezekiah's presence when the Lord instructed him to go back and tell Hezekiah that He had heard his prayer. He told Isaiah to tell Hezekiah that He had seen his tears and that He would heal him and grant him fifteen more years of life.

Hezekiah wanted a sign to confirm this word, so he asked the Lord to turn the sundial backward ten degrees as the shadow passed before it. God also granted this request, and this affected time forever. The whole earth lost ten degrees of time. This story tells us the power of effective intercession because God heard Hezekiah's prayer and changed His original plan for Hezekiah. He even changed time for Hezekiah. Fasting and prayer can change nations and can withhold God's judgment against those nations.

During this fifteen-year period Manasseh, Hezekiah's son, was conceived. He turned out to be one of Israel's most evil kings. Sometimes God grants our request to add years to our lives, but in reality we might be better off being content with the years He has given us. We can shorten our days by not being wise in the way we treat our bodies. A good prayer to pray is:

Lord, I leave my days in Your hands. I want to make my appointment with death not a day late or a day early according to what is written in my book of life in heaven. Teach me to number my days that I might apply my heart to wisdom and learn the best ways to treat my body while I still have breath on this earth.

READ: 2 Kings 20:1-22:2; Acts 21:18-36; Psalm 150:1-6; Proverbs 18:9-10

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