Bitterness to Wholeness

9 A composition by Judah’s King Hezekiah when he was sick and then recovered from his sickness: 

10    I thought, I must depart
in the prime of my life;
I have been relegated to the gates
of the underworldg
for the rest of my life. 
11 I thought, I won’t see the LORD.
The LORD is in the land of the living.
I won’t look upon humans again
or be with the inhabitants
of the world. 
12 My lifetime is plucked up
and taken from me
like a shepherd’s tent.
My life is shriveled like woven cloth;
God cuts me off from the loom.
Between daybreak and nightfall
you carry out your verdict against me. 
13 I cried outh until morning:
“Like a lion God crushes all my bones.
Between daybreak and nightfall
you carry out your verdict against me. 
14 Like a swallowi I chirp;
I moan like a dove.
My eyes have grown weary
looking to heaven.
Lord, I’m overwhelmed; support me!”

15   What can I say?
God has spoken to me;
he himself has acted.
I will wander my whole life
with a bitter spirit. 
16 The LORD Most High is
the one who gives life to every heart,
who gives life to the spirit!
17 Look, he indeed exchanged my bitterness for wholeness.

You yourself have sparedm
my whole being
from the pit of destruction,
because you have cast all my sins
behind your back. 
18 The underworldn can’t thank you,
nor can deatho praise you;
those who go down to the pit
can’t hope for your faithfulness. 
19 The living, the living can thank you,
as I do today.
Parents will tell children
about your faithfulness. 
20 The LORD has truly saved me,
and we will make musicp
at the LORD’s house
all the days of our lives.

Isaiah 38:9-20

Take note of the range of emotions displayed in these verses as King Hezekiah recounts his movement from sickness and despair to health and wholeness. How does Hezekiah speak about God in these verses? Have you ever experienced such dramatic shifts in your own relationship with God? How is God working in Hezekiah’s life? How is God at work in your own life?

Memory Verse –
your rod and your staff –
they comfort me.

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