Speaking of prayers that seem to show that God “changed His mind”, how about the prayer of King Hezekiah? I mentioned this one a while back in passing, but I wanted to finally get a chance to point out a very interesting aspect of this prayer.
A little background first…
Hezekiah was king over Judea from 716 BC till 687 BC, who’s bout with a serious illness is well documented in 2 Kings 20: 1-6.
“In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, “Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD. I will add fifteen years to your life…”
Did God “change his mind”? Did He first determine to end Hezekiah’s life and then do a 360 degree turn and decide to extend it instead?
Read this perspective from Joseph R. Nally, Theological Editor of Third Millineum Ministries, with whom many commentaries agree.*
“God knew what he was doing. He knows the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:10). He knew his words would turn Hezekiah around. How do we know this? It is important to note that during this “extra” fifteen (15) years, Hezekiah had a son named Manasseh who became king at age twelve (12). Why is this significant? Manasseh was in the linage of Christ who was pre-ordained before the foundation of the world (1 Pet. 1:19-20) to be born and die for the sins of his people (Rom. 5:15). Matthew 1:10 states, “Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon.” Without Hezekiah’s repentance Manasseh would not have been born and Christ’s lineage destroyed. Thus, this reveals that God’s eternal plan is always on schedule and that he uses secondary causes (i.e. obedience to his word, repentance, prayer, WCF 5: Of Providence, et. al.) to insure they do. This also shows that God did not change his original plan to accommodate the sins of others. God’s plan will never be overthrown (Dan. 4:35; Psa. 115:3, etc.). God is immutable and sovereign.”
Interesting observation. Thought it was worth sharing. 🙂
Are there aspects in your life that would have gone quite differently without the providence of God?