Read Isaiah 38
Focus on verse 8
With the ingenious invention of daylight savings time we all have to adjust our clocks twice a year – with the exception of the province of Saskatchewan, which remains on standard time throughout the year. I am not certain what exactly it was that prompted the notion to set our clocks ahead an hour in spring. I suspect it has to do with maximizing the shortened daylight hours in the winter months in places further from the equator. While I have become accustomed to the process, I have never really understood nor appreciated exactly how it saves us any time.
In our reading today we encounter one of the few times in biblical history when God intervened to genuinely set the clock back to save some daylight. There are only two such occasions in recorded in the Bible that as I recall. The first was recorded back in Joshua 10:13 when the Lord caused the sun stop its progress for about a day to give Joshua and the army of Israel extended daylight hours by which to defeat their enemies. The second occasion is recorded here in Isaiah 38:8 where God gives Hezekiah a sign to validate His promise to prolong Hezekiah’s life and protect the city of Jerusalem.
Both of these astrological events can be verified scientifically and historically through other sources as well. I cannot imagine the impression something like this would leave upon a person. To watch the shadows on a sundial stop progressing and then begin to move backward for a few hours would be something a person would not soon forget, particularly if it was given to one as a sign to verify a previous prediction. I am thinking I would be inclined to expect that prediction to come to pass.
Why is it that God sometimes gives his people a miraculous sign to verify His word, and other times just expects us to believe it because He said it? I can’t say I have an answer for that question, but I am inclined to believe that God’s word is reliable whether it s accompanied by a sign or not. God has already given us the greatest sign of all time in His Son Jesus, who died on the cross and rose from the dead to pay the penalty for my sin and by so doing makes it possible for me to live forever with Him in His Kingdom. I am not certain why anyone would need a sign beyond that to verify the truth of God’s word.