The Miraculous and Mysterious Nature of God
God’s nature and ways are beyond human understanding. At times, God is miraculous. He is often mysterious. To believe is to embrace both the miraculous and mysterious nature of God. True faith trusts despite conflicting circumstances with God’s Word and nature (Prov. 3:5-6).
For example, the death and resurrection of Jesus are mysterious. To the true follower of Christ, His vicarious death on a cross and subsequent resurrection are the foundation of our faith and hope—and to us, miraculous. To the unbeliever, the resurrection of Jesus is a story shrouded in mystery and doubt—devoid of the miraculous.
However, Jesus clearly said those who are childlike in faith and trust would receive Him and God’s Kingdom. God has hidden His truths, shrouded them in mystery, from the wise and prudent.
But to the childlike in heart, God’s truths and ways are revealed by the Holy Spirit. To him who has, more will be given! That is, more understanding and heavenly wisdom. To the unbeliever and skeptic, even that which is simple to understand in God’s Kingdom is complex and confusing. Ahhh, the miraculous and mysterious ways and nature of God!
Today I want to examine a story about King Hezekiah from Isaiah 38:1-21 to discuss the miraculous and mysterious nature of God.
The Bible contains both the elements of the miraculous and the mysterious. This union of the miraculous and the mysterious nature of God is found in this passage.
When we engage both the miraculous and mysterious nature of God and His promises, we are then able to appropriate by faith the object of our hope. It’s beyond what our eyes have seen, or what our ears have heard. 66 books full of promises; there is a miracle there for you, and it has your name on it!
Similarly, it is in our engagement with the mysterious that we come face to face with God who makes the impossible possible. He steps beyond the notions of natural law and brings us into the realm of the supernatural and the mysterious.
Humanity is strangely drawn to the supernatural and to mystery. While it may create more questions, the mysterious ways of God in and of themselves testify of His being and of His nature.
Hezekiah was a righteous king in Judah, who came to power at the age of 25. He stood for pure worship of Yahweh and removed the high places of false worship throughout the land (see 2 Kings 18). He ruled for 29 years as king. During his reign, he became ill, to the point of death. The prophet Isaiah comes to him and says, “Get your house in order, you are going to die and not live.” (Isa. 38:1)
Hezekiah is dying. Everyone is aware that the King is dying. Physicians have given up their vigil, the diagnosis is terminal. He was sick and near death.
Extraordinary measures of human effort will not help here. It looks hopeless. The prophet Isaiah declares, “Get your house in order.” You might be King, but you shall surely die, this is your moment to “walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” Vs. 1 says DEATH, END of STORY.
But Isa. 38:2-3 says Hezekiah prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. Hezekiah had a relationship with another King, and that’s why he prayed. It was no passive prayer. He prayed from the depth of his being and wept bitterly—you could say he cried out to God in desperation.
Prayer is simply communing with God – how is your relationship with King Jesus?
Hezekiah understood there is power in prayer. He instructs us to pray. When you pray, demons are defeated, storms are silenced, and situations change. Some of you need to pray in earnest, from the depths of your being over the situation which concerns you.
James 5:16 NIV states, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
Hezekiah’s prayer touched the heart of God, for as the prophet Isaiah was leaving, in the middle court (see 2 Kings 20), the Lord spoke to Isaiah, and he went back to the King with different news.
God says through the prophet, “I have heard your prayer!” (Isa. 38:5) The bad news is that you have been sick, but the good news is that 15 years are being added to your life! This is a miraculous and mysterious story! Hezekiah, “you’ve been afflicted, but you are about to be lifted!”
If you have faith to receive this, God is about to change your situation, a lifting is about to occur! It won’t be this way always!
Some of you have arrived at a destination you didn’t set out for. You might ask, “How did I get to this place?” It’s about to change. Like Hezekiah, God is not through with you yet! Don’t give up, trust Him, He’s been there all along!
In Hezekiah’s situation, two things occurred.
God healed Him and gave him an extension of life. That’s miraculous! God is the healer, Heb 13:8 declares, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever.”
However, God may not heal you the way you expect. Isaiah was instructed to apply a poultice (dressing, bandage, compress) to Hezekiah’s boil (Isa. 38:21). While God does often heal divinely today, we also appreciate modern medical practice and medicine; God often heals through the physicians as well. Remember, God is the Healer, however He heals. Trust Him!
Three years ago, I had a severe heart attack. I was in a desperate place, suffering in excruciating pain due to a closed artery. I cried out to God, and He answered.
I saw the Lord briefly in a vision in the back of the ambulance that night and Jesus spoke to me. He said three things. First, “Bob, you are having a heart attack.” Second, “But you are going to be okay!” He then smiles and says, “And you are going to live for many more years!” The vision was over!
I still had pain in my chest, but I knew God had the last word and I was going to be okay. A short time later the cardiac doctor performed the heart catheterization procedure, removed the blockages, inserted two stents, and I’ve been remarkably well since. In fact, with a new healthier lifestyle of diet and exercise, I lost 40 pounds and feel great. What was a horrible event, God turned around for my good! In fact, it was the heart attack that saved my life—thanks to Jesus!
The Mystery of Divine Intervention. God sent a sign, confirming the prophetic word. God will do what God has said He will do. God turned back the shadow on the Ahaz sundial 10 degrees. Just so Hezekiah (and you and I) will know that God is able to do what He said He will do.
God took time and stretched it out, even though Hezekiah’s time had run out. Our God is both willing and able to stretch time in order to make time. He has the capacity and inclination to intervene in our lives.
He stepped out of kronos time into kiros time. Remember, it is miraculous and mysterious. God interrupted natural order; He intervened with natural time so that even the sundial testified of how Great God is.
The Broadman’s Bible Commentary, volume 5, 1971, page 295, concludes the matter in this way, “The return of the shadow from the direction in which it was traveling was an impressive miracle. How this was done is not indicated.” How was it done? God!
Nobody but God can step in and make the sun move or heal the terminally ill. There are some things about God you will never understand. There are some things about God science will never know or understand, nor the scientific method able to explain.
The Bible is God’s Word; it is for the child-like in heart and faith. He reveals Himself to those who are of a low estate, but the proud, the wise, and the mighty are confused by the nature and ways of God.
The prophet Isaiah would later agree with God’s wisdom and ways,
For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV
There are moments in your life when nothing less than divine intervention is what you need.
The situation may be serious, the circumstances may be desperate, the prognosis may seem helpless – the only thing which can save you in those moments is the divine intervention of God.
Here’s why: I know I can’t make it myself. My friends can’t help me, family can’t help me – only God in those moments. Perhaps it looks like God has forsaken you, or that your faith has failed you.
Do you need God to step in today? Our God is an interrupting God, He knows how to make something out of nothing. He knows how to turn our situation into a miracle.
Hezekiah tells his story in Isaiah 38:9-20. Paraphrasing he states, “I was in the prime of my life, but it looked like I had to leave, I was spending my time in death’s waiting room. I couldn’t find God. I couldn’t see my neighbors. My life seemed hopeless and over. God became like a lion to me.”
Two things Hezekiah learned out of this:
First, “By these things all men live.” (Isa. 38:16) In other words, all men go through hard times. Jesus was right when He said:
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NKJV
Tribulation from the Greek thlipsis means pressure, oppression, stress, anguish, adversity, affliction, crushing, distress.
Isa. 38:17 MSG “It seems it was good for me to go through all those troubles. Throughout them all you held tight to my lifeline. You never let me tumble over the edge into nothing. But my sins you let go of, threw them over your shoulder—good riddance!”
This is a hard word. For Hezekiah to look back over his life and see that God was there for him on the brink of death and say “it was good for me … all of these troubles – it was good for me!”
Hezekiah was saying, “I learned to trust Him when it made no sense. I learned to trust Him when I had more questions than answers.”
Hezekiah also learned God put it all behind His back! The sin, pain, and suffering of this life.
“For you have cast all my sins behind Your back.” (Isa. 38:17) God has grace and mercy behind His back, He has compassion and forgiveness behind His back, He has miracles and healing behind His back – He has it all behind His back!
Why behind His back? It’s in the nature of God to protect you from you. Therefore, He put your sin and my sin behind His back, casting our sin in a sea of forgetfulness. If you will forget it – He already has!
It’s in the nature of God to understand you in ways no one else can. He knows your frame, He remembers you and I are dust – He knows everything about us. It’s in the nature of God to love you with a love that won’t let you go. No one but God loves you when you are unlovable!
Why? Call it favor or grace and mercy. Grace is receiving a gift we didn’t earn. Mercy is not receiving what we deserve – that’s favor, that’s mercy.
He put your sin behind His back so that He’d be able to put your sin on His back! He became sin who knew no sin. He carried my sin, your sin on His back on that cross so long ago so that we could be found in Him. You have cast all my sin behind your back. It’s a secret place, a hidden place in God. He’s removed our sin; it’s gone.
Further, our life is now “hidden in Christ.” There is a place of refuge in Christ, who became the mercy seat for us. We are secure in Him, protected and covered by Him
If you need His grace and mercy—today is the day of salvation! Cry out to Him today, He wants to intervene quickly!
For those of you who need hope—God knows the end from the beginning, the days fashioned for you! Cry out to Him today and believe for your situation to change and for hope to spring eternal once again!
For those of you who need healing—who knows, today may be your miracle day! Cry out to Him, and if the miracle doesn’t happen today, contend for it tomorrow! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! Trust Him and believe for breakthrough!
For a deeper look at this topic, watch the Passion Church message “The Miraculous and Mysterious Nature of God”