“All My Sins Behind Your Back” ( Isaiah 39: 17, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


In a poem addressed to the Lord God Almighty, Hezekiah praises Him, writing: “Your Love has delivered me from the Pit of destruction, for You have thrown all my sins behind Your back.”

This same king, perhaps only a few days later, has a visit from the son of Baladan, the king of Babylon. Merodach-baladan brings letters and a gift because Baladan has heard that Hezekiah was sick but is recovered from his illness. Hezekiah is so happy with the gift he shows off his entire treasure house. “There is nothing in his palace and in all his realm that Hezekiah does not show them.”

When Isaiah tells Hezekiah, “Hear the Word of the Lord of Hosts: The time will come when everything in your palace and all that your fathers have stored up until this day will be carried off to Babylon; nothing will be left” and warns that even some “descendants who come from you will be taken away”; Hezekiah is pleased because this isn’t to happen during his lifetime.

Here’s a man who is deathly ill, recovers by God’s grace, praises God for “throwing all [his] sins” where they are not seen or thought of any longer — who, only awhile later, is foolish and cowardly, quickly forgetting the nature of his God.

Isaiah writes, “Comfort My people,” says your God. “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and announce to her that her time of forced labor is over, her iniquity has been pardoned, and she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” “See, the Lord God comes with strength, and His power establishes His rule. His reward is with Him, and His gifts accompany Him. He protects His flock like a shepherd; He gathers His lambs in His arms and carries them in the fold of His garment. He gently leads those who are nursing.” (Isaiah 40:1-2, 10-11)

For whatever flaws and faults Hezekiah carries with him, he is nevertheless carried gently by His Savior in the folds of His garment. His iniquity is pardoned, and he receives double from the Lord’s hand. His labor is ended. Most importantly, the reward of the Lord is with Him, and His gifts accompany Him. Without Jesus Christ the Shepherd, the lambs only wander.

Let us be grateful our God has “thrown all [our] sins behind [His] back!”

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