An Earth Moving Miracle
(Sermon Notes) by Warren Zehrung 12/25/2021
First of all, I want to thank all the brethren for the wonderful outpouring of prayers and well wishes you have offered up our way. The beautiful sentiments you share with us are truly inspiring and uplifting. It is truly heartwarming and greatly encouraging to hear from you. We are one family—we are God’s people. I’m sorry that I have missed a lot of your phone calls – and I do apologize. I’m just not physically able because of time restraints to get to all of them right now.
We are so thankful for brethren, friends and family – they are so important to us. Nothing is as precious as life itself – be it a child, a husband, or a wife. I want to bring everyone up to date on how we are doing.
Sharon is not bed ridden – though she is in great pain. The pain becomes unbearable if she misses a dose of her medication. She is able to get around and do mini chores like folding some of the clothes. She is no longer able to do the grocery shopping, pay the bills, or do the books. God tells us to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19).
Brethren, in today’s sermon we will be looking at the life and sickness of King Hezekiah, and we will be drawing some parallels with the healing that God granted him. After the time of David and Solomon, the Kingdom of Israel became divided – the Kingdom of Judah in the south, and the Kingdom of Israel in the north.
Of the good kings of Judah, King Hezekiah was one of the best kings, while Israel had no good kings at all. He rid the land of idols, abominations, and paganism—he even got rid of Christmas (today)—yes, Christmas goes back 4,000 years—under another name back then!
My wife, Sharon, is also sick unto death – but that does not mean that she cannot continue to live.
2Kings 20:1, In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. [Hezekiah was about 39 years old when he got sick.] And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him [Isaiah said that God, Himself had made the prognosis], Thus says the LORD, Set your house in order: for you shalt die, and not live.
My wife, Sharon (78), received a similar pronouncement this week because of the cancer that was just discovered:
We became aware of Sharon’s pain and illness about 3 months ago on October First. Sharon felt a piercing pain in her ribcage. The stabbing pain was so intense that she cried herself to sleep – what little sleep she had.
The pain lasted for four days and then went away. A few days later, Sharon was making up the bed – and the pain hit her on the opposite side – and is was just as bad. We thought that she had “Costochondritis,” which is an inflammation of the sternum breast bone, and sharp pain in the front of your chest, near where your breastbone and ribs meet, typically on the left side. We called our doctor and assured him that it was not angina – heart pain. He called in some pain medication for her.
But when it had persisted for three weeks, our doctor said, “Bring her in to my office, I want to examine her.” He tapped here and there to locate the origin of the pain. We think he suspected cancer then – but he didn’t mention it to us. Instead, he ordered an MRI for Sharon.
It was very, very loud and very uncomfortable, but the results were worse. Our family doctor said, “I was devastated when I saw the results.” He immediately prayed that God would keep Sharon under His hedge of protection. And he immediately referred Sharon to the best cancer specialist in the state.
That began a rigid and laborious series of tests imaginable. I would like to share with you brethren her most recent update as of this week: We now have the results from many diagnostic lab reports, including MRI, CT scans, mammograms, ultrasounds, and multiple biopsies. The diagnosis is: “infiltrating mammary carcinoma”—meaning that it has spread beyond the layer of tissue of origin—the breast.
Sharon has Stage IV metastatic breast cancer (mBC) that is extensive in her thoracic and lumbar spine, and ribcage. Whatever the source of the cancer (in this case, the breast) – that cancer is what metastasizes wherever it is spread.
What does metastasize mean? In metastasis, cancer cells break away from where they are first formed (the primary source of the cancer – the breast), and travel through the blood or lymph system, and form new tumors (metastatic tumors) in other parts of the body – in this case, the backbone, skull and ribcage. Sharon also has pleural effusion of the lungs. Pleural effusion of the lungs is the build-up of excess fluid between the layers of the pleura outside the lungs. The pleura are thin membranes that line the lungs and the inside of the chest cavity and act to lubricate and facilitate breathing. Effusion means that fluid is being given off… Fluid between the lung enclosure and ribcage.
We are praying for a miracle. We are seeking God’s will and intervention, and ask your prayers as well.
James 5:16 …The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
God granted Hezekiah a miraculous healing. King Hezekiah was dreadfully sick—so sick that Isaiah came to him and told him to get his life in order because death was imminent (2Chronicles 32:24).
2Kings 20:2 Then [Hezekiah] turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying,
2Kings 20:3 I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
Hezekiah was the son of wicked King Ahaz. He reigned over the southern Kingdom of Judah for twenty-nine years, from 723 BC to 695 BC. He began to reign at age 25 (2Kings 18:2). When Hezekiah began to reign, the northern Kingdom of Israel was going into Assyrian captivity for Sabbath breaking and Idolatry.
The southern Kingdom of Judah was worse than the northern Kingdom of Israel because of their abominations before the LORD. Hezekiah inherited that quagmire of Paganism from his evil father, Ahaz. It was very much like sinful America and lawless Washington DC today.
Hezekiah was more zealous for the Lord than any of his predecessors (2Kings 18:5). During his reign, the prophets Isaiah and Micah ministered in Judah.
2Kings 20:4 And it came to pass, before Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying,
2Kings 20:5 Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day you shalt go up unto the House of the LORD.
“Third day,” perhaps Hezekiah was so week that he needed time to recover.
When Sharon’s primary care physician received the first reports of her cancer being diffused in her bones, he said that he was devastated. Twice he told us that Sharon was in his prayers. He came over to us and gave us both a hug. At first, her cancer doctor said that her diagnosis was “very sad.” Possibly because it was so extensive when it was discovered and diagnosed.
The doctors went back and looked at Sharon’s 2019 x-rays when she had broken her arm – and there was nothing there—no cancer. This cancer is fast-growing. But then he added that with proper treatment she would be stronger in two years than she is now. Brethren, that gave us a lot of hope–physically. Our hope of the resurrection is secure.
Sharon has the very best hematology/oncologist in Arkansas who tells us that he is “hopeful” because there have been tremendous advances in cancer treatment in recent years. She is not going to need to have a mastectomy because of the new very preventative drugs. Breast cancer grows because of an excess of estrogen. One of Sharon’s wonderful new drugs will block excessive estrogen. There is also an injection that blocks cancer in the bone.
2Kings 20:6 [God said to Hezekiah] And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.
Judah did not go into captivity for many years. Though Hezekiah was dying, he was treated for his illness – and God healed him.
2Kings 20:7 And Isaiah said, Take a poultice of figs. And they took it and laid it on the [painful] inflammation, and [Hezekiah] recovered.
Hezekiah was sure that he was going to die, so he sought a sign, a miracle that God would indeed heal him.
2Kings 20:8 And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign [a miracle] that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the LORD [on] the third day?
2Kings 20:9 And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?
2Kings 20:10 And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.
2Kings 20:11 And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the sundial of Ahaz (Isaiah 38:8).
For the shadow of a sundial to return backward ten degrees, one of two things has to occur. Either the sun has to go backward in the sky, or the earth’s tectonic plates and uppermost mantle would have to shift ten degrees west-ward in an Earth moving miracle.
Brethren, we are not asking for an Earth moving miracle,—only for God’s intervention. Sharon has been anointed—placing her in God’s hands.
Such a gigantic miracle in Hezekiah’s day would have caused earthquakes and tsunamis all around the earth.
One of the brethren wrote and asked WHY God had allowed this trial to come upon us.
Brethren, the answer is always – For the greater honor and glory of God. Look at the greatness, the honor, the power, the might of Almighty God that is evident in the healing of Hezekiah!
Romans 8:28 We know that all things – work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
One of the brethren reminded us of this beautiful verse:
Isaiah 41:10 Fear you not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
That is what we are praying for!
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Brethren, this is not only a trial for Sharon and myself, we know how badly many of you are hurting for us as well.
1Corinthians 12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with him; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with him.
Brethren, this trial impacts us all.
What does it take for God to hear our prayers? How do we know that God is hearing our prayer?
We saw that God heard Hezekiah’s prayer because he did those things that were good and right and truthful before the LORD his God.
2Chronicles 31:20 And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and worked that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God.
Isaiah 38:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.
Isaiah 38:2 Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD,
Isaiah 38:3 And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
Isaiah 38:4 Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying,
Isaiah 38:5 Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.
Psalm 56:8 Thou tellest my wanderings: put you my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?
How do we know when God hears our prayers to Him? In the same way that Hezekiah prayed, “O LORD, I beseech thee, I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. Let’s pick it up here in:
1John 5:12 He that hath the Son [Jesus Christ] hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
1John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
1John 5:14 And this is the confidence [This is our faith] that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us:
So we are praying that God’s will be done.
1John 5:15 And if we know that He hear us, [He absolutely does] whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.
This is an added extra promise from God that we will also receive the petitions that we desire of Him—that is answered prayer!
1John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
“Pleasing in His sight,” that is exactly what Hezekiah prayed.
Psalm 84:11 The Lord God will give favor and glory, and no good thing will He withhold from the one who walks uprightly.
I would like to share a little personal insight. Normally, Sharon privately says her main prayers and does her Bible Study on her own schedule – and I do the same. But since this trial has begun – we have common prayer and Bible Study each evening. We are going through this trial together. We each do all we can to have a close personal relationship with our Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
In the past, some brethren have held a misconception about healing. They thought that if they believed hard enough in faith—without any doubt at all— that they would be healed—because God would have to heal them.
Brethren, our faith is that God’s will is being done—and whatever His will is—that is what we desire and long for. Yes, it is a terrible trial that we are going through – but God is telling us to count it all joy in this time of trouble—because He is working out His will in ways that are too wonderful for us to grasp! We do not know who is going to be touched, who is going to be changed by what we are going through.
Brethren, I want you to understand that miracles are already being worked – and for that we are truly thankful to God. The fact that medical science has made such tremendous strides forward in the last 6 or 8 years is indeed a miracle for us. But, that is not the kind of miracles I am talking about. Medical science’s advances do not and cannot take anything away from God – quite the opposite:
It is God alone who heals us. He heals our spirit, our mind, and our heart as well as our bodies. God desires that we be well. And He allows us to collaborate with the medical professionals who He has blessed with the skills to help us deal with this disease. Already they are easing the pain and helping Sharon to deal with the nausea.
But more than that, heartfelt prayers for Sharon are crossing artificial church lines the way God intends when He says, “that they may be one.”
That is a miracle that is pleasing to God. Many in various Churches of God are carrying our prayer request for Sharon.
Reconciliations are taking place – maybe not on a major scale – but non-the-less—Pleasing to God. We are already beginning to see wonderful miracles as a result of Sharon’s illness – brethren crossing church lines, and reconciliations taking place.
We are not praying for An Earth Moving Miracle, but that God’s will be done.
End: An Earth Moving Miracle