Isaiah 38: A Different Kind of Being
Isaiah 38 is a strange chapter to say the least. Hezekiah is miraculously given 15 more years of life by God, and as a confirmation of that promise, God provided a sign.
Isa 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.
Isa 38:6 And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city.
Isa 38:7 And this shall be a sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he hath spoken;
Isa 38:8 Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.
This is purely supernatural intervention. If the Biblical record is true, then there is no way that this happened as a result of the natural world. Sundials do not go backward. It really is that simple. If this happened, God must have been involved.
Miracles testify to the power of God. God is not some part of nature that needs to always abide by the fundamental laws that nature is constrained by. God exists independent of and outside of nature and therefore can intervene in this manner.
Let me give you an example. When I was a little kid, I enjoyed making dioramas with a variety of action figures. I would set up a battlefield with all of my plastic soldiers. In that sense, I had created an environment that had a certain set of characteristics. For example, they were plastic soldiers, so they didn’t move. Although I didn’t create it, gravity was also obviously having an effect and keeping them from floating out of that battlefield world that was defined by the kitchen table. There were rules that that world had to abide by.
However, I existed outside of that world. I did not have to play by the exact same rules because I am a different type of being. I could reach in from the outside and move a plastic soldier that would not be capable of moving on his own by nature. Because I am a different type of being from the outside, I have the power to intervene in that world in a way that would seem like a miracle to the soldiers themselves if they had intellect.
I think it is a similar way for us. From our perspective, when God reaches in from the outside and performs a miracle, those of us here in this world are constrained by the limits of this world. We cannot do what He can do. Sure, God does violate the laws of nature at times like this one where He made the sun move backwards, but because God is independent of the created world, that is not a problem.