Sun Dial Goes Back 10 Degrees
WEEK 47: Sun Dial Goes Back 10 Degrees.
2 Kings 20:9-11 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? 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. 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 dial of Ahaz.
“Sign goes back ten degrees”. Here is the first biblical mention of any means of marking time. Hezekiah requested this sign to confirm the LORD’s promise of healing. A sign is a physical event with a meaning that points beyond itself, and most often refers to an ordinary event with an extraordinary meaning implied. In the days of the prophets, like Isaiah, it was not unusual for God to give them a sign.
Hezekiah was not out of line in asking for a sign. Hezekiah was like many of us. He did not want to wait to see if God had answered his prayer. Three days was a long time to wait. He – like many of us today want an instant response from the Father. Hezekiah wanted the LORD to cure him of his disorder so that he would be able to go to the temple on the third day.
“Shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees”? That is, the shadow of the sun on a dial plate. It was left for him to choose which he would like, as the confirming sign of his recovery. This is a very unusual thing to happen. This would be an obvious sign that could not be denied. NO! Hezekiah wanted absolute proof, so he asks for it to be reversed.
“Nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees”. Which was directly contrary to its natural order and course, whereby the miracle would appear more clear and manifest. Hezekiah had given a request for something that would be impossible in the natural sense. You must have impossibility, before you can have a miracle. God is not controlled by nature. God controls everything, including nature.
Evidently the supernatural turning backward of the sun’s shadow was a localized happening, but it was no less of a miracle.