King Hezekiah was brought low, and was sick unto death. In this affliction God wrought very mercifully with him. He turned his face to the wall and cried unto the Lord.
Happy is the man to whom affliction is sanctified, so that he is moved to pour out his soul’s perplexities into the bosom of God.
Hezekiah tuned his face to the wall. He was turned from the world; he turned from all that it could afford him; he turned from all creature aid; he wept sore, and turned unto his everlasting, almighty Friend. Like a poor, sick, fretful, much-indulged child he poured forth his complaints. God heard his cries, saw his tears, recovered him from his sickness and granted him fifteen years more to live upon the earth. God gave him a sign, such as no human power could give, that he should recover of his sickness and go to the house of the Lord. “Behold,” saith the Lord, “I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down, in the sundial of Ahas, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.” “Himself hath done it!”
God is ever doing marvelous things. His unceasing providences, extending to all the universe declares his omnipotence, wisdom and goodness, and yet comparatively few of the human race acknowledge His eternal power and Godhead. Oh to worship Him, to fall down and kneel before the Lord our Maker. His counsel shall stand, and he will do all His pleasure; whatsoever He hath promised He is able also to perform. Job answered the Lord; and said, “I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withholden from Thee.” “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?”
If we have been mindful of the dealings of the Lord with us, in how many deliverances, timely helps; in the crooked things being made straight, and the darkness turned to light, in putting off our sackcloth, and clothing us with gladness; we trace the kind hand of the Lord, and in adoring gratitude we say, “Himself hath done it.”
Many a time in our straits we could not see how it could be done; our way was all hedged in, we were shut up and could not come forth, refuge failed us, and all the arms of flesh that we attempted to lean upon could not sustain us. We found every staff a broken reed that failed us in our extremity, and pierced our hand when we leaned upon them for support. Like the dry bones in the open valley we cried, “Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for all our parts (Eze. 37:11)”.
But though our ways are enclosed with hewn stone, there never can arise such conditions of conflict, oppression and want but that our God can and will bring his elect relief, and bring them out of their graves (Ezek. 37:13). He will in due season pardon their iniquities, deal in all new covenant bountifulness with them, heal all their wounds and bring them into the goodly land, to delight themselves in the sure mercies of David, and they shall gratefully acknowledge that, “Himself hath done it.”
The works of the Lord are great, sought out of them that have pleasure therein, and nowhere are his works so transcendently great and glorious as in his works of redemption, regeneration and the eternal glorification of his chosen people. When God chose them in Christ before the foundation of the world, and blessed them with all spiritual, blessings in heavenly places, and predestinated them unto the adoption, of children by Jesus Christ unto Himself, truly we must say, “Himself hath done it.”
“It was all according to the counsel of His own will” (Ephes. 1:3-5). Contemplate that most wondrous act of God, the most glorious, the most transcendent act of Jehovah.
“God was manifest in the flesh.” “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” Jesus Christ is in verity Emmanuel, God with us. In this act, our nature, our manhood, is exalted to infinite heights, to infinite, eternal glories. Here again we must sing with the multitude of the heavenly host, “Glory to God in the highest.” “Himself hath done it.”
Let us go to Calvary, there behold the crucifixion of the incarnate Son of God. Here was the culmination of all Christ’s sufferings for His body’s sake, which is the church. He gave himself for it, an offering and a sacrifice for, a sweet-smelling savor. Wounded, bruised and stricken. He poured out His soul unto death. O what agonies! O cruel sin! O precious suffering Lamb of God! In agonies and blood he made atonement for our iniquities, He put away sin by the sacrifice of himself; He made peace for us with God by the blood of His cross. There was none to help Him, none to uphold, therefore His own arm brought salvation unto His heritage, for the year of His redeemed was come. “Himself hath done it”
Do we name the name of Christ? Are we His? Have we looked upon Him whom we have pierced? Oh, more and more to know Christ and Him crucified, to be given sweet moments musing upon the love of our suffering, bleeding, dying Savior.
“Calvary’s summit let us trace,
View the heights and depths of grace,
Count the purple drops and say,
Thus my sins were washed away.”
O ye who have named the name of Christ, was Jesus crucified for your sin? Can we then think sin to be a trifle? Can sin be no burden, never give us grief and shame? Surely we have not so learned Christ.
If Christ is our Foundation, then we are eternally secure. Wicked professors, who hold the truth in unrighteousness, Romans 1:18, ungodly men turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, Jude 4, may assume they have license to continue in sin, but thus it is written, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal. The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
The work of God in calling us by his grace, and revealing his Son in us, in bringing us with humble, contrite hearts at His feet, in imparting to our sin-bruised souls the consolation that our sins are all forgiven through Emmanuel’s blood, and raising up in our hearts the hope of righteousness of eternal life and immortal glory, of it all, we are ever singing, “Himself hath done it.”
“By the grace of God I am what I am.” And when all the work of redemption is consummated, and all the ransomed church of God is brought home to glory; when in the resurrection, at the last day, the last trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed, (For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality), then we shall be transformed to the image of Christ, we shall be like Him, we shall see Him as He is, and be forever with Him, dwelling in everlasting bliss, and Hezekiah’s words will still be a note in our grateful, immortal song, “Himself hath done it.”
Elder Frederick Keene, Raleigh, NC
The Lone Pilgrim, January 1926