Most prophecy scholars will tell you that you can’t understand the book of Revelation without studying Daniel. This is true, but it is only partly true!
The truth is that you cannot understand the End Times prophecies of the New Testament, without studying all the Old Testament prophets! For starters, Revelation is not the only book of prophecy in the New Testament; You will find prophecy in the epistles of Paul, and Peter, James, and Jude, the gospels, and even in the book of Hebrews!
Jesus establishes His ministry through prophecy, both those already fulfilled, and those yet to come!
I know Christians who think they don’t need to study prophecy, as if their attitude is commendable, and one of faith! The truth is that you are being disrespectful to your Saviour if you neglect biblical prophecy, and you are showing yourself to be presumptuous!
I have family members who claim to be Christians; they won’t study Biblical Prophecy, but they have no problem reading Harry Potter to their children! Not only is this unwise; it is a form of child abuse! So is taking your son out of Church to go and play hockey games!
What are you saying when you do these things? You are saying that Harry Potter is more interesting and/or exciting than Jesus Christ! You are saying that success in sports is more important than honouring the Creator of the Universe, who created their bodies, and died for their sake!
But I digress…
I was reading through Isaiah recently, and noticed that king Hezekiah actually wrote a part of the book!
The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness: Isaiah 38:9
The words of many kings are recorded in Scripture, but relatively few have had the privilege of actually writing a part of the Word of God; David is most notable, having written most of the psalms, including numerous prophecies, some Messianic, and others End Times. Yes, David was not only a king, and a godly man, but he was a prophet of God!
An example of David’s godly character is the fact that when he was confronted by Nathan, a minor prophet, over his adultery and murder of Uriah, David, a major prophet was willing to heed the word of a minor prophet and repent! There are few “men of God” these days who would be so humble!
Nebuchadnezzar is notable because he started off as a pagan king, but after the Lord dealt with him, later in life, he was given the privilege of writing chapter 4 of the book of Daniel. I believe that this testimony indicates that he became a believer in the God of the bible! What an amazing testimony! If you haven’t already read it, you should!
Hezekiah’s writing is only from Isaiah 38:9-22, but it also contains a prophecy, which I had not noticed the first few times I had read it. It is found in verse 17
17 Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.
The phrase “behind thy back” or “turn thy back”, in Scripture is often an idiom meaning “to forget about” something or to ignore something.
That was how I interpreted this phrase the other times I read this passage, but there is a reason this can’t be the correct interpretation in this case; God is Holy, Holy, Holy, and He can’t just forget about sin! God must punish all sin, because of His character. God is not only a loving God, but He is a Just God. It does not serve Justice to just forget about sin.
If a man, charged with murder, were to come before a judge, and the judge in his verdict says “It is clear the defendant is guilty of this crime, but because I am a loving judge, I can’t sentence him to death therefore I forgive you of this crime. You are free to go!”
Now, think about what just happened in our hypothetical case; a guilty man was forgiven and set free, and no one paid the price for his crime. Justice was not served, the guilty was set free, and the Judge actually participated in the crime! (this is like prisoners being set free because of Covid-19, who then went out and committed more crimes!)
Think about what happened with David; on the surface it looks like what I have just described; David was freed from the penalty of the law, for both Adultery, and for Murder. He was forgiven by God for these crimes!
Does this make God complicit in David’s murder? No! God dealt with David’s sin with Pure Justice!
Hezekiah is alluding to this act of God in verse 17 in the phrase “for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” When did God deal with sin? There is only one time in the history of this planet when God actually dealt with sin; that was the time that Jesus died on the cross and took all of mankind’s sin on Himself! Jesus took responsibility for David’s sin, and for Hezekiah’s sin, in fact for all the sins of mankind, of all time, including mine!
Because he did this, He is worthy to be our Judge! If you are “in Christ” the Judge of judges paid the price for your sins!
So, Hezekiah’s prophecy “for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” is a reference to the literal object that was behind His back when He dealt with sin! The Cross! Hezekiah’s prophecy is about the Cross of Jesus Christ!
This is a prophecy of what Jesus was going to do for Hezekiah a few hundred years hence! Not only for him and David, but for all believers of all time! In fact what Jesus did on the cross was sufficient for all sin of all time, for the blood of the Son of God has unlimited value!
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Hebrews 9:28