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Hezekiah – His Sickness


 The Reading:  2 Kings 20:1-11

…  became sick and was at the point of death” (v.1) RSV

There is nothing like sickness to rob us of energy, or hope, or a wholesome perspective on life.  Hezekiah had had a fantastic first fourteen years as king of Judah.  He had brought about an enormous religious reform, and he had seen the Assyrian army sent packing by God.  Yet we now read of him lying in bed with a boil on his bottom, feeling that the end of his world had come.

His success and his popularity became as nothing to him in the face of personal mortality.  He felt so depressed that “he turned his face to the wall … and wept bitterly” (vv.2-3).  And to make matters worse the prophet Isaiah arrived with a short and simple message, “you shall die” (v.1).  However Hezekiah did not give up but prayed.

Isaiah had hardly got out of the house before God told him to go back and deliver a different message.  This time he told the sick man that he would live another fifteen years.  What an amazingly quick answer to prayer!

The cure took three days and involved the application of a poultice of figs.  It also required a faith-booster for Hezekiah.  The shadow on the steps (a primitive clock) went backwards rather than forwards; this “sign” (v.9) was granted him so that he could believe the word of Isaiah that he would recover.  Figs alone were not going to do it; it needed faith as well.

Not all sickness is healed, but this account of Hezekiah’s recovery is an encouragement to us that despite a fatalistic prognosis, God may in his mercy deliver us and restore us to his service.  Hezekiah’s prayer for healing is recorded only in Isaiah 38:9-20.  He was to live another fifteen years, but the sad thing is that he wasted them.  We shall read about that in our next session.  Meantime let us resolve to make the most of the time that is given to us, especially if we have had a miraculous escape from death.

Thank you Lord for every day you give me.  May I live each one to the full and for your glory.  Amen. 

Explore More

1  Who else was given a sign to boost his faith?

    Judges 6:36-40

2  How did Jesus heal the blind man?

    John 9:6

Office Chaos


Chaos has reigned in The Office this week as the main computer has stubbornly refused to boot up. As this computer is less than a year old, this is a particularly sorrowful state of affairs. This does mean that we may be slow replying to emails and if you sent an email and haven’t had a reply – please resend. Please hold Margaret and Kate in your prayers. They work so hard to keep this busy parish running smoothly.

Hezekiah – The Miracle


 The Reading:  2 Kings 19:20-37 

… the Lord … slew 185,000 … of the Assyrians” (v.35) RSV

Miracles are not always ‘nice’.  They are not all about healing people.  Even Jesus cursed the fig tree and saw it wither and die the next day (Matthew 21:18-20).  God is involved in every aspect of life, and that includes war.  It is therefore not improper to attribute the death of 185,000 troops to God’s “angel” (v.35).

In fact, historians tell us that God’s angel worked through some sort of plague, possibly brought on by mice or other vermin.  The expression “angel” refers to the unseen hand of God.  But as with the acts of creation or the death of the firstborn in Egypt, there is also a scientific explanation.  These two explanations are not mutually exclusive but are complementary to one another.

The things that make this a miracle are that a) it comes in answer to prayer, b) its timing is so perfect, and c) it solves an impossible problem.  Miracles are not necessarily beyond our understanding, but they cause us to wonder in amazement, and our eye of faith sees that it is God at work.

Hezekiah’s prayer had allowed God to intervene in a most unexpected way.  It was a classic case of, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).  The Assyrian army was decimated and disheartened.  They withdrew with their tails between their legs.  On arriving home in Nineveh the king, Sennacherib, was assassinated by two of his sons.  What a rout!

The answer to Hezekiah’s prayer was way beyond what he could have imagined.  God’s ways are not our ways.  Our duty is to bring any unsolvable situation into his presence, and leave it there.  God will act and life will go on.  However, sometimes God’s purposes are not to give deliverance but to allow judgement to work itself out; this was the case years later when Jeremiah foretold the fall of Jerusalem.  We cannot tell God what to do, but we allow his will to be worked out.

Lord, your arm is not shortened that it cannot save.  Great is your might.  Teach me to bring all things to you.  Amen. 

Explore More

1  Who slew 1000 men with the Lord’s strength?

    Judges 15:14-16

2  How did Elisha overcome the army that surrounded him?

    2 Kings 6:15-23

VJ Day 70 Commemoration



Last weekend was very special as we held a service to commemorate VJ Day. The Deputy Lord Lieutenant, our friend , Dr Bob Dunning, the Mayor Marcia Hill and her Consort, Julian were our special guests.  See more pictures below together with a podcast of our Vicar, Rod Corke’s sermon titled “Forgive and Forget?”.


Our New Youth Leader


We are delighted to announce that Claire Sykes has been appointed as our new Youth Leader. She will lead Voice in the Autumn and Spring terms. Claire is a committed Christian and has a lot of experience working with young people. Claire is Emma Corke’s younger sister. The fun begins with pizza on Friday 2nd September at 8.00 pm.  We will be supported by Anthony Stevens who is the new leader of Taunton Youth for Christ. Please pray for this work.

MU’s Celebration of Mary Sumner


Last week a group of us spent a lovely afternoon eating cake, drinking tea and drawing the Church. Drawing teaches you to look and it is amazing what you see when you do.  There was a brief talk about Mary Sumner who founded the MU – what a lady! A very enjoyable time was had and we thank the members of the MU for organising it.

Notice Board Management


“I haven’t received any offers to manage the churchyard notice board. This is not a difficult or demanding task and it would be a great help if someone would take charge. It would include putting up event posters and Christian posters throughout the year. Do see me if this is something you could do.”


Consecration of Ruth Worsley


Please pray for Ruth Worsley as she prepares to become the new Bishop of Taunton. She will be consecrated in a service at St Paul’s Cathedral at 11.00 on 29 September and a group from St Mary’s are planning to attend.

If you would like to go, please see the Vicar.

Home Groups


AGAPE HOME GROUP ~ There is a break during August, restarting on 1st September.

ROD AND RITA’S HOME GROUP ~ Next meets on 23rd September.

THE AVENUE GROUP ~ Here are our dates for the Autumn: 15th and 29th September; 13th and 27th October; 10th and 24th November; 8th December.  Usual time, usual place!

Service of Healing and Wholeness


A Healing and Wholeness communion service is taking place on the last Sunday of August (30th) at 6.30pm. If you would like to be prayed for especially do come. Life can be very tough sometimes and we do need to take our troubles to the Lord in prayer. He is the great healer of body and soul.

If you would like more details please have a word with Ronnie King, Ben Whitworth or our Vicar, Rod Corke.

We would love you to come.