Contemplations

What I've been thinking and what I've been reading for you to compare notes.

Friday, September 01, 2006

You wouldn't want Hezekiah for a grandpa

In my personal Bible reading today I was considering Hezekiah, ancient King of Judah, and the events recorded in 2 Kings 20. The prophet of God, Isaiah, informs Hezekiah that he is going to die and that he needed to set his affairs in order.

This is an amazing chapter of Scripture. God heals Hezekiah from a fatal disease (by the use of medicine, by the way), and adds fifteen years to his life; even causes the sun dial to go back 10 degrees as a sign of His guarantee that Hezekiah will live. (Hmmm - a miracle to confirm another miracle.) Also noteworthy is that he didn't do it for Hezekiah's sake, even though it was in answer to the king's prayer for more time on earth. God healed Hezekiah for His own honor and for the honor of King David, Hezekiah's great predecessor.

And what did Hezekiah do with his extended lease on life? Did he instigate spiritual reform in his land? No. Did he tell others of the goodness of God? If he did, it's not recorded. How did he respond to the blessings of God? (A good indicator of one's spiritual condition - the state of the heart.)

Hezekiah got puffed up with pride.

A Babylonian envoy came to town and Hezzy wined and dined him and bragged about the temple riches - dragging every piece of gold and silver out for the ambassador to see.

When wind of this prideful act reached Isaiah he confronted the king again. This time it wasn't to tell him to write his obituary but instead to warn him that he had done foolishly and the Babylonians would come in the future for all the riches he revealed. His pride had played into the hands of the enemy's greed.

One catch. The ransacking of the Babylonians would occur after his lifetime. His children and grandchildren would bear the pain of subjugation, occupation, and deportation.

The most amazing thing in this chapter of Scripture to me - even more amazing than the sundial going back ten degrees - is that Hezekiah is okay with this scenario! It's fine with him that his children and grandchildren will suffer under the dominion of a foreign power - just as long as he doesn't!

What a foolish, selfish crumb bum.

If a man or woman doesn't care about future generations and the effect his or her life has on them he or she is not only short-visioned, he or she is proud to the extent of arrogance and extremely self-centered.

This grave story reminds us that it is important that we remember others will follow us. How we live not only affects our quality of life but theirs as well.

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