July 2: “Do We Really Care About Our Descendants?”

9 Minute Read

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

2 Kings 20:1–22:2
Acts 21:18-36
Psalm 150:1-6
Proverbs 18:9-10

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

2 Kings 20:16–19 (CSB): “Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord: “Look, the days are coming when everything in your palace and all that your fathers have stored up until today will be carried off to Babylon; nothing will be left,’ says the Lord. ‘Some of your descendants—who come from you, whom you father—will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’ ” Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, ‘The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good,’ for he thought: Why not, if there will be peace and security during my lifetime?”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

There are some passages of Scripture that should make us angry. If we are observant, we will see mindsets and behaviors that are callous toward others.

If we look even closer, we might even see ourselves.

As we read through 2 Kings, we can’t help but realize that King Hezekiah was a God-follower. Listen to one of the things that the writer of 2 Kings said about him:

2 Kings 18:3 (CSB): “He did what was right in the LORD’s sight just as his ancestor David had done.”

We also realize that Hezekiah had a powerful, fruitful prayer life. When he spoke with the Lord, he was heard and at least two big prayer requests were heard and answered by Almighty God.

First, the mighty Assyrian army invaded Judah and captured many of its cities (2 Kings 18:13-19:13). Hezekiah went into the Temple and prayed to God for protection (2 Kings 19:14-19). God answered and guaranteed that the king of Assyria would not enter Jerusalem, He killed 185 thousand soldiers in the Assyrian army, and He orchestrated the death of the king of Assyria in his homeland (2 Kings 19:20-37).

When Hezekiah prayed, God did incredible things!

Then, Hezekiah became sick. The prophet Isaiah told him to get his house in order because he wouldn’t recover from the illness (2 Kings 20:1). Hezekiah “turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD” (2 Kings 20:2-3). God heard his prayer and sent Isaiah back to say that God had heard his prayer and was giving him 15 more years to live (2 Kings 20:4-11).

When Hezekiah prayed, God did incredible things!

But, then we get to another scenario. Hezekiah welcomed an entourage from Babylon and showed them all of his wealth. He thought it was a harmless act but Isaiah was upset. God was going to bring judgment upon Judah.

2 Kings 20:16-18 (CSB): “Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, ‘Hear the word of the LORD: “Look, the days are coming when everything in your palace and all that your fathers have stored up until today will be carried off to Babylon; nothing will be left,” says the LORD. “Some of your descendants—who come from you, whom you father—will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” ‘ “

God’s judgment would come in the form of captivity. Not only would the treasures of Judah be taken to Babylon but so would Hezekiah’s descendants. Some of the people that would come from Hezekiah’s body (maybe his great-grandkids and his great-great-grandkids) would be taken as captives to Babylon. The males would have their body mutilated so that they would not be able to continue to increase the family line of Hezekiah.

So, how did Hezekiah respond? Previously, he had prayed when he was surrounded by the army of Assyria – and God powerfully answered him. Previously, he had prayed when he was told that his death was imminent – and God powerfully answered him.

How would Hezekiah respond when he heard of God’s judgment upon his great-grandkids?

2 Kings 20:19 (CSB): “Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, ‘The word of the LORD that you have spoken is good,’ for he thought: Why not, if there will be peace and security during my lifetime?”

As we hear Hezekiah’s words, we cannot help but feel sick to our stomach. He heard the prophet Isaiah pronounce judgment from God upon his descendants. Yet, we read that Hezekiah was simply glad that the judgment would not happen in his time.

The interesting thing is that when judgment was pronounced upon Hezekiah a few verses earlier, and his death was predetermined, he wept and God blessed him with 15 more years. He understood that God responded to prayer and could hold back his judgment. But when judgment was pronounced upon his descendants, he did nothing.

Clearly, Hezekiah was distraught when bad things were about to happen to him. But, when bad things were threatened against his great-grandkids, he didn’t care.

Friend, we often tend to be no different.

When it comes to things like our national (American) debt, we are simply kicking the can down the road. While we are making choices as a nation that keep us reasonably comfortable, our current choices will be a burden upon our descendants that might crush them. And judging by the fact that the debt continues to balloon, people today just don’t care about their descendants.

Regarding the issue of abortion, our contemporary (American) culture continues to seek to normalize the slaughter of the unborn. And when the Bible is kicked out from under a society, morals become fluid. They change with the winds of culture. I believe that the current normalization of abortion is solidifying a culture of death. Our current culture is making decisions that will eventually normalize euthanasia for our descendants. And what happens when euthanasia is normalized and our nation’s debt can no longer allow for the elderly to take up space in long-term care facilities? Required, forced euthanasia? But, who cares? At least we won’t have to worry about it. (Sarcasm is dripping from every word of my previous statements.)

On and on I could go about how we demonstrate the kind of attitude that Hezekiah had. When bad things threaten us, we pray! But, when we are doing things that would bring bad things upon our descendants, it doesn’t phase us.

Let me end by applying it to the Christian community.

So many Christians are content to “do church” in a way that suits them but guarantees the eventual death of that church.

Far too many of our churches are filled with people who are content with a spiritual apathy that is more akin to the church at Ephesus (that had abandoned its first love – Revelation 2:4) or the church at Laodicea (that had become apathetic and nauseatic to Jesus – Revelation 3:16) than the church found in the book of Acts. So, God’s presence is rarely if ever present. While this spiritual dearth guarantees that the church is going to die, so many contemporary Christians don’t care … as long as the church is around until they walk through death’s door.

Further, many in our churches insist on “doing church” the way that makes them comfortable rather than in a way that honors the Lord and brings in new disciples. Maybe its the worship style, or the aesthetics, or the way things get done. Just as long as it is comfortable and predictable for the members, they don’t care what happens after they die.

So, our current culture is doing church spiritually and systemically the way that makes its members feel good … but guarantees that the church will not be viable for our descendants.

And so many in our church pews don’t care. They are about their own comfort but they don’t care about the condition that the church will be in for the next generations.

Conclusion

When we read about Hezekiah and observe that he cared about himself but cared little for his descendants, it should nauseate us!

May we determine in our hearts never to have that same attitude. May we care just as much, or more(!), about those who are coming after us than we do about ourselves. May we pursue spiritual and systemic viability in our churches so that we leave a godly heritage and a godly church to those who will follow us.

mary-blackwey-1vdTCSkv6HU-unsplash
Photo by Mary Blackwey on Unsplash

Posted by

I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

6 thoughts on “July 2: “Do We Really Care About Our Descendants?”

  1. Bro. Matt, A very sad 😔 but oh so true post (07/02/2019) . I pray for our children, our granddaughter and future generations I may never meet. Many of the times this causes me to weep before the Lord. In fact, at this stage (age) in life,. I am much more concerned about the world I am leaving for our younger generations than just the current condition of the world ;as if it isn’t bad enough. We, as a nation are on a morally slippery slope . The downward angle and trajectory iof the slope is continually alarming.
    I am reminded regularly of the words of a song by Steve and Annie Chapman (who we got to hear and meet about 30.years ago at Idlewild Baptist church (before it was “officially” exciting.)
    Verse 2:
    One day the house will crumble
    Time will turn the land to dust
    And when all accounts are empty Where will you invest their trust?
    But if the riches that you give them is the wisdom of His ways
    Then the wealth you’ll leave your childrenwill last through all their days
    Chorus:
    Cause the greatest gift a father can give. is a life lived for Jesus
    And the greatest gift a mother can give. is the knowledge of the LORD
    Pass it on to your children
    He’s the gift that keeps on giving. The greatest gift is a life lived for Jesus
    (THE GREATEST Gift | Song and Lyrics by:Steve and Annie Chapman)
    Thanks for sharing God’s Word with us, in an exciting and relevant vay,. Became of Jesus, Dewayne Murrell

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I re-read 2 Kings 20:1 -22:2 for the sake of refreshing and my conclusions are not near as critical as yours. I tend to see the glass half full not half empty. After King Hezekiah realized how ruthless, militaristic and greedy the Babylonians were, maybe his attitude was not the best, but The profit Isaiah did say they would take “some” not all of your sons. He did not say they will kill all of your sons, and you, and so on! In other words, knowing what the worse case possibilities could have been, he felt somewhat relieved that matters were not worse- I just simply can’t derive that he didn’t care? Especially because he was such a devout believer.
    Also, I don’t get where you get that Church goers ( seems you grouped us all together), the “I don’t care” people who just want to do Church??? Where does this come from?? Sounds like you may have had a conflict with someone about something???? Please don’t criticize me and other Church goers, as Ho-Hum, I don’t care about future generation people, because that is just not true!

    Like

  3. It’s easy to be critical of others, and although a lot of the issues you pointed out are real, I am already very aware of this. What is important besides praying about these situations is rolling up your sleeves and doing something about it personally! I could give you a list of things I’ve done and am doing because I am one who does care about my children, grandchildren and future generations, but I am not one to wave banners about things I do. I just felt an urge to bring this up as so many love to criticize but seldom if ever do anything to actually roll up their sleeves and help change the situation. Concerned parent and grandparent!

    Like

    1. Barbara, you and I know that I always encourage different points of view. While I recognize that the truth of God’s Word is not up for debate, I have acknowledged that I might periodically get it wrong … so I encourage others to correct me.

      Yet, I am concerned that your word choices and the tone with which you shared your opinions in your two comments today would make it absolutely impossible for others to believe that we were dear friends while I pastored in Murray, Kentucky.

      I honestly don’t know how to respond to your comments because I do not believe that I am guilty of the things you have alleged. I also realize that there is a time to point out problems and to be “negative” (just read any of the Old Testament prophetical books). But, I also realize that I don’t just talk … I do something about problems and lead the churches I pastor to address those problems as well.

      I just hope that your word choices and the tone of your comments doesn’t mean that our friendship has smashed against the rocks. I truly do value you and J.L.’s friendship and love you two.

      Like

      1. I apologize if there was any tone or accusatory wording to mislead you to a point of destroying a perfectly fine relationship as far as I am concerned. I posed a perfectly legitimate question; that is where or what source or experience did this critical view of churchgoers come from? I felt your wording was very critical and even cruel as it was not identified as to whom you were addressing as the “Don’t care” church people. Who are those people? In your new church? Your past church?
        I believe you have experienced some hurt of some kind, as it is very apparent in your writing. I am sorry about it whatever it is, possibly that is something that took you away from Westside? I don’t gossip or slander as I know some do, but I still feel there was something dramatic that has happened to you because that spills out in your writing. I too have been hurt plenty of times and I just follow this scripture:
        Ephesians 4:31
        Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

        Ephesians 4:26
        Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,

        So I dump all hurt feelings, and pray for the one who hurt me, and forgive and forget. I don’t continue to let it or anything separate me from God. I love you and Kim, and although I my rarely disagree with something you write I, please don’t let something that minor destroy a relationship, that is simply unthinkable. I like to read different perspectives. I learn from others but it must conform to scripture! Just remember writers, teachers and those in the public view are under more scrutiny that the ordinary person and therefore must have a tough skin, able to take a few criticisms at times. Most, are hopefully like me, it’s not meant as an attack on the person, it’s that they care, they challenge things they feel are not tasteful or contradict scripture. You are very talented – that is why I am a fan and follower. Just don’t assume too much about my or others tone or wording, or that I or anyone is against you; not the case! Love and prayers!

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s