Today’s Bible Reading:
2 Kings 20
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
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?”
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
When we read the verse I have chosen for today by itself, it sounds positive. We might even say it is a happy verse. Hezekiah said that what God had just spoken through Isaiah the prophet was great news that would guarantee “peace and security during my lifetime.”
Yet, when we read the context in which this verse appears, it breaks our heart. Let’s investigate.
Previously, Hezekiah entertained some visitors from a far off (and seemingly insignificant) land called Babylon. Hezekiah didn’t seek God’s will before showing those envoys all of the wealth and splendor of his kingdom.
When Isaiah, God’s prophet, heard about it, he went to pay Hezekiah a visit. Isaiah was shocked by what he heard and clearly implied that Hezekiah’s actions were foolish. He told Hezekiah that there would come a day when the nation from which those envoys came would march an army to Judah and take everything that they saw (2 Kings 20:17; Isaiah 39:6). Babylon would plunder Judah and some of Hezekiah’s own descendants would be taken as captives (2 Kings 20:18; Isaiah 39:7).
What did Hezekiah think of these words? How did he react when he heard that there was coming a day when Judah would be plundered and his own descendants would be taken as slaves?
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?’”
Isaiah 39:8 (CSB): “Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, ‘The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good,’ for he thought: There will be peace and security during my lifetime.”
Hezekiah didn’t seem to care about his descendants. He was simply satisfied that he could live and die in peace. If this was his mindset, and it sure seems to have been, then it was utterly self-centered and calloused.
Friend, do you realize that we (like Hezekiah) can make decisions today that will affect our children, our grandchildren, and beyond?
If we are half-hearted Jesus-followers, we may think that simply trying to be a moral person is good enough. We attend church periodically. We dust off our Bible at least once a week and take it with us to church. We offer up a prayer every now and then before meals or when life gets tough. Our relationship with God is apathetic at best.
If that is true of us, our children will see it. They will see that the relationship we have with the Lord isn’t real. They see that it’s just a thin veneer and nothing substantive. So, they won’t be drawn to it.
They will eventually grow up and leave the church and Jesus behind because they will have come to the conclusion that it is meaningless to them. We, by our actions, demonstrated this loud and clear. And then they will raise our grandchildren who might stray even farther who will then raise their children …
Decisions we are making today that demonstrate our seriousness (or lack thereof) in following Jesus will affect generations of men and women who will come after us.
Don’t be like Hezekiah who only cared for himself, living a life of ease, and didn’t how it would affect his descendants. Care enough about those who come after you to passionately pursue God today and the rest of your life.
The exciting thing is that you and I will have all of eternity to celebrate how God used our one life to affect hundreds if not thousands of others, especially those who shared our DNA.
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Lord Jesus, help me not to be so self-centered and focused on a temporarily life of ease if in doing so I pass on a legacy of faithlessness to my children and grandchildren. Help me to live in such a way that my life stands as an example of a serious Jesus-follower. Help me to pass on a legacy of faith to those who come behind me. In Your Name I pray. Amen.
(If you want to listen to a song about passing on a legacy of faith to those who come behind you, click “Play” on the following video.)