7 Minute Read
To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.
Today’s Bible Reading:
2 Kings 20:1–22:2
Listen to the Lord
Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.
2 Kings 20:16-19 (NLT): “Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, ‘Listen to this message from the LORD: The time is coming when everything in your palace—all the treasures stored up by your ancestors until now—will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the LORD. Some of your very own sons will be taken away into exile. They will become eunuchs who will serve in the palace of Babylon’s king.’ Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, ‘This message you have given me from the LORD is good.’ For the king was thinking, ‘At least there will be peace and security during my lifetime.’”
Reflections from Scripture:
Hezekiah’s words, and his heart behind those words, are troubling. Very troubling.
Isaiah, the prophet, had previously told Hezekiah that he would not recover for his current illness and would die (2 Kings 20:1). When Hezekiah heard this, he wept and prayed (2 Kings 20:2-3). As a result, God listened to his prayer and sent Isaiah back to tell the king that he would be given 15 more years to live (2 Kings 20:4-6).
So, Hezekiah got bad news, he wept and prayed, and God graciously kept the bad thing from happening.
When we read the verses I have chosen for today, we hear Isaiah, at a later time, telling Hezekiah that his own sons would be taken captive by Babylon. They would be castrated (“they will become eunuchs”) and forced to serve in the palace of Babylon.
How did Hezekiah respond? Did he weep and pray again? Nope. Instead, he was simply grateful that the bad stuff wouldn’t happen to him in his lifetime.
Let me ask you some probing questions that I hope you will seriously consider:
- Do you have the heart of Hezekiah that cares only for yourself and not your descendants?
- If you are saved, are you also working for the salvation of your children (and grandchildren)? Are you sharing the Gospel with them and praying for the Holy Spirit to save them?
- Are you taking your walk with Jesus seriously and then teaching and encouraging your children (and grandchildren) to love, serve, and obey King Jesus?
- Are you fighting to keep a church culture that reaches your age group but has failed to reach your children (and grandchildren)?
If we are honest, we have a little more in common with Hezekiah’s selfish heart than we care to admit. So let’s acknowledge it for what it is, repent, and focus on living for the benefit of those who come after us.
Spend Time in Prayer
Lord Jesus, I already know that I’m going to Heaven because I am trusting in You. But some are coming after me who have yet to give their lives to You. Please forgive me for where I have lived for myself. Help me to live more intentionally for the benefit and blessing of my children (and grandchildren). I will commit to praying for them more deliberately and working to create a family and church culture that aligns with Your Word, but that will more easily reach them for You. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.
Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.