8 Minute Read

Be Still

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:

Isaiah 39:1–41:16
Ephesians 1:1-23
Psalm 66:1-20
Proverbs 23:25-28

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.

Isaiah 39:8 (NLT): “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:

As we read Isaiah 39:8, it seems like a very positive, happy verse. Hezekiah spoke to the prophet and said that what God had just said through the prophet was great news that would guarantee “peace and security during my lifetime.”

Yet, when we visit the neighborhood that this verse lives in and read the context, it will break our hearts.

Previously, Hezekiah had some visitors from a distant (and seemingly insignificant) land called Babylon. Hezekiah didn’t seek God’s will before showing these envoys all of the wealth of Judah.

When Isaiah, God’s prophet, heard about it, he went to visit Hezekiah. He made it clear that Hezekiah had been reckless and foolish to let them see all of Judah’s wealth. He told Hezekiah that there would come a day when the army of Babylon would march to Judah and take everything they saw. Babylon would plunder Judah, and “some of (Hezekiah’s) own sons” (Isaiah 39:7) would be taken away as captives.

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 posterity would be taken as slaves?

Isaiah 39:8 (NLT): “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.’” 

Hezekiah didn’t give a rip about his descendants. He was simply satisfied that he could live and die in peace. His self-centeredness is utterly appalling.

Friend, do you realize that you (like Hezekiah) can make decisions today that will affect your children, your grandchildren, and beyond?

If you are a half-hearted Christian, you may think that simply trying to be a moral person is good enough. You attend church periodically. You at least dust off your Bible once a week to take it with you to church. You offer up a prayer every now and then before meals or when life gets tough. But your relationship with God is apathetic at best.

I’ve got something to tell you – your children are watching. They see that the relationship you have with the Lord isn’t real. They know that it’s just a thin veneer and not the real thing. So, they won’t be drawn to it. They will quit church and forsake God when they get the chance because they will have come to the conclusion that it isn’t real. And then they will raise your grandchildren who might stray even farther who will then raise their children…

Decisions you are making today will affect generations of men and women who will come after you. Don’t be like Hezekiah, who only cared for himself and didn’t care for his posterity. Care enough for your descendants to passionately pursue God today and the rest of your life.

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, help me realize that my relationship with You, passionate or apathetic or anywhere in between, will be observed by my children. They will make their own assessments about their own walk with You based in part on what they see in me. Help me to care so deeply for them by taking my walk with You seriously. 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 FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Jimmy Dean on Unsplash