Today’s readings are 2 Kings 20, Isaiah 38-40, and 1 Corinthians 11.
In our readings from 2 Kings 20 and Isaiah 38-39 we learn about King Hezekiah of Judah who the Lord told Isaiah to deliver the message he would die from illness. Hezekiah then cried out to the Lord in prayer asking for healing to which the Lord obliged giving Hezekiah another 15 years of life. God even showed Hezekiah the words of Isaiah about his healing were true by turning back the shadow of the sun on the dial of Ahaz ten steps.
Merodach-baladan, the king of Babylon, heard of Hezekiah’s healing and came to visit him. Hezekiah proceeded to show Meodach-baladan his treasure house and all his riches. Isaiah then told Hezekiah all that was his, including his children, would be carried to Babylon someday foretelling of Judah’s future exile there. To this prophecy by Isaiah, Hezekiah mistakenly responded it would be good because it would bring peace.
These chapters don’t explicitly state that Judah’s exile to Babylon was a discipline due to Hezekiah’s actions after his healing (scholars differ on their opinions), and the Bible seems to overall seems to paint him in the light of a good king. He also gives us a great example of the power of prayer. However, it is evident when the King of Babylon visited because he heard of Hezekiah’s healing, Hezekiah did not glorify God for lengthening his life and for his blessings. Instead, he showed off his “stuff.” He also found comfort and peace in the prophecy of Judah’s exile to Babylon, rather than finding peace in God.
As we start football season, we can say it’s easy to play “Monday Morning Quarterback” when it comes to Hezekiah’s actions. However, I think we can agree he could have better used his healing event as an opportunity to glorify God and witness to an unbelieving king and people, so they could know Him too. He should have continued to find his comfort in God and not in peace with this other nation.
Today, with the internet and especially social media, we live in a selfie-filled, “look at me” world. We like to show off our “stuff” like Hezekiah…ourselves, our kids, our spouse, our trips, our cars, our fancy meals, our accolades, and maybe even our recovery after an illness or condition like Hezekiah.
So..here’s the question…
Are we using these things to bring glory to ourselves or the One who gave them to us?
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
Let us check our hearts and make sure we are giving Him the glory He deserves for our blessings which come from Him. Social media gives us a platform to witness to this, so other non-believers can know Him in the same way Hezekiah had an opportunity to do so. We don’t need a king from a far-off land to come visit us though, we can witness to many non-believers 24/7. We can show them all good things come from Him and only through Him can we find a peace that passes human understanding (Philippians 4:7).