Hezekiah, King of Judah, was told by Isaiah, the prophet of God:
“… Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live” (Isaiah 38:1)
Hezekiah begged God to spare his life on the basis of his godly walk before God (Isaiah 38:2-3). God granted him 15 more years of life (Isaiah 38:5) and gave Hezekiah a sign that He would give him these 15 more years (Isaiah 38:7-8): “the sun returned ten degrees” (Isaiah 38:8d).
In the days to come, Hezekiah did a very foolish thing because of pride. He showed the Babylonians all of his riches (Isaiah 39:2), which was a grave mistake. Because he showed the men of Babylon his riches; Isaiah, the prophet of God, said they will return and carry all of his riches back to Babylon, and his sons shall become eunuchs in the palace of the King of Babylon (Isaiah 39:6-7). This prophecy came true in 587 B.C. through Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon. (Read Daniel 1:1-4; 2 Kings 24 – 25; 2 Chronicles 36:6.)
“And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” (Isaiah 39:7)
“Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days.” (Isaiah 39:8)
Herein lies the reason of this devotion. God spared Hezekiah from the take-over of the Babylonians; but the take-over would come later, in and around 587 B.C. Notice what Hezekiah said, “there shall be peace and truth in my days.” Herein lies the error of so many so-called “Christian” parents. They seem to be only concerned about their day, not what their actions may cause to come upon their children. O, So Selfish!
If you read of King Nebuchadnezzar’s three invasions of Judah, his destruction of the land, plus the 70-year captivity of the Jews who were carried off into Babylon (read Jeremiah’s account and Lamentations); you will remember it started with Hezekiah, a godly king of Judah, but he walked in pride, boasting in his flesh of his wealth and his accomplishments.
There are several lessons to learn from this account of pride and selfishness:
First, do not fall prey to the enemies’ devices. In Isaiah 39, the King of Babylon had sent letters and concern that Hezekiah had been so sick. But remember this, the enemies of God are not concerned with you, but only with their own selfish ends. Beware of flattery from anyone, much less an enemy of God, as was the King of Babylon (which was a city of pagan idolatry). Many times a gift will turn your judgment of a matter. It can deceive you, as it did Hezekiah, and the cost was great. At the end of every scheme of the forces of darkness is a great cost.
“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” (2 Corinthians 2:11)
The devil is a liar and has been from the beginning (John 8:44). God’s people are to maintain a separation from the system of darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). Hezekiah did not keep himself separated from the enemy; and this cost his posterity (his descendants) greatly.
Second, beware of pride; or boast not of God’s blessings as if they came by your own power and for your own glory. God gives blessings to His people, yes; for their good and enjoyment, but primarily it is for God’s glory. God’s people must at all times boast in God, and not in their own sufficiency (Isaiah 10:13-15; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Corinthians 4:7). We should say “In God we boast all the day long…” (Psalms 44:8). When we don’t give God the glory, there are consequences; note the consequences for Herod in Acts 12:21-23:
“And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them.” (Acts 12:21)
“And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.” (Acts 12:22)
“And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.” (Acts 12:23)
God is a jealous God concerning His Glory. God demands total worship and praise. It is by God’s Plan, Purpose, and Power; and not by man’s power. What we should say is, “…Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6b).
Third, beware of being concerned only with self. Hezekiah said, “For there shall be peace and truth in my days.” The Bible is very plain in our responsibility to our children, our spiritual children, our brothers and sisters in Christ, and future generations:
a) We are to set the standard of truth in faith and practice in our daily lives (Joshua 24:15; 3 John 1-4).
b) We are to train the future generation in the Way of God, Truth, Righteousness, Holiness, and Peace (Proverbs 22:6, 28; 23:10; Deuteronomy 6:7-25; 10:12 – 11:32; Micah 6:8; 1 Corinthians 4:2). We are to lay our life down for the brethren (1 John 3:16).
c) We are to place nothing before God (Luke 14:26-33). He is to be our first love.
Hezekiah was then, as so many Christians are today, living for the now, with seemingly no concern for tomorrow. Hezekiah realized he had messed up, but as long as he was safe in his days, then it was good.
O, So Selfish!