When I read about Hezekiah in 2 Kings 19-20, the things he did right and the things he did wrong struck me. I also found four warnings that we could heed today to make our lives and those lives connected to us more pleasant.
What Hezekiah did right
When Hezekiah was in distress, he sought the Lord by going into the temple and sending a message to Isaiah, a prophet. When he received word again from the enemy, he went to the temple and spread the letter out before the Lord. The Lord saved Israel. All God said came to pass.
Later, Hezekiah became ill and was about to die, but God heard his prayers and saw his tears and added 15 years to his life. With Hezekiah, we witness the miracle of the shadow going back ten steps.
What Hezekiah did wrong
Still, after all this remembering to seek the Lord first, when a delegation from Babylon came with gifts and letters, he forgot to consult the Lord. Hezekiah believed them to be genuine in their care and pleasure over his recovery; however, they were there to spy. Hezekiah showed them everything he had—everything.
When the prophet Isaiah told him what this mistake would cost the country, Hezekiah didn’t seem to care or grieve his mistake. All the treasures would go to Babylon. Even some of his descendants would become eunuchs in the palace of the Babylonian king. Rather than mourn such news, he was only concerned about his own life and his own peace and security. Such short sightedness is foolish.
Warnings I found in this
These warnings popped out at me:
- Be cautious. Keep private what is private. Don’t share important and valuable information with strangers. Determine motives the best you can through prayer and seeking God.
- What we do now does affect future generations. Take care to do what is right for the people of the future also. Don’t be selfish.
- Don’t boast. Be wise in what you say and what you reveal. Some forms of generosity are used against you.
- Keep in mind how the Lord has blessed you, and don’t forget to seek His counsel before making decisions of any size. Decisions–big or small–can have long-term effects.
I can’t imagine being so callous about children, grandchildren, and future relatives. Parents are supposed to want the best for their family. If people only care about themselves and not others, they misuse resources also. Taking care of the land and property so that others may benefit is important. God calls us to be good stewards.
The Bible contains numerous warnings about watching our tongue. It’s always better to say less than more.
Haste always makes waste. Waste of time. Waste of money and other resources. Often, I rush on without pausing to pray or get quiet to seek godly counsel. How much trouble could we avoid if we prayed about everything instead of rushing along heedless of the consequences? Sometimes we just don’t have much time, but I do know there are fewer regrets when we wait or take things at a slower pace. It never hurts to talk big stuff out with a trusted person.
What other lessons do you see in Hezekiah’s story? Please share.