Sunday, December 7, 2014

What You Do Affects Others

King Hezekiah did his level best to serve God.  And serve Him well.  (Hezekiah's story can be found in 2 Kings 18)

Yet he had a problem.  This little thing called pride.

I’m intrigued by part of his story – about the battle he was fighting against Assyria when King Hezekiah failed to trust in God.  The threat of attack sent Hezekiah running to the temple – but his purpose wasn’t to be in the presence of God.  

No, there was money there.

Silver.  And gold.

He took all the silver from the temple treasuries and had it sent to King Sennacherib.  But King H didn’t stop there.  He even had the gold from the doors removed – as well as the door handles!

Crazy stuff.

Makes you wonder what went through the king’s mind each time he walked through those doors when coming to worship the King of kings.

But the story goes on.

King H is a successful man.  He built an amazing kingdom… he obeyed God and he was prosperous.  

But then, he got sick.  Super sick.  So sick that the prophet Isaiah paid him a visit with a message King H wasn’t ready for.

“Get your house in order.  You’re about to die.”

King H was understandably upset and cried out to God.   Then there was a healing, a heavenly sign and King H was back in business with a promise of fifteen more years of life.

He. was. the. man!

So here he is – healthy, wealthy and wise-in-his-own-eyes.  Even neighboring kingdoms heard about his successes, so when they came to wish him well, King H thought it sensible to offer these men of Babylon a guided tour of all his prized possessions.  The Bible says, “There wasn’t a thing in his palace or kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them”.


It’s that stinky little problem that we so easily allow into our lives.

King H was confronted about what he had done when the prophet came back for a visit.  Isaiah, having heard from God, told the king that all that he own would one day be carried off by the Babylonians.

King Hezekiah’s response?  “At least it won’t happen in my lifetime.   I will enjoy peace and security as long as I live.”

Talk about self-absorbed!

It’s a sad day when those in leadership choose to ignore the future for their descendants!   It makes me as a parent stop and consider the choices I am making not only for today, but also for my children and my children’s children.

You see, if the story goes on – and if you’ll read it, you’ll see that King Hezekiah’s decision that one fateful day, would affect a boy years down the road.  A boy who would be carried off by the Babylonians to live in captivity as a servant. 

That boy’s name was Daniel.

Our actions today may not seem important, but they are.  The decisions you make as a parent (or any type of leadership position) may not seem to have long-term effects.  And to consider that they might is a heavy weight to carry. 

But the answer is simple.

Do justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with your God.

A life focused on God… a life lived in humility… a life devoted to bring honor to the King, is best investment we can make into the lives of the ones who will come after us.

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