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Week 56

October 3rd, 2017
 
Less Than Perfect
2 Kings 20:5-6, 12-19
 
Read
“Go back to Hezekiah, the leader of my people. Tell him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you, and three days from now you will get out of bed and go to the Temple of the LORD. I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my own honor and for the sake of my servant David.’”

Soon after this, Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent Hezekiah his best wishes and a gift, for he had heard that Hezekiah had been very sick. Hezekiah received the Babylonian envoys and showed them everything in his treasure-houses—the silver, the gold, the spices, and the aromatic oils. He also took them to see his armory and showed them everything in his royal treasuries! There was nothing in his palace or kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.

Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did those men want? Where were they from?”

Hezekiah replied, “They came from the distant land of Babylon.”

“What did they see in your palace?” Isaiah asked.

“They saw everything,” Hezekiah replied. “I showed them everything I own—all my royal treasuries.”

Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Listen to this message from the LORD: The time is coming when everything in your palace—all the treasures stored up by your ancestors until now—will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the LORD. Some of your very own sons will be taken away into exile. They will become eunuchs who will serve in the palace of Babylon’s king.”

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.” (2 Kings 20:5-6, 12-19)
 
Reflect
Israel and Judah had two types of kings: the completely wicked and the sometimes godly. Hezekiah had been a good and faithful king. In 100 years of Judah’s history (732–640 B.C.), Hezekiah was the only faithful king. But Hezekiah wasn’t perfect.

Hezekiah showed great faith in God by praying for healing. After God healed him, the Babylonian ambassadors came, and “God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart” (2 Chronicles 32:31). Afterwards, when Isaiah warned Hezekiah of the coming exile, Hezekiah showed little concern. He thought, “At least there will be peace and security during my lifetime.” Hezekiah only worried about his own well-being.

Like Hezekiah, we have moments of great faith. We also do things that expose our self-centeredness. For Hezekiah, the opportunity for faith was obvious. But God pressed deeper—looking for humility and empathy—and blindsided Hezekiah.
 
Respond
God tests our lives—in obvious ways, yes, but also more deeply. David’s prayer should be ours: “Search me, O God, and know my heart… Point out anything in me that offends you” (Psalm 139:23-24).
 
 
 
 
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