Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 18-20
Today’s Reflection: 2 Kings 20:17
Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the LORD.
King Hezekiah, considered one of the righteous kings of Judah, received a diplomatic party from Babylon. The Word says Hezekiah showed the Babylonians all of Judah’s wealth and military armaments—there was nothing in his realm he did not show them (2 Kings 20:13). Afterwards, the prophet Isaiah came to Hezekiah and asked about the Babylonian’s visit and what they had seen. When Hezekiah told him they had seen everything, Isaiah gave him this Word of judgment from the Lord: those same Babylonians who had been welcomed into the kingdom as friends would someday return to conquer.
But why? What had Hezekiah done wrong?
Consider why Hezekiah had entertained the Babylonians in the first place. All of the smaller nations in the region were under constant threat from the Assyrians. Israel had already fallen to Assyria (2 Kings 17). Given that Hezekiah had shown the Babylonians his armoury, he may have been trying to forge a military alliance.
The problem is that Judah’s security wasn’t supposed to come from alliances with other nations, especially pagan ones, but from God himself. Furthermore. while showing the Babylonians Judah’s material wealth and protections, Hezekiah failed to tell them that it was God who was the true source of their protection and provision. The same God who had just healed Hezekiah of a fatal illness and given him 15 additional years to live (2 Kings 20:1-11). The same God who had supernaturally defeated the Assyrian king Sennacherib and his army when they had previously attacked Judah (2 Kings 19:32-37).
By failing to give God the glory, Hezekiah doomed his nation to become the future prey of the Babylonians, who would eventually overcome the Assyrians to become the dominant world power. Had Hezekiah placed and proclaimed his full trust in God, God Himself would have continued to defend Judah. Instead God allowed Judah to stand against Babylon with nothing more than the wealth and power Hezekiah had boasted of to attempt to save them.
How often do we do the same thing? When you are praised about your career, your success, your family, your home, your car, do you say thanks and leave people with the impression you did it on your own? Or do you take the opportunity to say you’ve been blessed? To tell them that your success is bigger than you? To invite them to find out about the true source of your provision and protection? Whichever god we proclaim is the god who will be present to defend us in our time of need.
1 Corinthians 1:28-29 – 28) God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29) so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.