Read Isaiah 39
Focus on verse 8
We live in an age of instant results and immediate gratification. Nearly anything we want to know can be found in a matter of seconds on a smart phone. We get impatient when it takes more than thirty seconds to heat up a beverage in a microwave. Our idea of long-range planning is booking tickets for a movie on line three days in advance. Most of us have no idea what a savings account is because we haven’t thought far enough ahead to realize that it might be a good idea to have something laid away for an unexpected emergency or our retirement years.
In today’s reading the focus is on the response of Hezekiah to Isaiah’s announcement that Babylon would invade and carry off Judah and all its treasure into captivity. Hezekiah consoles himself in his own shortsightedness, thinking “There will be peace and security in my days.” (v. 8) I find it interesting that this is the same king who in the previous chapter interceded with tears to the Lord for his own life, and was granted an extension of fifteen years of peace and prosperity to his life and his reign, yet in this case he makes no appeal to the Lord on behalf of the future of his children or the people of his kingdom who would be the ones suffering at the hands of the king of Babylon.
To me this seems a little shortsighted and even selfish on the part of Hezekiah as his contentment to accept the coming invasion seems to be rooted in the hope that he himself will not be personally around to experience the horror of it. While this seems a justifiable accusation, there is a part of me that is hesitant to be too hasty to judge without first considering my own approach to the current condition of the culture in which I live?
Our generation has been complicit in hastening our nation down the slippery slope toward moral as well as economic bankruptcy. While there are some things that I can claim I have said an done to resist the moral decline around me, I have also secretly consoled myself with the same thought as Hezekiah by holding on to the hope that perhaps the peace and security that I have known all my life will last until my days have come to an end so that I do not have to witness the horror of what is most certainly to come if current trends continue.
Perhaps my time would be better spent in desperate petitioning to God on behalf of the leaders and people of this nation in hopes that God might yet change His mind and delay the judgment that we justly deserve for another generation. Perhaps in that delay God would se fit to send yet one more season of revival across the land that would bring lost people into relationship with Him and change the moral climate and thus extend the time of peace and prosperity for another generation. Seems to me that this approach might be a little less selfish and not quite so shortsighted.