Saturday, June 7, 2008

"My Days" Kind of People

"Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of the Lord which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days." (Isa.39:8)

What was this "word of the Lord" that Hezekiah considered as being so "good?" Would you believe the loss of all his possessions and the castration of all his sons (v.6-7)? It would appear, Hezekiah, considered one of Israel's good kings, was somehow gratified by Isaiah's dire prediction of the future, on the basis that when these things came to pass, he would be dead and gone. All that mattered to him was that there be "peace and truth" in his own days. Hezekiah was a prime example of a "my days" kind of person.

The king had brought all these pronouncements upon himself (and his children) by simply seeking to glorify God by showing and telling the heathen how good He had been to him (v.2). At least, that is what he would have said was his motive. You and I, however, might be tempted to suspect pride could be involved here, as well; because, to the heathen, the one who looked good here (and prime for pilfering) was not God, but Hezekiah. No doubt, this is the kind of thing Jesus had in mind when He admonished: "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you" (Matt.7:6). Practically speaking, it is easy to make the blessings of God appear to be an end in themselves, giving our children and others the idea that they are more to be desired than God Himself. This makes them—and us—easy prey for this heathen, materialistic world.

I have said that it is important to "live in the moment”; and that's very true. But this does not mean we should be unaware of the past and inattentive to the future. Sad to say, some people's knowledge of history begins with the day they were born, and their perspective for the future ends with the day of their death. Sometimes “peace” for the future of our children means war today, and insuring that “truth” persists in the next generation may mean that time and energy we would claim for ourselves must be invested in the lives of the young. Because, if we, like Hezekiah, live only for “our days,” our children may one day curse them.

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