Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Hezekiah Philosophy

Jewish King and soldiers in ancient Judah.Image via Wikipedia

The Hezekiah Philosophy
(What's wrong with America)

There's a story told in the Bible of a King of Judah by the name of Hezekiah. This King had a very interesting life and, while most people concede that he was one of the better kings of Judah, his story ends in a most puzzling manner.

Hezekiah was confronted by a gathering coalition against his nation, led by the Assyrian king Sennacherib. Upon hearing of this coming threat, Hezekiah sent for the prophet Isaiah so that he could intercede on behalf of the nation. Isaiah sent word back that all is well, God will provide the victory and sure enough that's exactly what happened. 2Kings chapter 19

The next chapter opens very dramatically:

2Ki 20:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.
2Ki 20:2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying,
2Ki 20:3 I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
2Ki 20:4 And it came to pass, before Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying,
2Ki 20:5 Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD.
2Ki 20:6 And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.

Wow! Another answered prayer! This king was surely blessed. God was protecting his country and had now delivered him from this sickness. No doubt he would certainly be eternally grateful for the continued blessings in his life - or would he? I mean surely after seeing the sun move backwards in the sky as confirmation of his healing he would have no choice but to be a model servant, right? Surely he would use the blessing of additional years to further establish the kingdom in the ways of God!

As the story unfolds, Hezekiah recieved messengers from the Prince of Babylon who came bearing a get well present. Who doesn't like to get gifts? Not only did he receive their gifts, he received the visitors and gave them the grand tour. Nothing was held back from their eyes, even the contents of the treasury was on display! While we aren't given direct evidence of the motivation of the King, I believe it was pride. He was proud of what he had. He should have been thankful.

Notice the words of the prophet Isaiah as he discovered the error of the King and chastised him with the words of the Lord -

2Ki 20:16 And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah, Hear the word of the LORD.
2Ki 20:17 Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried into Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD.
2Ki 20:18 And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.

Notice also the response of Hezekiah:

2Ki 20:19 Then said Hezekiah unto Isaiah, Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. And he said, Is it not good, if peace and truth be in my days?

Hezekiah was just notified that everything he had shown to these messengers from Babylon was to be carried away, nothing was to be spared. His response? Well, at least all will be well during my lifetime. "Is it not good, if peace and truth be in my days?"

Now, let's look at this from the perspective of our nation today. My, how this country has been blessed. Regardless of the claims to the contrary of others, this nation was founded not on religious freedom, not on the belief in a Supreme Being, not in a belief in a Diety, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Patrick Henry:"Orator of the Revolution."

• This is all the inheritance I can give my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed.”—The Last Will and Testament of Patrick Henry

“It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.” [May 1765 Speech to the House of Burgesses]

“The Bible is worth all other books which have ever been printed.”

We have seen prosperity beyond the dreams of our founders, primarily because our predecessors knew that "every good and perfect gift is from above" and they expressed sincere thanks for the blessings that they had received. Our nation today, however, has reached a state where blessings are not thought of as a gift from a loving and benevolent Father, but rather they are entitlements of which everyone should partake. We also are not concerned with the welfare (both spiritually, financially, and physically) of our children and grandchildren. As long as things will be well with us within our lifetime (and many can't see beyond today) all is well.

I didn't tell you how the story of Hezekiah ends, but I hope you know - God carries out his plans revealed thru His prophets.

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