How Will You Spend What is Left?
Isaiah 39:1–8 1At that time Merodach-baladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah: for he had heard that he had been sick, and was recovered. 2And Hezekiah was glad of them, and shewed them the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not. 3Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee? And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country unto me, even from Babylon. 4Then said he, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All that is in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them. 5Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: 6Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the Lord. 7And 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. 8Then 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.
Hezekiah had been gifted with life. He had gotten sick and prayed for more time and his prayer answering God blessed him with fifteen more years. How did he use them?
If God told you that you have fifteen more years, how would you spend them?
An envoy from the king of Babylon was sent to bring letters and a gift to the king. Hezekiah gives the messengers a tour of all the wealth of his kingdom. He showed them all. Why? I suppose he wanted them to know how important he was, how much wealth he had. I believe he wanted the king of Babylon to be impressed with him.
The messengers were deceptively spying and their report to their king began the plans that would lead to the eventual fall of Hezekiah’s nation. Isaiah brought word of the king’s failure and prophesied of the eventual captivity of his people. The response of Hezekiah was unbelievably short sighted. He said,
“Good is the word of the Lord which thou hast spoken…For there shall be peace and truth in my days” Isaiah 39:8
Hezekiah proved himself selfish. He left his descendants with an unbelievable burden and his response was, “good, at least in my day things are well.”
“Who cares about my family?”
“Who cares about those that follow?”
“Who cares about the welfare of my country?”
“I am all that matters!”
“As long as I am happy, that is all that matters to me!”
There is a popular parable about a king that offered great riches to the winner of a race. The course was not easy, rocks and tree limbs had placed to block the path. Contestant after contestant ran the course, each beating the other’s time. One man ran the course a different way than the rest, he removed the stones and the trees, clearing the way. Not only did his time not compete with those running before him but his efforts made all that ran afterward to have the fastest time. In the end, the king awarded the prize and said that the winner of the race was not the fastest but the one who made the path better for those that follow.
I look around me and see so many selfish people living for the present never considering how their decisions affect others. I see a nation laying unbearable burdens of debt on those coming afterward. I see parents living it up with no care for the spiritual impact of their unscriptural decisions. I hear people explain away today never considering its impact on tomorrow.
The winner of the race of life is not the one who accumulates the most wealth or fame. It is not the one who sets records for others to beat or gathers trophies to line museum walls. It will be the one that truly makes the way clear for those that come afterward.
Lord, help me to live like my Lord! Help my existence to be a blessing not a burden. Help me to forsake the selfishness of my past and have greater purpose in my life. Help me to consider my testimony.
I am reminded of the words of Charles Meigs
Others, Lord, yes, others,
Let this my motto be;
Help me to live for others,
Help me to live for others,
That I may live like Thee,
That I may live like Thee.