Archive for July 3rd, 2013

Isaiah 39

Isaiah 39 is a short chapter that is a bit curious in some ways.  The king of Babylon sent his son – Merodach-baladan – to visit Hezekiah.  He had heard about the miraculous recovery.  “Hezekiah welcomes them gladly”.  He showed them great hospitality and gave them a tour of pretty much everything he had.  Scripture says “he showed them his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses”.  All access pass to the kingdom more or less.

Isaiah shows up and starts to ask questions.  “What did these men say? And from where did they come to you….What have they seen in your house”?  Does his questioning set off any alarms in your mind?  The reality is that Hezekiah opened the komono and showed off everything he had.  It doesn’t indicate if he did that in a prideful way, or was just naïve in his hospitality, but Isaiah smells a rat and has insight into what was going on.  In a word – they were there casing the joint.

Isaiah breaks the news this way.  “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”.  You know those guys from Babylon you showed around and gave access to every part of your kingdom – well it wasn’t just a friendly visit.  They had ulterior motives and were checking things out.  And the day will come when what you have will be taken away, even “some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father”.

Seemingly bad news, eh?  It is interesting Hezekiah’s response.  “Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my days”.  He basically says it won’t be his problem.  He will experience peace while he is around, and those he leaves behind will have to deal with the Babylonians.  Seems quite a bit out of character for a guy who has just been granted 15 years to extend his life.  I see this often around legacy – where people don’t want to address the inevitable and want to leave the mess for the next generation to deal with.  That seems to be Hezekiah’s approach here – not wise – not God’s way.

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