2 Kings 20:12-21

Hezekiah Shows Babylon His Treasures

12 At that time [g]Berodach-baladan a son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been sick. 13 Hezekiah listened to them, and showed them all his treasure house, the silver and the gold and the spices and the precious oil and the house of his armor and all that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his house nor in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them. 14 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and said to him, “What did these men say, and from where have they come to you?” And Hezekiah said, “They have come from a far country, from Babylon.” 15 He said, “What have they seen in your house?” So Hezekiah [h]answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasuries that I have not shown them.”

16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord. 17 ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and all that your fathers have laid up in store to this day will be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the Lord. 18 ‘Some of your sons who shall issue from you, whom you will beget, will be taken away; and they will become officials in the palace of the king of Babylon.’” 19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good.” For he [i]thought, “Is it not so, if there will be peace and truth in my days?”

20 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah and all his might, and how he made the pool and the conduit and brought water into the city, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 21 So Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and Manasseh his son became king in his place.

For all his accomplishments, Hezekiah was awfully short-sighted. Perhaps he hoped his son would be strong enough to resist Babylon, or perhaps his son was already a rebel and he thought it’d teach him a good lesson and hopefully turn him back to God. In any case, it seems that some pride has finally caught up with Hezekiah. In his pride, he showed the messengers from Babylon all his possessions, and in his pride he thought only of his only reign, and that there would be peace while he was on the throne of Judah.

Pride makes us do strange things, and Hezekiah would have done well to remember to be humble before God. Instead, his children and grand-children would suffer for it. Whether our vice be pride, or something else, our failings impact others more than we know.

Certainly, we sometimes see the impact on our loved ones first-hand. But other times we are oblivious to the suffering we cause when we indulge our fancies, even when it is to the people we cherish the most. God calls us to a selfless life, not just to put Him first, but to put pretty much everyone else above our own wishes and desires. We are not second, we are to be last. Only then can we ever hope to truly live a life of greatness. It’s a tragedy Hezekiah didn’t fully grasp this lesson, or he might have left a legacy to endure. Will your legacy be the same, crumbling into ash after your passing, or will you make an impact for God on your children, and grandchildren, and those surrounding you? Not through the greatness of your actions, but through the greatness of your servitude.

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