Friday, March 04, 2011
Today’s Topic: Shortsightedness
Today’s Text: Isaiah 39:8 “The word of the LORD you have spoken is good,” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my lifetime.”
Sorry this is late today. I have had some important meetings and more to come today. This will be brief. Don’t think it won’t be important. It has certainly been convicting to me.
Yesterday we talked about hindsight. Today I want us to look at being shortsighted. You know, looking at the immediate rather than the future. Now that’s an appropriate topic in this day of reduced wages, job layoffs, and higher gas prices.
Here’s the story form Isaiah 39: King Hezekiah decides to show off to the envoys from Babylon. He reveals to them the what he thinks is the glory of Israel – its wealth, technology, and military power. He does not reveal to them its true glory – the glory of God. Hezekiah needed affirmation and personal recognition, so he did what he thought was necessary to receive it – he showed off to visitors from another land.
As a result, God declared that the nation that he tried to impress would eventually use the information to overthrow Israel. His descendants, some not even born to him yet, would be taken captive. The nation would go into slavery and all its wealth would be carried off.
Now, here’s the shortsighted response of Hezekiah. In his mind he’s doing the math. Let’s see, I have fifteen years left to live. I am going to father some children. When Babylon attacks those children will be old enough to be taken as slaves. That means I will be already dead when this invasion occurs. Therefore, it doesn’t matter. There will be peace and security for me for as long as I’m alive and that’s all I care about.
What a horrible attitude. His choices and actions were going to result in the downfall of his country and the loss of his family, yet all he cares about is his immediate security. He had no concern for the future generations.
Before we get too hard on him, let’s take some time today to consider whether our political, financial, and even spiritual platforms are based on the same kind of shortsightedness.