June 17 – Isaiah 39

So. I really have liked Hezekiah up until this chapter. His response to Isaiah’s prophecy about his descendants showed a remarkable lack of concern in this chapter, though. What did you think? King Hezekiah, in the euphoria of being allowed to live, kinda went overboard when the Babylonians came to visit. You’d think that after recently escaping a siege from another foreign country, Assyria, he’d be a bit cautious about visitors from far-away places. But no. He happily and proudly showed them all his treasure. This, of course, made the envoys from Babylon quite interested in the potential of taking all those treasures for their own Babylonian coffers.

Isaiah was not pleased. He had to go back to prophesying hard things after that nice interlude when he could proclaim God’s rescue from Assyria and healing for Hezekiah. Now, the king is told the sobering news that Babylon will, indeed, attack in light of all the treasures they could gain. In fact, some of the king’s own sons and grandsons would be not only taken into captivity but made eunuchs – never to have the joy of marriage and children. That’s horrifying. Some scholars believe that Daniel and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were among those castrated when captured. What a sad fate.

King Hezekiah, though, was actually relieved. All this calamity was not going to happen in his lifetime. He’d get to die in peace and that sounded good to him. I totally understand the relief this brought because I would feel it, too. It would be quite lovely to know now that my death would come peacefully after a long and healthy life with my husband and children gathered by my bedside. However, that is outside my realm of knowledge of course. I do wish along with Hezekiah’s gratitude to know how he would die, would also come some horror and sympathy for the next generations after his. Could he have prayed for them? Could he have tried again to call his land back to repentance and servanthood to the one true God? We don’t know because he did not do these things.

Oh, let’s not be quite that selfish. Let’s look not only to our own needs, but also the needs of others. Let’s care about the next generation, sharing with them our love of Jesus, and urging them to choose Him! And after that, it sure wouldn’t hurt to ask for a peaceful death for ourselves as well!! https://biblearchaeologyreport.com/2020/07/03/sennacherib-an-archaeological-biography/

My verse: Isaiah 39:8 “Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah: ‘This message you have given me from the LORD is good.’ For the king was thinking, ‘At least there will be peace and security during my lifetime.”

My response: Lord, I did love Hezekiah’s faith in these last few chapters, and I guess his acceptance of this latest prophecy also showed faith and of course relief that he had no more battles ahead. But oh it hurts my heart for his children! Did he also grieve for what was ahead for them? Did he mourn that his pride in his “stuff” would result in Babylon wanting to invade and take it? So, so tragic.

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June 16 – Isaiah 38