Reading through the Bible together
Isaiah chapter 39 is brief. Hezekiah had recovered from his sickness because of his prayers to God for mercy and following what God had commanded through natural remedies (see Isa. 38:21). As a result of this remarkable miracle, news of his healing spread far and wide. Not long after, the King of Babylon hears about it and sends his own son and some government officials with a special letter and presents of good will.
However, instead of telling these heathen messengers about the great God, and only true God that can heal and deliver (see Isa. 37:20), King Hezekiah seems to glory in his own riches and power. Rather than using this as an opportunity to share the message of truth for which God has lengthened his life (see Isa. 38:19), he turns the attention of the Babylonians to himself and the glory of his kingdom.
Ellen White in the book Prophets and Kings writes, “The story of Hezekiah’s failure to prove true to his trust at the time of the visit of the ambassadors is fraught with an important lesson for all. Far more than we do, we need to speak of the precious chapters in our experience, of the mercy and loving-kindness of God, of the matchless depths of the Savior’s love. When mind and heart are filled with the love of God, it will not be difficult to impart that which enters into the spiritual life. Great thoughts, noble aspirations, clear perceptions of truth, unselfish purposes, yearnings for piety and holiness, will find expression in words that reveal the character of the heart treasure. [My insert: and God is after all, the source of all and the only true treasure we have!] Those with whom we associate day by day need our help, our guidance. They may be in such a condition of mind that a word spoken in season will be as a nail in a sure place. Tomorrow some of these souls may be where we can never reach them again. What is our influence over these fellow travelers?” Prophets and Kings, p. 347,348
Mrs. White goes on to conclude, when reflecting upon Hezekiah’s story and our own potential for good today, that if rightly used, our influence can reach hundreds and thousands. So what are we doing with the influence God has given us today? When people come to see what is happening in our life or why we have success, are we giving them a “Hezekiah tour” or are we pointing them to the one true God who alone can bring healing and prosperity to the land?
My prayer: Lord forgive us for all too often claiming your glory for ourselves! Forgive us as Christians for wasting opportunities to speak of your power and truth. Forgive us for using our influence for self rather than for pointing others to you! We once again consecrate ourselves to you and from this day forward, we will take no more credit for what belongs only to You!
Melodious Echo Mason
ARME Bible Camp Ministries