Isaiah 39:1–8 (NKJV)
39:1 At that time Merodach-Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. 2 And Hezekiah was pleased with them, and showed them the house of his treasures—the silver and gold, the spices and precious ointment, and all his armory—all that was found among his treasures. There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.
3 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say, and from where did they come to you?”
So Hezekiah said, “They came to me from a far country, from Babylon.”
4 And he said, “What have they seen in your house?”
So Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.”
5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD of hosts: 6 ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the LORD. 7 ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’ ”
8 So Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD which you have spoken is good!” For he said, “At least there will be peace and truth in my days.”
This is a confusing and almost confounding passage of Scripture. First, Hezekiah gets well-wishes from envoys of Babylon. This seems a bit unusual, for Israel and Judah had never been on great terms with Babylon. Second, Hezekiah is so smitten by their message and gift that he gave them a grand tour of his palace, his armory, and his treasure rooms. He thought nothing of tipping his hand as to what they owned. Third, Isaiah comes in and basically asks, “What have you done?” God’s message through Isaiah is that this act will lead to the captivity and forced slavery of Hezekiah’s family members. Fourth, Hezekiah’s response to Isaiah is flabbergasting: “Well, good. At least it won’t happen to me.” What???? This entire episode leads one to wonder about Hezekiah’s condition, mentally and physically.
What are the lessons to be learned here?
- Be cautious when approached by an enemy.
- Don’t blush when someone shows you attention or compliments you. Praise is not the goal.
- Don’t let the enemy know where you may be vulnerable. Your treasure is not an item to be pridefully displayed.
- Don’t just watch your own back, but rather be aware of how your actions will affect others as well.