Friday, January 19, 2018

Year 8, Day 19: 2 Kings 21

Theological Commentary: Click Here

I’ve always been curious as to why God would punish Hezekiah so harsh just for showing the Babylonians the temple and the wealth of the kingdom.  I get that Hezekiah was prideful.  I get that Hezekiah may have been more interested in financial security and not interested in sharing the greatness of God to the Babylonians.  But I have often felt that those things aren’t as big and significant as all the other things that God has put up with over the centuries since David was king!

In reading this chapter something important comes out.  The perspective that I have is incredibly human.  When I hear God list out punishments, I make the human assumption that the punishments match the crime as recorded.  With God, though, that doesn’t need to be true.  God’s perspective is not linear as is mine!  God knows what is going to happen when Hezekiah dies and his son takes over.  God knows what will happen when Hezekiah’s grandson takes over.

When God tells Hezekiah that the Babylonians will conquer them, but it won’t take effect until after Hezekiah’s reign, it is actually a demonstration of God’s wisdom!  It is a demonstration of God’s foresight!  God knows of all of the awful practices that Manasseh and Amon are going to initiate.  He knows about the defacing of His temple.  He knows about the child sacrifice.  He knows about the worship of the starry host.

On the surface, this chapter is all about the sins of Manasseh and Amon.  Under the surface, though, this chapter is about the magnificence of God.  God knows what is to come well before it happens.  God can set and execute judgment well before it is even required.  From my human perspective, it may seem unfair or unreasonable.  The problem is with me, though, not God.  The Babylonian advance that we heard about yesterday is perfectly fair and perfectly righteous when we have the ability to see the whole story as God does.