Borrowing Trouble

At that time Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah since he heard that Hezekiah had been sick. Hezekiah gave them a hearing and showed them his whole treasure house—the silver, the gold, the spices, and the precious oil—and his armory, and everything that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his palace and in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them.

Then the prophet Isaiah came to King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did these men say, and where did they come to you from?”

Hezekiah replied, “They came from a distant country, from Babylon.”

Isaiah asked, “What have they seen in your palace?”

Hezekiah answered, “They have seen everything in my palace. There isn’t anything in my treasuries that I didn’t show them.”

Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: ‘The time will certainly come when everything in your palace and all that your fathers have stored up until this day will be carried off to Babylon; nothing will be left,’ says the Lord. ‘Some of your descendants who come from you will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’”

Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good,” for he thought: Why not, if there will be peace and security during my lifetime? (2 Kings 20:12-19)

Don’t borrow trouble. God’s words to Hezekiah, that the Babylonians that had just visited him as guests, would in the future return as conquerors, came as good news to him. He recognized that the predication of future doom was just that: something for another day. He knew that in his time everything would be well, so that’s all that fundamentally mattered.

Was he self-absorbed? Was he uncaring of his descendents? Not at all. The future was beyond his control. Each day had enough trouble of its own. All he could do was seek God and his righteousness. God was already in the future and so it was only God’s concern. The reality was, God was in the present, too—and the present was only his concern as well. God had rescued Hezekiah from Sennacherib. He had rescued him from a serious illness. Why should he worry about anything? Whatever God spoke was good and he would rejoice in the fact that God was speaking to him and would take care of him.

We don’t need to worry about the future. God will take care of our needs and he knows what tomorrow holds. What we need to do is never forget that God holds us.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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