2 Kings 20:6
“And I will add to your days fifteen years”
Imagine what this promise meant for Hezekiah. First, he was ill, so it meant he would be healed. Second, it meant he would have more time. Third, it meant a clock started that night, giving him an expiration date. Fifteen years from this promise, Hezekiah would breath his last. This promise has often made me wonder, “What I would do with fifteen more years?” How would you react, if suddenly you were given an expiration date? Let’s take a look at what Hezekiah did.
First, Hezekiah entertained delegates from Babylon. These men were impressed with him because he accomplished what no other nation had; he was victorious in battle against Assyria. We previously read how God sent angelic beings to do battle on behalf of Judah, defeating Assyria. Hezekiah, however, seemed to take credit for what the Lord had done. This is a danger for anyone who is involved in the service of the Lord. We must be careful to give glory to the Lord, not to take it unto ourselves. This behavior set the stage for further failure.
2 Chronicles 32:25 “But Hezekiah did not repay according to the favor shown him, for his heart was lifted up; therefore wrath was looming over him and over Judah and Jerusalem.”
Second, taking the glory for the Lord’s accomplishment led Hezekiah to become lifted up with pride. Pride is a dangerous sin. It was the motivation behind the devil’s first sin, it is listed in the seven things God hates (Proverbs 6:16-19), and James tells us, God resists those who are proud (James 4:6). Pride causes us to lose sight of our dependence on God, and consequently, think we can handle things on our own. It is sad to think the final years of this godly king we’re spent apart from the presence of the Lord.
Finally, Hezekiah had a son in the final years of his life. This young man, Manasseh by name, was heir to the throne of Judah. Instead of being raised around the things of the Lord, with a dad who was dependent upon the Lord, he grew up with a dad who was drifting from the Lord. Manasseh became the most ungodly ruler Judah ever had. Now it is true, Manasseh was responsible for his own decisions, but it is also true that Hezekiah did little to influence him in the right direction.
None of us are certain how much, or how little time we have left, but all of us can determine how those days will be spent. We can resolve to live for the glory of the Lord, set an example for those who are watching us, and those who will carry the mantle once we are gone.