Thoughts on Isaiah
Thomas Paine, the Deist and great proponent of the Revolutionary War, used Hezekiah’s very words to rebuke and shame those who wanted to avoid war with England, the great world power of his day. He shames them for seeking only “peace and safety” in their day.
During Hezekiah’s reign, after envoys from Babylon sent flattering letters and gifts, Hezekiah shows them all of his treasures; he left nothing out.
When Isaiah the prophet tells him that all would be carried off to Babylon, including some of his own descendants, Hezekiah’s response was “There will be peace and security in my lifetime.”
How shortsighted and self-focused to only see our own fleeting life. We might expect more from a king, yet Jesus Himself is the only true righteous King. And that thought should make us realize that our concern for those we touch today—for those who will follow behind us tomorrow—is to leave a legacy of faithfulness, which they can follow and therein take hope regardless of their struggles.
Life brings individual pain to each of us. After Hezekiah’s recovery from grave illness, he states “Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish” (Is. 38:17). Perhaps, after such an ordeal, Hezekiah is too spent to seek the Lord to bring about change once again. Sometimes age brings weariness. Yet, we must pursue to the end. In the strength of God’s great mercy, we carry on.
In the overshadowing of our own Babylon, we must walk upright in prayer to the only King who controls all things from creation to Hezekiah’s life to now and the days to come.
—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything