TODAY’S READING: 2 Chronicles 32–33
God delivers for His name’s sake. Whenever we’re rescued, we must remind ourselves that it’s for purposes beyond us and the extension of our small lives on earth. We are always delivered for the great glory of God and His grand global love. Any provision God grants is intended to be applied to the extension of His worship among all peoples. When Sennacherib, at the height of Assyrian power, boasted against the Lord, he was removed and assassinated back home and the text commentary gave the reason: “so that [Hezekiah] was exalted in the sight of all nations thereafter” (32:23). There were global implications to Hezekiah’s deliverance: It was to be a testimony to the nations that Jehovah is God of all the earth and to worship Jehovah is to experience life and blessing, while to speak against Jehovah was to sentence yourself to death (v. 19). The missionary message every time God delivers His people is that in Jehovah there is life!
Hezekiah became proud and indulgent making treasure for himself instead of spending that treasure on the nations (v. 27). And the result is evil. In his extra fifteen years of life, Hezekiah produced a son, Manasseh, whom he discipled to live indulgently. How tragic and how common it is for parents to live long lives with the sole intention of providing physical treasure for their children alone and destroying by their abundant provision the very ones they love the most. Parents, love your children enough to spend your treasure on the nations. Parents, love your children enough to teach them the value of work and the joy of giving all away for the glory of God among the unreached. To spend lavishly on your own and sparingly on the other is to bequeath your own evil Manasseh to the world. God didn’t protect His only Son with luxury and provision; God sent Him to save the world. Parents, use your treasure to send your children to save the world; in doing so, you just might save their soul and your own.
We know Lord Acton’s maxim that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Money has always brought power and we could easily say that wealth corrupts and abundant wealth corrupts absolutely. But all is not lost. Though Manasseh was the most evil of kings and the most spoiled of children, he repented at the end of his life. It took exile in Babylon, but at the end God used a trip overseas to get a greedy, evil man’s attention and to turn his heart towards the glory of God.
If you are a wealthy family, why not insure yourself against wealth’s wooing to wicked indulgence by spending that wealth on the nations? Spare your own children from the disaster that results when we have abundance without a sacrificial focus on all peoples. I think of two families in Minneapolis raising their families to focus on unreached peoples and places—they are spending their wealth on extending the gospel to Libya and beyond. They will always be wealthy no matter how much (or little) remains in the family coffers. Their kids will ever be rich with treasure no thief can steal or moth destroy.