Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good,” for he thought: There will be peace and security during my lifetime. – Isaiah 39:8
Hezekiah, king of Judah, became very sick and asked for God’s healing. Once healed, he entertained visitors from the kingdom of Babylon and pridefully revealed to them all the treasures of his palace. Isaiah, the prophet of God, informed Hezekiah that his error in judgment would result in the Babylonian capture of Judah and 70 years of captivity.
Naturally, one might think that the king would have been grieved over such news, but he was not. When Hezekiah heard of the coming disaster, he selfishly viewed it as “good” because it meant that he, at least personally, would know peace and security the rest of his life. Even though the consequences of his actions were disastrous for the people and country that he governed, he could “live with it” because he would not be directly affected.
Every decision has a consequence. What we decide to do today may affect generations to come; therefore, let us not be like Hezekiah. Let us choose a path that will glorify God, not self. Our personal peace and safety may not always be God’s purpose and as leaders we must be willing to do whatever is necessary to remain in obedience to Christ, if not for ourselves, at least for those who follow.
The chief occupational hazard of leadership is pride. – John Stott