Our scripture passage for today is found in the Bible in 2 Kings chapter 20, and could be entitled “Don’t Show Off!” It is the story of when the son of King Baladan of Babylon heard of King Hezekiah’s illness and sent his son with gifts and letters. In hindsight we see this may have just been a way to gauge Hezekiah’s health and to check out all his possessions and wealth.
Without thinking, King Hezekiah showed off everything he had, including all the gold, silver, spices and fine oil. Upon hearing this, the prophet Isaiah sounded the alarm. The Babylonians would be back, but next time as conquerors and not friends.
(2 Kings 20:12-17) 12 At that time Marduk-Baladan son of Baladan king of Babylon sent Hezekiah letters and a gift, because he had heard of Hezekiah’s illness. 13 Hezekiah received the envoys and showed them all that was in his storehouses—the silver, the gold, the spices and the fine olive oil—his armory and everything found among his treasures. There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.
14 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked, “What did those men say, and where did they come from?” “From a distant land,” Hezekiah replied. “They came from Babylon.” 15 The prophet asked, “What did they see in your palace?” “They saw everything in my palace,” Hezekiah said. “There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.”
16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: 17 The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord.