In 2 Kings we read about Hezekiah, a righteous man who became king. In fact, chapter 18 verse 5 states, “He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him.” God’s favor was upon Hezekiah and scripture speaks highly of the king.
There’s a point in the Bible that Hezekiah was given 15 more years to live. He had become very sick and was told by the prophet Isaiah to get his things in order to prepare for death. But Hezekiah cried out to The Lord to not let him die. He pointed out all of the righteous things he had done and how faithful he’d been, and guess what, The Lord granted him 15 more years to live.
15 free years! Can you imagine? Everything you thought was about to be gone is suddenly back in your hands; under your management. Not only that, you’ve got to think that Hezekiah had a clear agenda now. No more governmental planning or headaches trying to win battles in foreign lands. No more balancing the budget or getting up early to spend the day in endless meetings.
This is similar, I think, to what retirement looks like. Your major responsibilities have been fulfilled and you are just living on extra time with little to no worries or agendas.
However, Hezekiah took advantage of his new-found life extension and flaunted his wealth. He showed some visiting Babylonians everything he had in his kingdom. When the prophet Isaiah asked him about this, Hezekiah told him that he’d shown the Babylonians everything and held nothing back. For that, The Lord communicated through Isaiah that after Hezekiah’s death, the Babylonians would invade the land, steal the possessions and take Hezekiah’s sons as slaves. Bad news, right? But check out Hezekiah’s response. In Isaiah 39:8, Hezekiah said, “The Word of The Lord is good . . . at least there will be peace and truth in my days.” What a guy! I was a pretty big Hezekiah fan until this verse.
I think this is a good reminder that we need to be plugged into God’s leading at all stages of life. Even when we are living on “free” time, or time we consider to be “our own”, we need to be seeking God’s direction. As long as we’re on this earth, we need to be seeking God’s guidance for our lives and not pulling a Hezekiah, just seeking peace and truth in his own days. The Bible is the only true guidance counselor from God and we have completely free access to it. Why not consult God’s manual before you do anything else today. After all, none of us are guaranteed a tomorrow.