I would like to consider a story related in 2 Kings 20 and Isaiah 39. It is the story of the foolishness of King Hezekiah. Hezekiah was on the throne during the deliverance of GOD’S people from the hand of the Assyrian leader Sennacherib. He was aided by the prophet Isaiah and perhaps is best known for praying and being granted an additional 15 years when he was near death.
Hezekiah made a very foolish judgment when he entertained the King of Babylon and his associates. The Babylonians came to visit King Hezekiah while he was sick. These of course were foreign visitors. Hezekiah’s error in judgment came when he showed the foreign visitors all of his possessions. Scripture says there was nothing in his house or in his dominion that he did not show them.
Now I don’t know if Hezekiah was boasting by showing them all he had or if he was entreating the Babylonians to help him against the Assyrians, but I do know this was not a good decision. Eventually all that was in his house was carried away unto Babylon.
Isaiah came to Hezekiah after the visit and began to question him about the reason for their visit. It is one of his questions that I wish to examine. Isaiah asked him, “What have they seen in thine house?” And of course, Hezekiah then told him he had showed them everything he owned. Not a good move on his part.
I would like to consider the question in light of an application to us. Think for a moment about the question “What have they seen in thine house?” and consider this in today’s terms. Suppose you were asked this question. And think about your answer with respect to the influence within the home. Further, consider this influence especially on the children.
Our children are subject to influence from a multitude of places. They are influenced by friends, school, entertainment, television, etc. But consider the influence from within the home. And so the question mom and dad … what have they seen in the home?
Have they seen a mother and father who are loving, kind, and faithful to each other? If so, aside from spiritual matters, that is the greatest gift they could receive from the parents.
Have they seen a home that is filled with Bibles that are not collecting dust on the coffee tables but are worn from daily use?
Have they seen a home whose father leads the family in devotionals and takes advantage of everyday events to discuss GOD’S love and blessings?
Have they seen a home where meals are not eaten until they have been blessed and kids are not tucked in until Bible stories are told and prayers offered?
Have they seen a home that truly seeks first the kingdom of GOD and His righteousness?
Have they seen a home that values honesty, hard work, integrity, respect for authority, etc.?
Have they seen a home where lives Monday through Saturday are consistent with the Sunday lives?
Well this list could go on and on but you get the picture. The greatest influence on the child is the home. And the things they see in the home. I imagine that you as an adult have positive memories of the home as a child. And I suspect the older we get the more precious those memories will be.
What have they seen in thine home?