The death of Solomon brought about a division to his powerful kingdom when ten of the twelve tribes of Israel refused to accept Solomon’s son as the next king. They established a new kingdom, known as Israel, with their own king. They not only turned away from the house of David but tragically turned away from God.
For two hundred years, God’s messengers, the prophets, pleaded with the new kingdom to return to God, but it never happened. They had a total of nineteen kings and not a single one of them ever served God faithfully.
When God ultimately sent the Assyrian army to destroy rebellious Israel, Hezekiah was king of the small southern kingdom known as Judah. The Assyrians first destroyed Israel and then sent this army to do the same to the southern kingdom. Hezekiah turned to God for help, who completely destroyed the Assyrian army, killing 185,000 Assyrians in one night. His great faith in God stands as one of the greatest illustrations of what God can do for those who trust Him.
However, Hezekiah later made a mistake which ultimately brought about the destruction of the Solomon’s temple and the captivity of the Jews. Just eight years after the fall of Israel, Isaiah came to Hezekiah from God, saying that he was about to die. Hezekiah, not yet forty years old, turned again to God, and his prayer changed the mind of God. Instead of dying, God added fifteen years to Hezekiah’s life.
Evidently his recovery was widely known. One kingdom, a very small insignificant one at that time, sent an envoy with letters and a gift to “celebrate” his recovery. Hezekiah foolishly showed them all of the wealth and the grandeur of his kingdom. That small kingdom was meaningless when compared to the great kingdoms of the world. Hezekiah described them to Isaiah being from “a far country.” A hundred years later, that small kingdom became powerful Babylon and destroyed Jerusalem and plundered all of its treasure.
Hezekiah did not see how showing his kingdom could ever bring ruin, but it did. Innocent choices can lead to great ruin. Teens’ choices of ungodly friends have destroyed many. “Innocent” flirtations in the office have lead to adultery. That first drink, lowering the inhibition to do wrong, has brought tragedy to many. The list is endless. As you make decisions, remember it was one “innocent” mistake which brought ruin to Jerusalem and brings ruin to many lives today.
Ask God to give you wisdom and turn to His book of wisdom to avoid “innocent” mistakes which ruin lives.