2 Kings 20:12-21 – Evil is Lurking

Read 2 Kings 20:12-21

evil looking green blob

Did Hezekiah feel invincible after God healed him, or was his “danger radar” simply malfunctioning? His actions toward the Babylonian envoys were certainly very hospitable. I’m surprised Hezekiah didn’t question the motives of the Babylonian envoy’s visit. Could there have been a hidden agenda besides sending a “glad you’re well” gift?

There is certainly some intrigue here, especially if the Babylonians were indeed sending a search party to do some reconnaissance. Even when Isaiah brought to Hezekiah’s attention that everything would someday be taken away to Babylon, the true magnitude of that reality didn’t seem to phase Hezekiah. He seemed more relieved it wasn’t going to happen on “his watch” as king.

Evil is always lurking. Even Jesus recognized that the prince of darkness had a strong hold on this world. Yet Jesus told his disciples in John 14, “He has no power over me.” So long as we stay faithful to Jesus, his protection guards us as well. We still need to be aware and alert.

Hezekiah had no idea that showing off all his kingdom’s treasures could have serious consequences to future generations. Just because it wasn’t happening during “his” reign doesn’t mean he didn’t open the door, leaving his kingdom vulnerable. It’s like he was showing off to make friends or something. If the Babylonians didn’t have active plans to take over Judah when they made their visit, the wheels could soon be turning. The evil one likes to take advantage of our weak points. Has Hezekiah’s transparency left Judah exposed to doom?

We might even be blinded and not recognize evil lurking around us. I picture the evil one like a stray dog that looks harmless enough as it sniffs around looking for the best garbage. Unfortunately, the evil one is smart enough to disguise himself so that we are left unaware. In our story, they brought a gift and seemed genuinely interested in the king’s well-being.

Isaiah warns us about evil. “What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20) We need to be careful to call out evil when we see it. It takes vigilance on our part. 2 Peter 3:17 says, “You already know these things, dear friends. So be on guard; then you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing.”

What can we do to keep ourselves safe from this crafty prince of darkness? Pray. Pray without ceasing. Never underestimate the power of prayer. The Lord’s Prayer has a whole petition on delivering us from evil. Psalm 91 has some beautiful images of God as our protector. God doesn’t leave us alone to fight evil by ourselves. Call on him today.

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray …
Lord, I know there is evil lurking all around me, and I thank you that I can call on you for protection. I feel so much more secure knowing that I’m held closely in your loving arms. Give me the assurance I need to face whatever battles with evil may come. I stand with you in your truth. You are my sure foundation. I love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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