Bible · Christianity · End times · government · religion

Frenemies bearing gifts: never give them a noose to hang you with

wrapped giftKing Hezekiah was known to be one of the most godly kings Judah ever had and he helped Judah prosper. But he also had his weaknesses. He could be gullible. His gullibility played out in 2 Kings 20:12-13 right after God healed him from a deadly sickness. The king of Babylon sent ambassadors with gifts to Hezekiah to tell him how glad they all were that he recovered from his illness. Babylon had ulterior motives for their flattering gifts, but Hezekiah was so thrilled that a fellow powerful king liked him that he let his spiritual guard down by turning off his discernment. So here is how it went down in v. 13:

And Hezekiah hearkened unto them, and shewed them all the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not.

Hezekiah got so overexcited by the flatteries that he revealed the deepest state secrets about Judah to the Babylonians. God was definitely not pleased. Hezekiah should have known, based on how Babylon conspired against Israel with the Assyrians in 2 Kings 17:24-41, that Babylonians were treacherous pagans. They were also meticulous record keepers. There are just some things that are best not to share with such people. God may command his people to love their enemies, but he doesn’t call on his people to blindly trust them. Hezekiah had to be confronted about his mistake, so God sent his prophet Isaiah to question Hezekiah (not even God’s anointed king was above accountability) about who the men were, what they discussed with Hezekiah, and what Hezekiah revealed to them. After Hezekiah told Isaiah everything, Isaiah told him the consequences:

...Hear the word of the Lord. Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried into Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the Lord. And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. 2 Kings 20:16-18

Hezekiah’s mistake would cost the whole nation of Judah after his death. His righteousness was probably the only thing that spared Hezekiah from the immediate repercussions. He expressed the relief of that realization in v. 19. The lesson I learned from this incident is that just because a God-hater is nice to me, or pretends to be a Christian like me, does not mean I should make compromises with them that can do unnecessary harm to myself, to others, or to God’s plans whether it’s now or in the future and whether it’s in the material world or the spiritual.

I was recently reminded of this lesson twice. The first time was when I had a dream where someone at a gathering left a beautifully wrapped gift in the center of the room. One of the guests ran over to open it and I yelled out “Don’t open it! It’s a trap!” They opened it anyway. It exploded with a deadly gas. I grabbed one or two guests and ran out of the room with them.

The second reminder was when I read recently about how the current administration in the White House is selling out America by placing sharia-minded Muslims in places of power within the US government where they have access to just about every state secret you can think of. The President has even gone so far as to appoint a sharia-minded Muslim woman, who has openly expressed anti-American sentiments, to a Homeland Security position. To make matters worse, Hillary Clinton’s close aide, Huma Abedin, has ties to Muslim terrorists and Clinton has every intention, if elected President, to assign Abedin a high position in the federal government.

It’s never good policy to hand your frenemy a noose to hang you with, but some people just don’t get it. The bribes and flatteries they receive from others blinds them to that truth.

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