Surely every one of us dads desire to make good decisions that are best for our family. We are called to be leaders. To be a good leader, we must make good decisions. I expect we have all made some choices we wish we hadn’t made, but what is one of the more important aspects of any decision?
Let’s take a look at Hezekiah, King of Judah. Now here is a man! He became king at age twenty-five, “And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did” (2 Kings 18:3). It continues in verse 4, “He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made. . . .” It says God blessed everything Hezekiah set his hand to do. He was making some very good decisions.
God waited fourteen years before He brought a significant test into Hezekiah’s life. Ten years after Hezekiah rebelled from the control of Assyria, the king of Assyria mobilized his army against the towns of Judah. King Hezekiah sent word to the king of Assyria and confessed his error for rebelling. He said he would pay any sum the king of Assyria demanded. Hezekiah then had to give all the silver from his treasuries and from the temple of the Lord. Plus, he stripped the gold off of the temple doors to satisfy the Assyrian request.
To many, this would seem like a great decision on Hezekiah’s part. The towns of Judah had already been conquered, and it would have seemed like a horrible disaster was about to take place had he resisted the Assyrian king. He averted a terrible situation and kept the peace. What a guy!
But wait! Next we read that the King of Assyria marches against Jerusalem. He tells them his intention is to deport them all to a very nice land with plenty of food. No talk of forced labor, but the evil one never highlights the truth. This time, however, we are told Hezekiah cries out to the Lord. God says He will take care of the situation. Overnight the Angel of the Lord proceeds to completely destroy the Assyrian army without Hezekiah doing anything.
Hezekiah has now made one good and one horrible decision. The first decision was trusting in himself. I’m sure it made good sense to him. Unfortunately, God’s glory on earth was diminished by the treasures being taken and by the gold scraped off the doors. As they entered the temple, the marred surfaces would be a reminder to those worshipping the Lord of the consequences of not seeking God’s will. Man’s solutions are never permanent, as demonstrated by the king of Assyria’s return. The second crisis resulted in God’s glory and praise. As Hezekiah called on the Lord, Judah was delivered, and 185,000 Assyrians were slaughtered.
I think back to decisions I’ve made over the years; there have been some good ones and some bad ones. I don’t recall ever feeling I made a bad decision after carefully seeking God’s will. However, I can give you many examples of bad decisions I made when I did not seek the Lord’s direction. May we put our will aside and seek God’s will for our families. May we avoid the marred doors that remind us of trying to raise godly children in our own strength. May we be the leaders God would have us to be.