“1 At that time Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah since he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. 2 Hezekiah was pleased with them, and showed them his treasure house—the silver, the gold, the spices, and the precious oil—and all his armory, and everything that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his palace and in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. 3 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did these men say? The men who came to you—where were they from?”
Hezekiah replied, “They came to me from a distant country, from Babylon.”
4 And he asked, “What have they seen in your palace?” Hezekiah answered, “They have seen everything in my palace. There isn’t anything in my storehouses that I didn’t show them.”
5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD of Hosts: 6 ‘The time will certainly come when everything in your palace and all that your fathers have stored up until this day will be carried off to Babylon; nothing will be left,’ says the LORD. 7 ‘Some of your descendants who come from you will be taken away, and they will be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.'”
8 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD that you have spoken is good.” For he thought: There will be peace and security during my lifetime. “-Isaiah 39:1-8
In 2008, I completed my Chaplain Officer training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. One free weekend I traveled to Atlanta to visit a close cousin and attend church with them that Sunday. The pastor was speaking on generational reach and how studies show that the average life has a generational reach of 200 years. This means that through our teachings to our children and grandchildren and our influence on others, we can impact the next 200 years of someone’s life. I was blown away by the power of this thought.
I started to reflect on all the people that had impacted my life. We are indeed the product of the prayers, preaching, and beliefs of those who loved God and instilled the desire to love him. Today, we recognize that we are standing on the shoulders of generations of believers who have gone before us and have left us with an excellent task. That task is to work with a new generation of followers that can impact the world way into the next century.
Isaiah shares the story of when Hezekiah allowed a group of Babylonians to tour his palace, military assembly areas, and his treasure storehouses. Isaiah proclaimed that this was foolish and that result would be that the day would come when this decision would affect generations of his family for years to come. Hezekiah’s response was at least it won’t happen in my lifetime.
Jesus continually shared with his disciples that their choices today will not end when the sun goes down but will be waiting on them when the sunrises the next day. He is proclaiming to all of us not to become a complacent generation but instead to determine to make a difference now and for a generation to come.
The timing is perfect for us to lay a solid foundation for those coming after us. However, we must not wait any longer. Let us partner together and, through the power of the Holy Spirit, make an eternal difference.