Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord. 2 Kings 20:2
“Never trust anyone over thirty,” said young environmentalist Jack Weinberg in 1964. His comment stereotyped an entire generation—something Weinberg later regretted. Looking back, he said, “Something I said off the top of my head . . . became completely distorted and misunderstood.”
Have you heard disparaging comments aimed at millennials? Or vice versa? Ill thoughts directed from one generation toward another can cut both ways. Surely there’s a better way.
Although he was an excellent king, Hezekiah showed a lack of concern for another generation. When, as a young man, Hezekiah was struck with a terminal illness (2 Kings 20:1), he cried out to God for his life (vv. 2–3). God gave him fifteen more years (v. 6).
But when Hezekiah received the terrible news that his children would one day be taken captive, the royal tears were conspicuously absent (vv. 16–18). He thought, “Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?” (v. 19). It may have been that Hezekiah didn’t apply the passion he had for his own well-being to the next generation.
God calls us to a love that dares to cross the lines dividing us. The older generation needs the fresh idealism and creativity of the younger, who in turn can benefit from the wisdom and experience of their predecessors. This is no time for snarky memes and slogans but for thoughtful exchange of ideas. We’re in this together.
In what ways do you think you may have ignored or disrespected others from a different age group? How might you use the gifts God has given you to serve them?
Forgive me, Father, for not appreciating others in a stage of life different from mine.
King Hezekiah ruled the Southern Kingdom of Judah from about 727–698 bc. One of the few “good” kings of the south, Hezekiah drove idolatry from the land and destroyed the “high places” where false idols were being worshiped. Second Kings 18:3–6 bears witness to Hezekiah’s spiritual character, asserting that “he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done” (v. 3) and that “he “trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him” (v. 5).