Security is a powerful temptress in life–mainly due to the negative emotions that come when we feel that we are not secure. At times feelings of insecurity can be so intense that they can be totally debilitating. As a result, we often find ourselves working hard to keep a semblance of security in our lives. We work hard to maintain a regular pace and pattern in life, to surround ourselves with ample material possessions, and to isolate ourselves from chaos, all in the hopes that we will go to bed each night and wake up each morning feeling secure. Living life under this frail security blanket may seem comfortable, but it has a deadly side effect.
Security of a earthly, temporal nature makes us shortsighted. A perfect example is king Hezekiah in Isaiah 39. Hezekiah had just recovered from a sickness that nearly cost him his life. After recovering, some envoys from Babylon brought Hezekiah a present to celebrate his recovery. King Hezekiah responded by showing the envoys all his royal treasury. After the men from Babylon left, the prophet Isaiah told Hezekiah that his actions were foolish and that in coming generations the nation of Babylon would carry all of Jerusalem’s treasure and some of his own sons into exile (Isa. 39:6 – 7).
Hezekiah’s response is shocking. “Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, ‘The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.’ For he though, ‘There will be peace and security in my days'” (Isa. 39:8). Hezekiah was so focused on his temporal security that he simply passed over the reality that his nation’s wealth and his own sons would be carried off into exile. He was so short sighted in his thinking that he the thought of his own family’s exile didn’t bother him. His only concern, “There will be peace and security in my days.”
Sometimes we are so focused on our own earthly security that we miss the larger implications of life. We become short sighted to the point that we fail to see the people around us. You might think, ‘I would never neglect my family, present or future, for my own security.’ Maybe you wouldn’t, but what about the men and women around you who face not the threat of earthly exile, but the reality of eternal judgement. Does the desire to maintain our security blind us to their need for Christ and our responsibility to share the gospel with them? The simple reality is that our desire for security–a safe, comfortable life–often keeps us from going overseas, across our nation, even across our own street to share the life giving message of Christ. The story of Hezekiah is a vivid portrayal of what a life looks like when it is dominated by the desire for temporal security. I pray that our life will be grounded in the security of knowing Christ. When it is, we will have incomparable peace, and a passion and boldness to take the gospel to the nations.