3 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King
Hezekiah and asked, "What did those men say, and where did they come from?"
"From a distant land," Hezekiah replied. "They came to me from Babylon."
4 The prophet asked, "What did they see in your palace?" "They saw everything in my palace," Hezekiah said. "There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them."
Application: Many today are obsessed about adding a few years to their life, but haven't really thought through what they would do with those years. The more you have, the more you will be held accountable for - and that includes years.Now as for Hezekiah exhibiting all his nice stuff, the fact that the Bible includes this account somehow linking it to the coming captivity gives the impression that it was not a wise thing to have done. I suspect that situation much like the census David took which brought judgment upon Israel. "The anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, "Go and take a census of Israel and Judah." 2 Samuel 24:1 So also in this case in His anger against Judah God incited the Babylonians against them through envy by allowing Hezekiah to show the envoys all his nice stuff. I don't think the envoys were spies. Nor do I question Merodach-Baladan's motivation. But I would imagine that upon hearing the envoy's report of the treasures they were shown induced a seed of envy which grew over the years as is characteristic of kings to accumulate better stuff for themselves, which led to war.
Application: Don't tempt people to envy by unncessarily exhibiting all your nice stuff. In fact one reason why people accumulates stuff is to "keep up with the Jones". One neighbor will boast about his stuff, causing the other to envy and get better stuff which he can then boast in. Privacy therefore should be part of the Christian life. Don't give out personal information like salary or savings unncessarily. Exhibit Christ, not your material things.This should even apply when it comes to practicing generosity. Consider the church in Acts 4 in which they shared all things in common. However note the story of Barnabus selling a field and laying the money at the apostle's feet. (Acts 4:36,37) The fact that this is event is recorded indicates that it was public knowledge. Notice what happens next. Apparently (as I see it) Ananias and his wife became envious of the honor Barnabus recieved and wanted to publically be perceived as generous as well. For they sold a field and gave part of the money to the church claiming that they gave the whole sum. This lie resulted in their death. The church at that time did not practice what Jesus taught saying,
Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matt 6:1-4Therefore to the extend in which you are able try to keep your acts of generosity anonymous - not only for your own sake, but also that you will not provoke others to envy.