Day 186: Struggles with Self-Interest

2 Chronicles 31:1-21 Hezekiah clarified the roles of the priests and Levites and established the Temple as the true locus of all worship for the people of Israel. The Levites were given the responsibility to teach the Law to the people, and they were to be supported by the Temple contributions. The people were generous in supporting both the Temple and the Levite priests.


Psalm 144 This psalm revisits a question frequently included in other psalms: Given our inclination to sin and infidelity, why does God keep inviting us back to repentance? According to Origen, God endowed every individual with the capacity to seek God and have a personal relationship with him; however, because of the Fall of our first parents, sin entered the world, damaging the human person’s ability to find God, let alone have a loving relationship with him. God remedies this solution through the Incarnation and Redemption of the Son of God. “Thus, knowledge of God became reality, it became friendship and communion,” said Pope Benedict XVI, “Let us thank the Lord, because he ‘lowered the heavens and came down,’ he took our flesh upon his shoulders and carries us on our journey through life” (Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, January 11, 2006).


The second half of this psalm speaks of a new song played on a ten-stringed harp, which St. Augustine interpreted as the Law summarized in the Ten Commandments. These Commandments serve as the foundation for the fullness of Christ’s New Law of Love. With charity as a guiding light, we bring peace and joy to the world. (Cf. Pope Benedict XVI, General Audiences, January 11 and 25, 2006; St. John Paul II, General Audience, May 21, 2003). (CCC 1710-1715, 1718)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)


  • Today is the day it is 😉

  • So we have Hezekiah who is a GOOD KING

  • 2 Kings Ch 20 Hezekiah is in so much danger of death that Isaiah comes to him and says, “Yeah, you’re gonna die. Thus says the Lord.”

  • Hezekiah prays and beseeches the Lord

  • He gets a MIRACULOUS HEALING

  • It is REMARKABLE that happens

  • That kind of MIRACLE can happen

  • It doesn’t ALWAYS happen, obviously

  • We have seen everyone up to this point in The Bible has DIED

  • Whether from old age

  • Whether from violence

  • Whether from accident

  • Whether from illness

  • At this point, Hezekiah is spared and gets an EXTRA 15 YEARS!!

  • It’s interesting where Hezekiah wants a sign, “How am I supposed to know?”

  • There is a shadow on the steps and the shadow is growing meaning the day keeps going, the sun keeps moving across the sky, the earth keeps revolving

  • 2 Kings 20:10, “...let the shadow go back ten steps.”

  • And the shadow goes back as a sign that God is going to extend his life

  • That is fascinating, powerful, and interesting

  • BUT…

  • It doesn’t tell us much about what is going to happen

  • What it DOES tell us about what is going to happen is that the envoy from Babylon shows up

  • Hezekiah feels he must impress the Babylonian envoy and the Babylonians

  • Babylon was a pretty impressive place

  • One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (And all this time I thought the WONDER was the song Rivers of Babylon by Boney M. 🤪)

  • It was an incredible, powerful nation at this point

  • King Hezekiah showed the envoy all their treasures, the armory, all the soldiers, and there was nothing in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show the envoy

  • Isaiah goes to Hezekiah and rebukes him

  • “What did you do? You just told these invaders everything. They are not invading right now. They are just on a peaceful mission to see how you are doing because they heard you are sick. They are going to come back and now they have all of the secrets of this place and they will be able to destroy this nation and put everyone into exile.”

  • We get this sense of Hezekiah

  • The last word we get from him in 2 Kings 20:19, Hezekiah says to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good. Why not, if there will be peace and security in my days?”

  • This great king did a good job

  • But we also get SHALLOWNESS

  • Yes, Judah will fall

  • The people will be put into EXILE

  • Babylon will WIN

  • BUT…

  • At least not during MY LIFETIME (And to think, God gave him 15 EXTRA YEARS and he STILL felt this way??!!! 🤔)

  • We just think that in this last moment, the last word we hear Hezekiah speak is a word of SELF-PREOCCUPATION and NOT the words of a KING

  • A KING would be interested in not only TAKING CARE OF HIS PEOPLE

  • A KING would also be interested in HONORING THE LORD

  • The reality is, of course, that WE DO NOT PUT OUR TRUST IN PRINCES

  • We prayed this in Psalm 146: “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no help.”

  • WE TRUST IN THE LORD

  • We know that no matter how GOOD a king or ruler is

  • No matter how good a FRIEND, PASTOR, or PERSON, or WHOEVER is…

  • We also know that they are going to be FALLEN

  • We also know that they are going to be BROKEN

  • So even though Hezekiah was very faithful to The Lord, he still had VERY SELFISH THOUGHTS at the end of his life

  • AND YET…

  • In 2 Chronicles 31 we read that he is still remembered for being that good king who re-instituted WORSHIP

  • He got people to PRAISE and give God GLORY

  • That is what WE want to do

  • We want to be people like THAT

  • We don’t want to be SELF-INTERESTED

  • We don’t want to be just concerned with OUR GENERATION

  • We must pray for ourselves NOW, but also for FUTURE GENERATIONS

  • As we are journeying through this Bible in a Year, there will be people who come AFTER US

  • Many people are at different points in this journey

  • Take this time to PRAY FOR THEM ALL

  • Pray for those who are DOING this Bible in a Year RIGHT NOW

  • Pray for those who WILL BE DOING this Bible in a Year in the FUTURE

  • Maybe there are others who are a little bit behind us, or a long way behind us

  • PRAY FOR ALL OF THEM

  • ANYONE WHO IS LISTENING TO THIS RIGHT NOW

  • If you are a little bit behind when you listened, you KNOW that there was someone else who was a day ahead of you, a week ahead of you, maybe even a year ahead of you

  • THEY PRAYED FOR YOU AT THIS MOMENT

  • So now, it is YOUR turn

  • Pray for those BEHIND YOU

  • Pray for those WHO WILL BE COMING

  • PRAY FOR EACH OTHER

  • PRAY FOR FR. MIKE


Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we thank you and give you praise. Happy the people whose God is the Lord. You are our God and we are blessed because you are good. We thank you for your goodness, Lord God, today. Whether we are praying these words, hearing these words early in the morning, in the middle of our day, at the end of our day, whatever time we are, we are blessed just to know you, God. We are blessed just to have you in our lives, to not go through this life not knowing who you are, not knowing who we are, not knowing where we come from or who we come from, not knowing who we are made for. We are made for you, Lord God. We give you praise and thank you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”