When personal peace and social security become our goals in life, we inadvertently set up the next generation for failure. Happens all the time in government, business, ministry, and family.
Here's my quick summary of one of the saddest stories in the Bible, a story about how idolizing peace and security destroyed several generations. 2 Kings 20:
VERSE 1. The good prophet Isaiah tells righteous King Hezekiah to get his house in order because he will soon die.
VERSES 2-11. Hezekiah prays for more time. God answers and gives him 15 extra years, plus a miraculous sign to confirm the new timetable.
VERSES 12-15. The righteous king promptly acts like a fool, revealing classified national security secrets to the evil Babylonian, King Marduk-Baladan (great name for a villain).
VERSES 16-18. The prophet returns with a horrible prohpetic word, the worst word a father/leader could ever hear, that "some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon."
VERSE 19. Hezekiah has to be the most self-absorbed righteous leader ever! "The word of the Lord you have spoken is good,' Hezekiah replied. For he thought, 'Will there not be PEACE AND SECURITY IN MY LIFETIME?'"
It is sad that when Hezekiah received a word that he would die, he responded by crying out to God for more time for himself. God answered. But when he received a word that future generations would be destroyed, he rejoiced that it would not happen in his lifetime.
As a leader, do you only care about what happens in your lifetime? Do you only pray about what effects you? Or, do you care about and pray for future generations?
VERSE 19. Righteous King Hezekiah finally dies, 15 years after his miracle prayer, and is succeeded by his son Manasseh who quickly became one of the most wicked ungodly kings in the whole Bible.
CONCLUSION. Self-absorbed leaders set up the next generation for failure.