I’ll bet you expect that I’m going to give a key here that you can use to unlock the possibilities of leaving something lasting behind when you die. I’d like to give you that key, because I, like you, want to make sure that in the end, my life counts for something.
That’s what I was thinking about when I finished reading about King Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles 29-32. Besides David, he may have been the best king Jerusalem had during the times of the kings. He got the sin out of the city and re-established the annual Passover feast that had been long forsaken. He got God’s wayward chosen nation pointed back in the right direction.
He finally died—with a great reputation that lives today. Now we ask, what was his lasting legacy on earth? His 12-year-old son Manasseh took over as king in his place. Was his child his legacy? A lot of people think their children will continue on what they started. But with his kid, wow. During Manasseh’s 55-year reign, he undid everything his father had done.
He did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.” (2 Chron. 33:1-3)
As if that wasn’t bad enough, “And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger…So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen, whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel.” (2 Chron. 33:6 & 9)
Now let’s go back to Hezekiah’s legacy. His son wasn’t it. And isn’t this story every Christian parent’s worst nightmare?
So, what is the key to leaving a lasting legacy on earth? First, get rid of the idea it will be your offspring.
Here we go. Isa 40:6-8 The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: (7) The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. (8) The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
You’ve heard it said that the word of God and the people of God last forever, so invest the first into the second. That’s a good key to a lasting legacy.
I’m going to propose another iteration of this. How about doing something that will promote the word of God to generations after you? I just finished reading Fanny Crosby’s biography. She’s the blind poet who lived in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s and wrote thousands of hymns we still sing today. People have always gotten saved from exposure to her hymns. That’s a lasting legacy.
How about putting verses to music and singing them and teaching them to others, and perhaps getting them up on YouTube where they will last? I’ve done that (look on YouTube for Jody Shee).
When I die, my rewards in heaven are one thing, and the subject for a different blog post, but leaving a lasting legacy on earth is something to strive for—because after you die, what will it matter that you ever lived?
Tell me what you think.