May We Never Lose Sight
Dr. Nicole Martin
This blog is an excerpt from an original article published in Christianity Today.
God’s Word is full of nuances and moments that catch us by surprise. From the nuances of creation to the spectacular moments of redemption, the entirety of Scripture has the potential to captivate and transform us with each divine twist and turn. While listening to Scripture one morning, one such nuance made me stop in my tracks.
It was the last verse of Isaiah 39, which marked the end of King Hezekiah’s reign and the beginning of Babylonian captivity. It was the note that sealed a prophetic word of destruction and confirmed the generational consequences of sin. Upon hearing Isaiah say that everything he owned would be carried off to Babylon and his descendants would soon be taken away, Hezekiah replied, “The word of the Lord you have spoken is good” while thinking, “There will be peace and security in my lifetime.”
As I listened to this Scripture, my heart sank and I began to weep. I was overcome with grief, realizing how easy it is for one generation to forget its impact upon another and for one person’s blessing to cause them to forget about another’s plight. To be fair, Hezekiah was not the sole reason for the captivity of Israel. But Isaiah intentionally highlighted this moment as one of the nuances in the story that sealed the destiny of a people for a significant time.
If we are not careful, we can fall into the same trap as Hezekiah. Enamored with our own successes and captivated by our own blessings, we can lose sight of the larger picture of God’s kingdom and our footprint upon it. We can become so caught up in the American story that we can neglect to see the significance of what God is doing in the global church. We can become so engrossed in our own cultural and denominational narratives that we ignore or even demonize the grand diversity that makes up the body of Christ. And, if we’re not careful, we can become so distracted by our sense of security in our lifetime that we minimize our impact on the generations that follow.
Though Hezekiah turned his back on the world around him, the redemptive power of the gospel invites us to lean in . . . And when the world declares exile for the next generation, we are telling the story of God—who reminds us that it is not good for any of us until it is good for all of us.
Rev. Dr. Nicole Martin (DMin ’14), adjunct professor of Ministry and Leader Development at Gordon-Conwell, was recently appointed CIO at Christianity Today. Learn more about Dr. Martin and the gifts and talents she brings to this new role in our recent news post.