One of Judah’s best kings, Hezekiah, had been near to death with a sickness. When he appealed to God in prayer, the Lord promised to extend his life for fifteen years. Following that, Hezekiah was visited by an envoy from Babylon: “There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them” (Isaiah 39:2).
Isaiah the prophet then went to Hezekiah, inquiring about the identity of those who had visited the king. The prophet then asked Hezekiah, “What have they seen in your house?” (Isaiah 39:4). Hezekiah responded, “They have seen all that is in my house, there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them” (39:4).
When you think about it, Isaiah’s question is a fair one for each of us to ask ourselves. We, like Hezekiah did, have visitors in our homes. Some are friends, some are family members. Some are Christians, some are not. Even when there are no special guests, those of us who live together under one roof see each other’s habits and daily lives. So, let us ask: “What have they seen in your house?”
The Bible says that children are supposed to obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1), and parents are supposed to discipline their kids (Hebrews 12:7-10). In some homes, that is what goes on. In others, though, the kids seem to run wild, do whatever they want, and boss their parents. Which scenario do others see in our houses?
The Lord wants us to treat others with compassion, tenderness, and courtesy (1 Peter 3:8). That takes place in some homes, but in others the environment is more like a war zone, with people yelling at one another, disregarding the feelings and property of others, and stomping on anyone whom they perceive is “getting in their way.” How do others see us treating each other in our homes?
God instructs humans to keep their hearts with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23). What kind of reading materials do people see in our homes? The books, magazines, bulletins, and newspapers which are available to read in our dwelling places, are they wholesome and helpful or more like what could be called “light porn” and destructive?
God’s word says that we are to speak those things which build up, avoiding corrupt language in the process (Ephesians 4:29). That is certainly the way that some family members speak at home (and all other places), whereas other members of the church feel no shame in using profanity. What do people hear at your house and mine?
Lasciviousness is a work of the flesh (Galatians 5:19). It means indecency and the absence of restraint [Vine; www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0001600]. In some homes, what guests see is an absence of wall paintings, photos, clothing, or movies that resemble anything sexually provocative. Yet, in other homes, such things are open for all eyes to see. What do they see in your home and mine?
As we noted earlier, Hezekiah showed his visitors all of his material treasures. Our Lord wants us to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21), focusing on things above (Colossians 3:1,2). In some homes, it is plain that those who live there have spiritual matters as their top priority; in others, the hosts constantly desire to impress their guests with their material possessions. Which part of life do our visitors observe you and me emphasizing, the spiritual or the material?
The Bible says that we are to walk circumspectly and wisely (Ephesians 5:15-17), being sober and guarding our minds (1 Peter 1:13). In some homes, people take such charges seriously, avoiding the foolishness-inducing affect of alcoholic beverages (Proverbs 20:1). Other priests of God drink liquor and offer this thought-altering drug to their visitors. Which practice do others see in our homes?
The apostle Paul had in his heart “deep concern for all the churches,” and he was prepared to do all things for the edification of the saints (2 Corinthians 11:28; 12:19). In some homes, the Lord’s church is revered and exalted, while in others the conversations about the church of the living God speak of it, its members, and its leaders only in words of criticism, complaints, and disdain. When others visit our homes, what do they observe in our speech about Jesus’ blood-bought people?
What if the Lord saw everything that goes on in my house and yours? How would we feel about that? In fact, we should not talk about “if” He sees what is going on; it is a fact that He sees and knows all that you and I think, do, and say, whether we are at home or some other place. And, it is no secret that He holds us accountable for our choices. Again, we ask, “What have they seen in your house?”
— Roger D. Campbell