King Hezekiah, A Lesson in Faith – Part III

Text: II Kings 20:8-21, II Chronicles 32:23-31

We now conclude this journey in faith that we have considered over the last 2 months.  In April – Part 1 of A Lesson in Faith we witnessed King Hezekiah’s dramatic prayer to God in the Temple courtyard and God’s response by destroying King Sennacherib’s army.  In May- Part II we saw God’s mercy in reversing his message through the prophet Isaiah that King Hezekiah would surely die. Once again King Hezekiah showed remarkable faith and prayed to God that he would not die, and God again was moved by his faith and gave him 15 more years to live.  Thus far our lessons are clear; have faith, pray without ceasing; and, God is merciful, hears and answers prayer.

Part III, this month’s discourse, takes an unexpected turn and gives us a vital lesson regarding humility. II Kings 20:8-21 details the events following his miraculous healing. Vs. 12 shows his acclaim resulting from this healing. Vs. 13 shows his response to the Babylonian ambassadors. Basically, he “showed off” his wealth rather than glorify God for his wealth. II Chronicles 32: 25-26 indicates, “But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore, there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem.”  In vs. 31 God assesses King Hezekiah’s heart in view of all that he had done for him; “……God left him, to try him that he might know all that was in his heart.”    

Ironically, at the end, after all God had done in blessing him, Hezekiah failed.  The Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Concise) exegetes, this verse exquisitely indicating the fact that it is good for us to know ourselves, and our own weaknesses and sinfulness; that we may not be conceited or self-confident.  We don’t know the corruption of our own hearts, nor what we would do if God leaves us to ourselves.

Although Hezekiah did well in destroying images of idol worshipers, he failed by idolizing himself.

 I pray that our walk of faith over the past three months will be a guide for you as you face your own trials and tribulations; and the assurance that God loves, God knows, God hears and God answers prayer. I pose this question to you, “do you have a testimony and do you express it with humility?”

I leave you to contemplate the first verse and refrain from the hymn Lift him UP –“How to reach the masses, men of every birth, for an answer Jesus gave the key: And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, Will draw all men unto me. Lift him up, Lift Him up, till he speaks from eternity: And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, Will draw all men unto me.”

Yours in Christ,

Dempsey Scott Harrison, Jr.

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