“But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.”2 Chronicles 32:31
I may have written about this before, but this morning the Lord showed me something that reminded me of this story. Sometimes when you find yourself feeling like you can’t “feel” or “hear” or “see” the Lord, He is trying to show you YOU.
*Side note: God is so faithful. I mean, He is like, REALLY faithful. And kind, and good, and loving, and has a Father’s heart. I just love Him!
So, Hezekiah was put in a position after the Lord did a work to either be humble or promote himself. This is totally my vice, by the way; I have this terrible bent toward self-promotion. It’s probably part of the “daddy issues” I have, but I seem to have this thorn in my side that makes me need to be noticed. It’s embarrassing and I hate it, but it keeps me humble, so I praise the Lord for my weakness.
Anyway, King Hezekiah had, by the Lord’s help, defeated armies and become very powerful and incredibly rich – like, stupid rich. He had entire rooms filled with his treasures.
*By the way, if you have rooms full of treasure, give the treasures away right now. I’ll send you my address if you need it. 😉 Really, though, let your treasure be in heaven, where no one can take it and it can’t spoil. Remember this is not our home. We can’t take anything with us, so let’s have our treasure hidden in the Lord.
So, stupid-rich King Heze ended up with an illness and the Lord told him he was gonna die. Yikes, guys. He reminded the Lord (as if He didn’t know) how faithful he’d been to him and God gave him an extra 15 years. To prove it was a real thing, Heze had the prophet pray and ask God for a sign to confirm this was true. The sign happened, and Hezekiah was given 15 more years. A-may-zing.
*Side note: King Heze’s knowing of his impending doom, miraculous sign, and miraculous healing are the exception – not the rule. Praying for a sign and for healing can be good; expecting a sign and healing are not as good or as probable: results may vary. 😉
When Kingypants was healed, the king of Babylon sent him letters and a gift. When the envoys arrived, Heze went and hosted his own “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” and showed the team his crib (for real). As if the miracle and his riches were all from himself. Instead of promoting God, he promoted himself. The prophet came in after they left and asked who those dudes were, what they said and where they came from. Heze told him they were guys from a distant land and they saw “everything in my palace. There’s nothing I didn’t show them.” What comes before a fall? Yeah. Pride.
Sure enough, King Hezekiah was overtaken by pride and self-promotion, and all the blessings God had given him, and had all his riches taken away by…Guess who? Go ahead, guess! Yep. The Babylonians. Face-palm. See why I called him stupid-rich? Lots of money can make you stupid – “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1Tim 6:10). He did repent by the way:
“Then Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.”2 Chronicles 32:26
*Hezekiah’s story can be found in 2 Kings 18-20, 2 Chronicles 29-32, and Isaiah 36-39.
The Point: God had left Hezekiah alone for a bit to show him his prideful, self-promoting heart.
I’m sharing this story because that standing back by God is His faithfulness. It is His mercy. It is His discipline and His love to let you alone for a bit to see what you’ll do. Not that He needs to see it, but YOU need to see it. And if you’re really walking with Him you’ll realize your sinfulness or catch it before you do something dumb and have your sin and stupidity up on display for the world to see. Humbling yourself in the sight of the Lord is hard work, but it’s worth it, and it’s much better than being humbled by the Lord (“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” Hebrews 10:31). As scary as it can be, ask the Lord to show you your heart. He will use situations that come your way to allow pressure and cause your true colors to arise. Be careful to take stock in that moment what you see in yourself. Repent of all wickedness, foolishness, or thought of foolishness, and thank God for His faithfulness. And remember, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God AND His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
So? What’s in YOUR heart?
Love ya! Have a great Thursday.