2 Chronicles 32:24-33
“But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the LORD’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem.” (2 Chronicles 32:25, NIV)
God blessed Hezekiah in every way. He was wealthy, famous, and he had built many projects. One of his greatest achievements was digging a nearly 1,800 foot tunnel through solid rock from the Gihon spring outside Jerusalem’s city wall to the Pool of Siloam in the city of David. The purpose of this was so that if they were under siege, they would have an endless water supply. He blocked the upper outlet of the spring so that the enemy could not access it from outside the wall. Perhaps it was all these achievements which caused Hezekiah’s heart to be lifted up in pride rather than responding to God’s kindness with thanksgiving, humility, and a generous spirit. Therefore, God’s wrath was on him, Judah and Jerusalem.
While many people seek the LORD during hard times, only a few rely upon Him when they prosper. They start taking credit for their own success. They think they can do it on their own. They stop being prayerful and thankful. They aren’t listening to God.
Thankfully, Hezekiah came to his senses and repented, so the LORD’s wrath did not come upon Judah during his lifetime. But Hezekiah’s pride likely influenced his son Manasseh, who would become the wickedest king of Judah.
When envoys from Babylon came to visit Hezekiah after he recovered from his illness, God tested him to reveal what was in his heart. Hezekiah foolishly showed them everything in his royal treasuries (2 Kings 20:13). The prophet Isaiah warned him that in the future the Babylonians would carry off everything they saw, including some of the king’s own descendants. But Hezekiah was unconcerned because it would not happen during his lifetime.
We all have the constant enemy of pride that seeks to rely upon itself, justify itself, compare itself to others, and boast in its own possessions and accomplishments. Let us pray that we may lay an ax to the root of this poisonous tree! Let us rather imitate the humility, gratitude, and generosity of Jesus.