Today I urge you to take the time and read the story of Hezekiah, one of Judah’s great leaders in 2 Chronicles 29-32 (also 2 Kings 18-20)!
What a leader! What commitment to the Lord and righteous causes! Because of this devotion to the Lord, Hezekiah’s godly reforms, and obedience to God’s word, the Lord blessed him incredibly!
“Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God. And every work that he undertook in the service of the house of God and in accordance with the law and the commandments, seeking his God, he did what all his heart and prospered… Hezekiah had very great riches and honor… God gave him very great possessions… Hezekiah prospered in all his works.” (2 Chronicles 31:20-21 and 32:27, 29-30)
Even when under siege by a much superior army led by Sennacherib, king of Assyria, Hezekiah encouraged his troops and the people with these words: “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him! With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles!” (2 Chronicles 32:7-8) Hezekiah’s godly leadership and passionate intercession resulted in a supernatural, God-given victory!
Even when Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death, he cried to the Lord, and the Lord graciously, performed an incredible miracle, healing him and granting him 15 more years of life. (2 Kings 20:1-11 and 2 Chronicles 32:24-26)
But sometimes our greatest risks come attached to our greatest victories! A miracle or two… an incredible victory… God’s favor expressed in recognition and honor… advancement and material blessings… And pride enters in along with self-reliant arrogance… We feel like we’re on a roll, so we strike out on our own, we make a few decisions without prayer, godly counsel, or reliance on God… and presto! We have a problem! That’s what happened to Hezekiah (and it ought to be a warning to us)!
Here’s what the Bible says, “But Hezekiah did not make return to the Lord according to the benefit done to him, for his heart was proud… And in the matter of the envoys of the princes of Babylon, who had been sent to him to inquire about the sign that had been done in the land, God left him to himself, in order to test him and to know all that was in his heart.” (2 Chronicles 32:25, 31; cp. 2 Kings 20:12-19)
Oh, I want to learn the lessons from this Old Testament leader! Devotion, trust, prayer and obedience lead to God’s incredible favor! But I also want to be wary of pride and self-reliant arrogance; they lead to humiliation and failure.