“However, because his heart was proud, Hezekiah didn’t respond according to the benefits that had come to him. So there was wrath upon him, upon Judah and upon Jerusalem.“ II Chronicles 32:25
So many benefits had come to Hezekiah. God had annihilated the army of Sennacherib, which so impressed the surrounding nations, they brought gifts to Hezekiah. He was exalted in the eyes of all nations (verses 22-23 and 27-29), and it went to his head. When Hezekiah became ill to the point of certain death, he prayed and God granted his request with a miraculous sign (II Kings 20:1-11). Then Hezekiah started coasting like a spoiled child who knows they can ask for anything and get it.
So many benefits. So little gratitude and glorying in God. That was how Hezekiah (and we) was (are) to respond. There’s no mention of Hezekiah’s thanksgiving or turning any of the tribute received over to God. When our Book of Life is opened in heaven, how many entries of thanksgiving and giving glory to God will there be? Our Book of Life should be filled with them! According to the benefits we have received and then some.
But that wasn’t so for Hezekiah, and his pride led to God’s wrath upon him and also all those around him, and the entire nation. We must check our pride and increase our thanksgiving and God-glorying.
“When the ambassadors of Babylon’s rulers were sent to him to inquire about the miraculous sign that happened in the land, God left him (Hezekiah) to test him and discover what was in his heart.” II Chronicles 32:31
Before Jesus ascended into heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to permanently reside in the hearts of believers, the Spirit of God would come and go as the need arose. The Spirit was with God-seeking Hezekiah, but left him when the Babylonian delegation came so God could test him and discover what was in his heart. Unfortunately, when the Spirit left, Hezekiah’s pride ruled his heart.
God still tests His children to discover what is in our hearts, but He doesn’t leave us – He can’t. He promised He wouldn’t in Hebrews 13:5, not just once, but with the quintuplet, “I will never, no never, no never leave you or forsake you.”
We must guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23) so that we’ll be able to pass God’s next test.