2 Chronicles 32:24 – 26
Either side of the story of Hezekiah’s miraculous deliverance, we are shown that bad things can happen to good people (32:1, 24). Just because you belong to God it doesn’t mean that you won’t run into illness and trouble. At the peak of his God-given success and fame (In those days: verse 24) the king got deathly sick. But that was not the whole story, because he also got healed. Derek Prince said that he once did an exercise. He took a blue pencil, and went through the entire Bible, underlining every reference to divine healing. ‘What do you think I ended up with?’ he asked. ‘A blue Bible!’ was the answer. The Lord still answers prayer for healing; in these days He goes on giving miraculous signs. Don’t lose sight of the fact that Hezekiah was at the point of death. We do often throw in the towel when we see a person drawing near the gates of death. We tend to feel it’s all over before it is. It’s a good job Hezekiah didn’t let the evidence of his body choke off his prayer. Pray to the LORD. He is ‘Lord’ of life and ‘Lord’ over death; ‘Lord’ over every sickness and disease.
We have seen that Hezekiah was a great and godly king, but he was also an imperfect man. He was flawed. But the sign, instead of making Hezekiah grateful, made him arrogant. The Message. If God should entrust us with miracles (or further miracles) will we be thankful or become proud? How we respond to trial is an index of character. But we also expose something of our true selves in our reaction to God-given blessings and His supernatural interventions. Some people allow these things to go to their heads. This story also reminds us not to put any leader on a pedestal. We get some surprises; there are nasty shocks in the Christian walk. When certain people fall we can be devastated because we regarded them as such heroes. So while it is right to respect our leaders, let’s not pin our hopes on anyone but God Himself. He is the only One who will never let us down. Only He is totally trustworthy.
Pride has repercussions (25). All sin does. It leads to unwanted consequences. And, sadly, when leaders fall they usually take other people down with them. They are tied together by an invisible rope. Leaders affect their Judah and Jerusalem; their sphere of influence. But God is gracious and merciful (26). If we will repent of our wrongdoing, whatever form it takes, we will find real forgiveness. Let that thought encourage you today and drive you to your knees if necessary.
There are two references to Hezekiah’s heart in (25, 26). ‘The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.’ Physically Hezekiah got better; spiritually he developed (or started to manifest symptoms of) heart trouble. So, Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23). Your life and ministry flow from your heart. Keep that ‘well’ unpolluted and uncluttered.
Hezekiah weathered the invasion and the illness, but he capitulated to pride. It began when he failed to thank God for sparing his life, and apparently even God’s chastening did not cure him. The extent of his wealth and the praises of the visiting dignitaries made Hezekiah proud, and God had to deal with him…You may be in greater danger when things are going well than when you are fighting a battle, so keep alert. Warren W. Wiersbe: With the Word, p.251
We will think more about those visiting dignitaries tomorrow.
Prayer: Thank you Lord that you still heal today. Thank you for my ‘blue Bible’. This day I ask healing for… (fill in the blank with names of those you want to pray for.)