“And He … gave him a sign. But Hezekiah did not repay according to the favor shown him, for his heart was lifted up.” 2 Chronicles 32:24
Ahaz, trusting in the Assyrians for help, had refused a sign graciously offered by God as a token of deliverance. He did not choose to put his whole trust in God, though his pretense was that he would not tempt the Lord. This might lead his son Hezekiah to ask for a sign, and it proved a snare to him. The king of Babylon, on finding Hezekiah so highly honored by the sun (see Isaiah 38:7-8), thought it incumbent upon him to send ambassadors with a letter and present to such a favorite of the God of the Babylonians.
Hezekiah, delighted with this mark of attention from a court which he had feared, made an ostentatious display of his treasure and dignity. In consequence of this, Isaiah was directed to assure him that what he had shown, in the vanity of his heart, would be carried to Babylon. Hezekiah had neglected a fair opportunity of stating to these ambassadors, and through them, to their king, the folly of their idolatry in worshiping the sun, which the recent miracle had proved to be under the direction of a superior Being. He ought also to have given God all the glory in this matter and have rested on Him, and Him alone, for safety, who had just then given him such a striking proof of His power and favor.
Worldly wisdom is absolute folly; and, when set in opposition to the will of God, will be sure to disappoint us.
Lord, preserve me from Hezekiah’s sin, and every sin!
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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