Eighth Article in the Series
The Fall of a Godly Nation
Parading Your Own Glory – The Consequences of Hezekiah’s Pride
King Hezekiah of Judah had trusted God to heal him of his deathly illness (see God Listens and Restores – Hezekiah’s Illness and Recovery). In 702/701 BC Assyrian King Sennacherib’s mighty army had been totally destroyed at the gates of Jerusalem by the hand of Almighty God. Sennacherib returned to Nineveh totally defeated. Some twenty years later in 681 BC, as the dejected Sennacherib worshiped his pagan god Nisroch, two of his sons assassinated him with a sword and fled to Ararat (now consisting of parts of Iran, Iraq and southern Russia), Assyria’s enemy to the north. Another of Sennacherib’s sons, Esarhaddon, took over the throne of Assyria. II Kings 19:35-37 records the events:
“35 And that night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 36 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went home and lived at Nineveh. 37 And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword and escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.“
For the time being, Jerusalem and the Temple had again been spared by God’s own hand and remained safely under the leadership of King Hezekiah. But would that safety last?
Scripture: (all ESV unless otherwise noted)
Isaiah 39:1-8 – At that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. 2 And Hezekiah welcomed them gladly. And he showed them his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. 3 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say? And from where did they come to you?” Hezekiah said, “They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon.” 4 He said, “What have they seen in your house?” Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house. There is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.”
5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: 6 Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the Lord. 7 And some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” 8 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my days.”
Hezekiah’s dependence upon God for delivery from the Assyrians was short-lived. Instead of giving God ALL of the glory for the defeat of Sennacherib’s army, Hezekiah fell prey to his own pride.
Hearing of Hezekiah’s severe illness and miraculous recovery, King Merodach-baladan of Babylon, the son of Baladan, sent envoys with gifts and letters to Jerusalem. King Hezekiah welcomed them with open arms … but he made a key mistake … a mistake that would ultimately lead to the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy that Judah and ALL of its treasures would be carried away to Babylon (Isaiah 39:5-7). Hezekiah’s prayers had been replaced by his pride as he paraded his own glory, not the glory of God (39:1-2). Hezekiah simply could not tell the envoys that ALL that had happened was the direct result of Almighty God’s providence. Instead, Hezekiah took credit for the vast treasures that had been accumulated by Judah solely as a result of God’s actions.
2 Chronicles 32:31 gives more insight into the surfacing of Hezekiah’s pride: “31 And so 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.” Hezekiah was tested and his pride won the battle within his heart.
Why is it that we are so anxious to point out what we view as major sins such as adultery, homosexuality or racism and at the same time ignore those areas that we often attempt to hide from others. The sin of pride is one such sin. Pride can ruin our testimony and hinder our relationship with God.
God’s word has so much to say about our pride (see Bible Verses on Pride). Pride is a deceptive device of Satan. Proverbs 6:17 lists “haughty eyes” as the first among seven things that are an abomination to God. In the words of Jesus Himself recorded in Luke 18:14, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Our pride reveals a truth about us. In a sense we are saying that we don’t need God. We can do things without Him. We are sufficient on our own.
But God created us in such a way that His Spirit is to reside within us and act out through us. That is the way He made us. Every true Christian has the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within their heart as soon as they accept Jesus as their Savior. Acting on our own instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to act on our behalf is not part of God’s plan for man. I am thrilled with the way that Major Ian Thomas explains this concept in his book “The Indwelling Life of Christ – All of Him in All of Me.“
“God has created us to be functional only by virtue of His presence, exercising His divine sovereignty within our humanity so that out of our love for Him, we live in utter dependence upon Him. Moreover, the only evidence any of us can give of such dependence on Him is our unquestioning obedience to Him.
That is the threefold moral relationship — love for Him, dependence upon Him, and obedience to Him — that allows God to be God in action within a human being.”
There is simply no room for pride if we allow the Holy Spirit to act from within us. God has His perfect plan all laid out for us. Attempting to live our life on our own leads to a path of self-destruction. No one knows this better than God for He has seen how pride has destroyed the lives of His creations from the beginning.
Pride is revealed in the way that we interact with others. It reveals our attitude and tells us that we should be the center of attention … look at me and what I have done! Pride keeps us from accepting just criticism of ourselves and causes us to disdain the successes of others.
In his book, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis said, “A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” Looking up to the Master and listening to Him with the eyes of your heart will undoubtedly turn you away from your prideful attitude. Let’s face it, if Jesus was willing to wash the Disciples feet (John 13:1-17), is there anything that we can rightfully refuse to do as His servants?
Sennacherib’s boasting and pride led to the destruction of his army and ultimately to his death by the hands of his own sons. When Hezekiah faced certain death he repented, prayed and trusted God for healing from his deadly sickness and God healed him, extending his life for 15 more years. But Hezekiah, servant that he was of God, made a significant mistake by letting his pride get the best of him. He let his pride take over and by parading his own glory revealed ALL of Judah’s treasures to the Babylonian envoys paving the way for Judah to ultimately be carried off into captivity by Babylon.
Is our nation really that much different from Israel and Judah of old? The answer to most of our problems was presented to us by Almighty God long ago through the life, death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. In his life on earth as a man Jesus was a true servant … always without pride … never boastful. He commanded the power of the universe but never used that power for Himself. Instead, He humbled Himself for us and went to the cross of Calvary to pay the price for ALL of man’s sins … including the sin of pride.
Are you Parading Your Own Glory? Or are you putting your pride aside in favor of allowing God’s plan to work in your life? Parading your pride does not bring glory to God. Instead it is directly out of the will of God … and there are consequences that will be suffered.
I am nearing the completion of this series of articles. The journey has been well worth it for me. I wish the same for you. I know there will be at least one more article … maybe two … maybe three. It depends on what God places on my heart.
- The Fall of a Godly Nation – An Introduction to a Series of Articles on Ancient Israel and Judah That Parallel Our Modern Day
- Revival Before the Fall – Hezekiah Brings Reforms and Revival to Judah
- Successful Execution of the Wrong Plan – Hezekiah’s Tunnel
- Intentional Deceit – The Lies and Intimidation of Sennacherib
- The Folly of Not Trusting God – Isaiah Pronounces Judgement
- God Listens and Restores – Hezekiah’s Illness and Recovery
- Lest Any Man Should Boast – Sennacherib Blasphemes Jehovah
- Parading Your Own Glory – The Consequences of Hezekiah’s Pride
- Passing the Mantle – The Failure of a Godly Father
- Conclusion: Is It Too Late for America?
I am excited about the message of these articles and look forward to completing them! This series will be available in eBook and paperback formats later this year.
Look for the next article in this series soon.
Where to Read More:
- Bible Verses on Pride
- Scriptures About Hezekiah – 2 Kings 18 – 20; 2 Chronicles 29 – 32; Isaiah 36 – 39
- Biography of King Hezekiah
Books by Jim Davenport: Please consider the purchase of Jim’s books to help spread the message of Christ Jesus. Christian Devotions & Quick Studies is especially good to share with a lost friend, someone needing encouragement or someone who does not have access to the internet. My books are sold near the cost to produce as I am only interested in sharing the good news of the Gospel of Jesus to as many as I can before I go to Heaven.
For a limited time, Jim’s Books are available at a special discounted price. Click one of the links below to download or purchase.
- Christian Devotions & Quick Studies – Hardback, Paperback, eBook
- Thanksgiving Day – Religious to Secular – Paperback, eBook
- Thank You Lord for Saving My Soul – coming soon (sorry for the delay)
Other Christian Articles by Jim Davenport:
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