Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 24, 2015

Are we proudly showing off our kingdom or humbly using what we receive from God for God’s kingdom?

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Kings 20:12-21.

“12 At that time Berodach-baladan a son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been sick.  13 Hezekiah listened to them, and showed them all his treasure house, the silver and the gold and the spices and the precious oil and the house of his armor and all that was found in his treasuries.  There was nothing in his house nor in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.  14 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and said to him, “What did these men say, and from where have they come to you?”  And Hezekiah said, “They have come from a far country, from Babylon.”  15 He said, “What have they seen in your house?”  So Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house;  there is nothing among my treasuries that I have not shown them.”

16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord.  17 ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and all that your fathers have laid up in store to this day will be carried to Babylon;  nothing shall be left,’ says the Lord.  18 ‘Some of your sons who shall issue from you, whom you will beget, will be taken away; and they will become officials in the palace of the king of Babylon.’”  19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good.”  For he thought, “Is it not so, if there will be peace and truth in my days?”

20 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah and all his might, and how he made the pool and the conduit and brought water into the city, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?  21 So Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and Manasseh his son became king in his place.”  2 Kings 20:12-21.

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We get more insight into the showing off of wealth by Hezekiah and why there were such consequences in today’s Scripture from another account of it in the following Scripture.

“24 In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill;  and he prayed to the Lord, and the Lord spoke to him and gave him a sign.  25 But Hezekiah gave no return for the benefit he received, because his heart was proud;  therefore wrath came on him and on Judah and Jerusalem.  26 However, Hezekiah humbled the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come on them in the days of Hezekiah.

27 Now Hezekiah had immense riches and honor;  and he made for himself treasuries for silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields and all kinds of valuable articles, 28 storehouses also for the produce of grain, wine and oil, pens for all kinds of cattle and sheepfolds for the flocks.  29 He made cities for himself and acquired flocks and herds in abundance, for God had given him very great wealth.  30 It was Hezekiah who stopped the upper outlet of the waters of Gihon and directed them to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all that he did.  31 Even in the matter of the envoys of the rulers of Babylon, who sent to him to inquire of the wonder that had happened in the land, God left him alone only to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.”  2 Chronicles 32:24-31.

Apparently, Hezekiah was more concerned about proudly showing off his kingdom than humbly using it for God’s kingdom. 

As an important side note, by Hezekiah’s reply to Isaiah about the consequences (“The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good.”), Hezekiah was also more concerned about himself than his descendants.  “For he thought, “Is it not so, if there will be peace and truth in my days?”  Verse 19.

The following Scripture likewise shows the importance of being humble and giving a return for the benefits that we receive from God.

“In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end.  Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’  But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”  Deuteronomy 8:16-18.

“… From everyone who has been given much, much will be required;  and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”  Luke 12:48.

Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them;  otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

“So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men.  Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret;  and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”  Matthew 6:1-4.

But, there is hope!

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  …  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;  against such things there is no law.”  Galatians 5:16 and 22-23.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10.

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13.

Jesus said:  “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst;  but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”  John 4:14.

In summary, God gives us His Holy Spirit Who causes us to be humble and to also have the other fruit of the Spirit.  We are also God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.  And, God Himself works within us, giving us the will to do His Will and accomplishing the work for His good pleasure.  The Holy Spirit causes the good works to bubble up in us and to spring out of us to provide that good return for the benefits that God gives us.

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