Tag: sought the Lord

Miracles, Prosperity, and Pride

Scripture reading for May 1st: 2nd Chronicles 29-32

King Hezekiah was another godly king of Judah who did much to be commended for.  God blessed  him greatly with wealth and prosperity and gave him guidance through the prophet Isaiah.  The record of his life in these last few chapters of Chronicles tells of both the good and the bad.  One of the lessons of his life is that miracles and prosperity carry a hidden danger of pride which can cause one’s downfall.

Hezekiah saw some great miracles.  He began his rule by restoring the Temple of the Lord which had fallen into disrepair because of neglect. When finished, he and the people celebrated with a huge offering and God was pleased.   (2nd Chronicles 29:36)“Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced at what God had brought about for His people, because it was done so quickly.”

Hezekiah restored the Passover celebration and encouraged the people to give their tithes.  They obeyed and brought in such an abundance from their fields and flocks that the priests had plenty.  The Lord greatly blessed the people of God for their obedience.  This was another miracle brought about because of obedience and seeking to follow the Lord.

Hezekiah also witnessed a great deliverance from Sennacherib, king of Assyria.  He laid siege to Judah and Jerusalem.   Hezekiah stopped up the Gihon spring and supplied the city with water internally as they looked to the Lord for help.  God answered their prayers and Sennacherib’s army was destroyed and  withdrew!  What a miracle!  (2nd Chronicles 32:20-23)
Hezekiah’s final miracle occurred when he became ill and was told that he would die.  He cried out to the Lord and God granted him another 15 years.  God gave him a sign that was incredible–the shadow of the sun moved backwards!  (2nd Chronicles 32:24)  (2nd Kings 20:11) His near-death experience happened because his heart had become proud!

Hezekiah was tested again by God withdrawing from him to test his heart.  (2nd Chronicles 32:31)  Hezekiah showed the envoys from Babylon all his riches and vast holdings.  This was very prideful and unwise and led to God’s judgment in Judah being proclaimed.  Riches and honor and the miraculous do not keep us on the right track.  Our hearts must guard against Satan’s trap of pride!  God is concerned with what is in our hearts more than what we own!

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The Leprosy of Pride

Scripture reading for April 30th: 2nd Chronicles 28-30

We often think that if God would bless us with finances, defeat all of our enemies, and give us long life, power and honor that we would be happy forever.  And God has told us that He will bless those who are obedient to Him.  He is looking for those whose heart is sold out to Him.  However, success and honor and material blessings sometimes turn our heart away from the Lord.  They expose hidden motives and pride that can cause trouble.  Our enemy Satan is always looking for ways to entice us into idolatry or rebellion.  Today’s reading has some interesting lessons.

King Uzziah came to the throne at sixteen years of age.  He had a godly mother who was from Jerusalem and a godly priest named Zechariah who taught him to fear the Lord.  Uzziah was a mighty warrior and military strategist who was made successful by seeking the Lord.  He designed weapons of war and had a well-trained army.  He became very famous and powerful as he relied on the Lord. (2nd Chronicles 26:4-5, 14-15)

However, when he became famous and powerful, pride led to his downfall.  He became unfaithful to the Lord.  He entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the sacred altar of incense.  Azariah the priest and eighty others begged him not to do this because he was not a Levite or priest.  As he was raging against the priests in the temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead.  (2nd Chronicles 26:19-21)  He had leprosy until the day he died.  There is no record of repentance or a humbling of his heart.

This sad story teaches us that we can be blessed by the Lord because of obedience and faith, but lose our soul through pride.  Pride focuses us on ourselves and our own greatness and accomplishments.  It takes us away from seeking the Lord and trusting in Him alone.  It is interesting that Uzziah’s pride moved him to want religious power that God had not granted him.  When confronted by godly priests, pride moved him to anger.  He thought that his success, power and position permitted him to do what he desired. He would listen to no correction.  He would not repent or ask the Lord for healing or mercy.  Take warning today from this blessed king!

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