2 Chronicles 32:25 But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem.
It seems incredible that Hezekiah would have been proud after all he had gone through, but this just shows how devious the human heart can be. My personal guess is that it was the gifts and human recognition that were showered on him (verse 23) that blinded him. I like it that the Japanese says “grace” where the NIV says “kindness” here. Grace, after all, is unmerited favor. Hezekiah somehow thought he deserved all that God had done for him. How foolish! However, we fall into that same trap all too often ourselves. By current standards, some of Jesus’ most “heartless” words were a warning on this very point. “Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.’” (Luke 13:1-5) As long as we are comparing ourselves with one another, we are deceiving ourselves. It is only when we realize and accept that all that God does for us is grace, far better than we deserve, that we are able to see ourselves and others rightly.
I have had my own problems with thinking I deserved good stuff and being ticked about how “unfair” it was when things were rough. That never did me any good! I need to remember what Jesus said in Luke 12:48. “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Likewise, I need to remember Paul’s words on the subject. “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” (1 Corinthians 4:2) Everything I have has come not because I deserved it, but because God had a purpose for it beyond just me. I need to seek that purpose and apply myself toward that end, in all humility and gratitude.
Father, at times I am overwhelmed at how blessed I am, and at other times I feel like I’m carrying the weight of the world. Thank You for loving me anyway! Help me recognize Your grace in all gratitude and praise and apply it as You intend, letting it flow through me to others to teach them about You, so that they too may repent and believe and receive Your life, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!