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Answered prayers, healing, health, wealth and fame. God made Hezekiah extremely rich (v 29a) and a resounding success – “In fact, everything he did was successful!” (v 30b) Hezekiah ‘had it all,’ it seems. So everyone thought; but God doesn’t stop there.
For God, ‘the matter of the heart is the heart of the matter.’ We tend to think in total reverse. So the Babylonian visit was God’s test to ascertain the real (heart) condition of Hezekiah – and he failed; his heart was full of pride. And that pride was the root cause of his ingratitude – “Hezekiah was so proud that he refused to thank the Lord for everything he had done for him” (v 25).
We don’t “have it all” – no matter how much our world acclaims health, wealth and ‘success’ – unless God deems the state of our heart right as well. Even the prophet Samuel who started hearing God’s voice at the tender age of twelve (when no one else, including the high priest, was getting messages from God) almost anointed the wrong king because of the external “success factors.” God made his marking scheme clear, “People judge others by what they look like, but I judge people by what is in their hearts” (1 Samuel 16:7b).
The good news is when we are quick to recognize our inward failings and repent, God is gracious enough to pardon and restore (v 26), just as he did for Hezekiah.
Benevolent Father, giver of all good things, often I have judged how well I or others are doing by outward factors; please forgive me. Because what you care about most is the heart, cleanse and heal me of anything in me that upsets you. In Jesus’ name, Amen!