Peter Barnes: PRIDE GRIPS A GODLY MAN, 2 Kings 20:12-21 (15 March 2020)
Hezekiah was one of the few godly kings of Judah, and he reigned
from about 715 B.C. to about 686 B.C. When William Grimshaw was dying in 1763, Henry Venn came to see him and asked how he was. Grimshaw replied: ‘I am as happy as I can be on earth, and as sure
of glory as if I were in it.’ Not so Hezekiah. – Phil.1:9-10. We may think we are safe from falling but pride can strike us down.
1. The folly of pride.
– 20:12; the appearance of good will. Hezekiah falls for it (20:13). Even after Isaiah asks him about it, it does not seem to strike him as wrong – 20:14-15. It does not take much to turn our heads. This is
Hezekiah (see 18:3-7), overcome by a little bit of foolish pride.
– Nebuchadnezzar was quite brazen about this – Dan.4:30.
– one of Spurgeon’s deacons told him after a sermon: ‘That was a masterpiece.’ To which Spurgeon replied: ‘My friend, you’re too late. The devil told me that a few moments ago.’
The biblical principle is always Psalm 138:6.
2. Sin has far-reaching consequences.
– 20:16-18. That is not all Hezekiah’s fault. After Hezekiah came kings Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah
– all disasters except for Josiah. But Hezekiah sets off the butterfly effect of sin – a small act of vanity can help to destroy Jerusalem.
3. The selfishness of thinking short-term.
– 20:19. Calvin and Dale Ralph Davis try to say that Hezekiah was only expressing his acceptance of God’s decree and his gratitude that justice has been tempered by mercy – a little like Job 1:20-22. But that
seems to be stretching it. The short-term can be the enemy of the long-term. Finish on 1 Peter 5b-6.