Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: BRAG (04/20/17)
TITLE: A Case of Misplaced Conceit
By Elaine Hemingway
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Then Sennacherib, the king of Assyria proclaimed his own strength, making challenges against the God of Israel, Hezekiah tore his clothes and put on sackcloth in order to plead with God. He sent up a prayer of intercession asking that the blasphemy of Sennacherib would be punished. Because of his obedience and repentant attitude God intervened and rescued His people.
It was shortly after this that Hezekiah instituted a chain of events that were to prove disastrous in the long term. He became ill; he expected to die. Hezekiah turned his face to the wall in despair and pleaded in desperation, reminding God of his wholehearted devotion. I wonder if this was when his pride became a danger. Boasting of his religious zeal indeed brought the promise of God’s healing and a further fifteen years of life. It was at that time though that the king of Babylon sent an envoy with letters and a gift, to which Hezekiah responded by showing all the treasuries of his kingdom, boasting of the riches he had accumulated.
Years later, another king of Babylon made the same mistake of boasting about his treasures which included the gold and silver taken from the Temple in Jerusalem. The boasting of Hezekiah had perhaps been instrumental in the coveting and acquisition of those treasures. Nebuchadnezzar progressed in the art of self-importance, not only considering himself as the beloved of Nabu, the Assyrian god of wisdom but went on to proclaim his superiority in all things. In fact, he went so far in his pride and arrogance that God humbled him to the extent of condemning him to insanity and becoming like a grazing animal eating grass.
We too need to beware of the sin of pride, which can escalate to alarming proportions. One inadvertent mistake by Hezekiah reverberated through the years and included the sins of his son Manasseh, born in the extra fifteen years of Hezekiah’s reign and becoming the most evil king in the history of Israel.
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