Tripped Up By Pride 2 Kings 20:2-19 August 15, 2004

Why do people act prideful when they receive many blessing from the Lord. Do they begin to take credit for the performance of God? I think so! Have you heard the words; "God will not share His glory?" The Bible says "I will not give My glory to another." ( Isa 48:11) These words echo over and over again throughout many of my experiences in ministry. But good teaching many times gets lost when the head swells. I think King Hezekiah knew better than to become boastful of the Lord's blessings, but he did it anyway, and to a pagan kingdom. He really was Tripped Up By Pride.

1.    The . . Meekness Before Being Tripped Up By Pride. Vs 2-5

    A.    Authentic . . Meekness before the Lord. Vs 2-3
2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 "Please Lord, remember how I have walked before You faithfully and wholeheartedly and have done what is good in Your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

    B.    Acknowledged . . Meekness before the Lord. Vs 4-5 a
4 Isaiah had not yet gone out of the inner courtyard when the word of the Lord came to him: 5 "Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of My people, 'This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears."

    C.    Awarded . . Meekness before the Lord. V 5 b
". . . Look, I will heal you. On the third day [from now] you will go up to the Lord's temple."

Summary: Meekness and humility really cannot be faked, and those who try are easily detected. God saw the authentic meekness of Hezekiah that preceded his digression into pride. The King rehearsed his testimony of wholehearted faithfulness to the Lord and wept bitterly as he prayed. God acknowledged his prayer, and told the Prophet Isaiah to go to Hezekiah, and tell him his prayer had been heard. God awarded Hezekiah's meekness and faithfulness by telling him he would be healed.

2.    The . . Miraculous Before Being Tripped Up By Pride. Vs 6-11

    A.    The . . Origination of the Miraculous. v 6
6 I will add 15 years to your life. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for My sake and for the sake of My servant David.' "

    B.    The . . Optical of the Miraculous. v 7-9
7 Then Isaiah said, "Bring a lump of pressed figs." So they brought it and applied it to his infected skin, and he recovered. 8 Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, "What is the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go up to the Lord's temple on the third day?" 9 Isaiah said, "This is the sign to you from the Lord that He will do what He has promised: Should the shadow go ahead 10 steps or go back 10 steps?"

    C.    The . . Oddity of the Miraculous. v 7-9
10 Then Hezekiah answered, "It's easy for the shadow to lengthen 10 steps. No, let the shadow go back 10 steps." 11 So Isaiah the prophet called out to the Lord, and He brought the shadow back the 10 steps it had descended on Ahaz's stairway.

Summary: God originated a special miracle for Hezekiah, and he received the promise of additional years, and powerful military victories. Note the reason for the miracles as God says; "I will defend this city for My sake and for the sake of My servant David." (Hezekiah as yet did not have an heir to succeed him on the throne). Many times God uses some optical instrument in the performance of His miracles. God used a lump (or cake) of pressed figs, for medicinal purposes, and for the sight of Hezekiah. God certainly can heal without the figs or any other see able item. Hezekiah needed additional healing, and he requested a sign. God granted him an oddity as the shadow of the sun descended backward 10 steps.

3.    The . . Mistake Before Being Tripped Up By Pride. Vs 12-13

    A.    The Prideful Mistake In The . . Reception Of The Pagan. v 12
12 At that time Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah since he heard that Hezekiah had been sick.

    B.    The Prideful Mistake In The . . Revelation To The Pagan. v 12
13 Hezekiah gave them a hearing and showed them his whole treasure house--the silver, the gold, the spices, and the precious oil--and his armory, and everything that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his palace and in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them.

Summary: Hezekiah received the message and messengers from the Pagan King. This might be a gracious thing to do but to display all the wealth to them was a prideful act. Why reveal all the wealth to these messengers? The text says "there was nothing . . . Hezekiah did not show them."

4.    The . . Meeting and Message From Being Tripped Up By Pride. Vs 14-19

    A.    The . . Inquiry Of The Meeting. v 14
14 Then the prophet Isaiah came to King Hezekiah and asked him, "What did these men
say, and where did they come to you from?" Hezekiah replied, "They came from a distant country, from Babylon."

    B.    The . . Innocence Of The Meeting. v 15
15 Isaiah asked, "What have they seen in your palace?" Hezekiah answered, "They have
seen everything in my palace. There isn't anything in my treasuries that I didn't show them."

    C.    The Message Of . . Plundering. Vs 16-17
16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the Lord: 17 'The time will certainly come when everything in your palace and all that your fathers have stored up until this day will be carried off to Babylon; nothing will be left,' says the Lord.

    D.    The Message Of . . Punishment. v 18
18 'Some of your descendants who come from you will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in
the palace of the king of Babylon.' "

    E.    The Message Of . . Passivity. v 19
19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good," for he thought:
Why not, if there will be peace and security during my lifetime?

Summary: The Prophet Isaiah came to the king and inquired about these visitors. King Hezekiah spoke forthrightly about the visitors, and seems to have a lack of understanding, or naiveté' about the matter. Have you noticed how sneaky pride can be? To Isaiah, Hezekiah's actions invoked a prophecy about future plundering of his wealth, and the announcement of future punishment to his descendants. It surprises me that Hezekiah acted so passive, and selfish about this message that affected his offspring, but pride produces those qualities. It is sad to be Tripped Up By Pride. Amen? Amen!