FRIDAY, JULY 27: The more things change, the more they remain the same. As it was in the days of King Hezekiah, so it is today.
The greatest test for most leaders is the test of wealth.
How do you handle yourself when all of a sudden oodles and oodles of money are in your control?
How do you behave now that money is of no concern? How do you live now that you do not have to live from pay cheque to pay cheque?
Yes, I know many would probably say, “Give me a chance to show you how I would live.” Yet, I beg you to be very careful. For the two things that “take out” a leader of greatness, quicker than death, are the lust for money and the lust for sex.
Hezekiah was about to be tested big time! He rose to the throne of Israel at the tender age of 25. King Hezekiah did splendidly at the beginning, as he followed the heart of God.
He cleaned up the house of God and reopened it for Kingdom business. King Hezekiah got the people straight and was able to operate in the favour of God, as enemy kings could not prevail against him. It would seem that King Hezekiah was undefeatable.
But something happened. King Hezekiah got money and plenty of it. In fact, he acquired so much money that he had to build storehouses to hold all of what he had.
2 Chronicles 32:27
And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honour: and he made himself treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of pleasant jewels;
28 Storehouses also for the increase of corn, and wine, and oil; and stalls for all manner of beasts, and cotes for flocks.
29 Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance: for God had given him substance very much.
The key point to note is that God gave all of that wealth to King Hezekiah, which means that King Hezekiah should have kept a grateful heart towards God each and every day for the amount of substance that he had.
Unfortunately, something happened. King Hezekiah became lifted up in his heart, and it became all about him. He forgot the God of Israel who had given him the great wealth.
King Hezekiah’s wealth became his greatest test and his greatest enemy.
Previously, King Sennacherib, the enemy king, had tried unsuccessfully to overthrow Hezekiah’s kingdom and turn Hezekiah’s people away from their God.
However, money and great wealth was able to turn King Hezekiah’s heart away from God and unto himself .
King Hezekiah was so taken up with his own wealth that he even allowed enemy kings from Babylon to come and see all that he had. He showed them everything! He kept nothing from them. They knew all about him.
2 Kings 20:15-18
15 The prophet asked, “What did they see in your palace?”
“They saw everything in my palace,” Hezekiah said. “There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.”
16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: 17 The time will surely 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.
Here is the sad thing. While King Hezekiah would live in relative peace, that would not be the case for his descendants. His descendants would be led away into Babylonian captivity.
The very people King Hezekiah had showed off for, came back to capture King Hezekiah’s possessions and posterity.
They got his things and his people. They took his honour and they took his offspring.
Why? It was because when King Hezekiah acquired great wealth he decided to do it alone; without the help of God.
Let this be a lesson. A wise leader will always remember that every blessing comes from God.
No matter what, give God the glory he deserves. Blessings abound!