After Hezekiah's recovery, Merodachbaladan (find that in the baby name book), the king of Babylon, sent messengers and presents to celebrate the King of Judah's good health. It is good that we rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. However, we should be certain that we are doing it out of God honoring motives and not out of selfish desires. "The king of Babylon made his court to Hezekiah, not because he was pious but because he was prosperous" (Matthew Henry). How often do we behave in a similar fashion, reaching out to those who we think might be a help to us sometime in the future? We far too regularly give that we might get!
Upon their arrival Hezekiah takes them on a tour of his entire kingdom, palace and treasury. He holds back nothing. He shows off the family jewels, the fruit of his farms, the weapons of mass destruction, "there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them."
It would seem that the boasting bug bit good king Hezekiah and spred like kudzu. Perhaps he liked the tickling on his ears that Babylon's envoy's "ooohs" and "aaaahs" produced. Perhaps he liked the feeling that welled up in his heart as he saw their jaws drop at the many splendors that his kingdom contained. Perhaps the pats on the back that they offered stroked his ego in a self-gratifying way. We like to receive praise from others and that self-exalting tendency always gets us in trouble. "Pride goeth before a fall!"
God, as a loving Father, doesn't leave his children in their pride - thankfully! "If God loves us, he will humble us!" He doesn't leave us in our sin but makes us miserable in it that we might once again turn to the only true and lasting source of happiness, peace and joy - Himself!
The material things that Hezekiah paraded before the ambassadors of Babylon will rust and fade and wither. Thieves will break in and steal "and all that your fathers have laid up in store to this day shall be carried to Babylon; none shall be left,' says the LORD" (vs 6).
"If Hezekiah had known that the successors of this king of Babylon would hereafter be the ruin of his family and kingdom, he would not have complimented his ambassadors as he did; and, when the prophet told him that it would be so, we may well imagine how he was vexed at himself for what he had done. Those that are fond of an alliance with irreligious men will have enough of it, and will have cause to repent of it."
Hezekiah reveled in the visiting dignitaries from Babylon. Little did he know in the midst of his boasting that his tour would plant the seeds of jealousy in Babylon's sons. The ones he now excitedly courted would soon conquer his own heirs.
Our sins, even those we think so little of (like a proud boasting in the things of this world) will effect our little ones. No sin is ever committed in a vacuum. Sin begets sin - in us and in our covenant seed! May we be wise and may our boasting be in the LORD who is the giver of all good gifts rather than in the gifts that He has given.
Praying for my treasures to be in heaven,