January 12, 2015
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
“Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land,
God left him, to try him,
that he might know all that was in his heart.”
Hezekiah would rank among Judah’s greatest kings. A fair evaluation of his reign would place him in the “final four” as far as kings who pleased God. David, Solomon in his early days, Josiah, and Hezekiah all ruled in a manner which brought glory to God.
The verse cited from 2 Chronicles relates to an incident when Hezekiah, after having been raised up from his death bed by the intervention of God, was visited by diplomats from Babylon. It may well be that they were interested in a political alliance against Assyria. Whatever the reason, Hezekiah unwisely, and perhaps with some pretense of magnifying all that God had done for his kingdom, showed the messengers all the wealth of the kingdom. The inspired writer tells us that God had allowed the trial to teach Hezekiah something about his own heart. God did not need to know about Hezekiah’s heart; He knows the hearts of all men. But the King needed to learn the danger of pride.
There was a Man Who walked this earth whose heart was very different. Matthew 11:29 is one of the rare times the Lord Jesus spoke about His own character. He said, “I am meek and lowly in heart.” The context of Matthew 11 is insightful and germane; all the events of the chapter were of a negative nature: John had doubted, the children of “this generation mocked (vv 16-19), the cities where His mighty deeds were done were marked by unbelief (vv 20-24). Yet the Lord Jesus “thanked God” (v 25), and actually “rejoiced in Spirit” (Luke 10:21).
But there was an occasion when God “left Him.” Calvary was when He was forsaken. God knew the heart of His faithful Servant; the Lord Jesus knew His own heart. But Calvary reveals to us the heart of Christ when He was forsaken. Bitterness? Pride? Anger? None whatsoever! Even amidst the darkness of Calvary He still owns God as His God: “My God, My God.” In the time of His forsaking He is still the dependent and devoted Man: “Into Thy hands I commend My spirit” (Luke 23:46).
No failure on the part of men and no forsaking on the part of His God could reveal anything other than the purest of perfections in the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Pressure intense reveals anew
Inner perfection gleaming through;
As in His path, for God so true,
Still the devoted One!
- Look at Deuteronomy 8:2 and compare it with what is considered above.
- In light of Matthew 11:25, 26, what do you think verse 27 may mean?