Our God is kind and generous! He blesses us with numerous benefits. How do you respond to these blessings? Your response matters to the Lord. Let’s see what God teaches us about King Hezekiah.
2 Chronicles 32:24–26
“In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed unto the LORD: and he spake unto him, and he gave him a sign. But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem. Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah.”
Hezekiah was a good king. He brought revival to Israel and led the people to follow Jehovah again. The Lord blessed his obedience greatly. God won the impossible victory against the large Assyrian army and vicious king Sennacherib through the prayers of Isaiah and Hezekiah. 2 Chronicles 32:20-22 Furthermore, the Lord magnified Hezekiah in the sight of the people, protected him from his enemies and enriched him financially. Truly, we serve a generous and compassionate God!
As Hezekiah came to the end of his life, God sent the prophet Isaiah to him to tell him this was the end. He should put his affairs in order because he was going to die. 2 Kings 20 Hezekiah immediately begins to pray. Before Isaiah had left the building, the Lord tells him to go back to the king and say that his prayer was heard. God was not only going to heal Hezekiah in 3 days, but also he was guaranteeing the king 15 more years of life! To top off this miracle, God turned back the time on the sundial of Ahaz as a sign of promise to the King! Wow! Hezekiah must have been so happy and excited! What was his response? Praise? A feast unto the Lord? Further obedience? Renewed revival?
Unfortunately, Hezekiah’s response was pride. His heart was lifted up. How often is this our response! God blesses us then we take the blessing and run after some verbal thanks. How often have I seen someone use God’s blessings as an excuse to live in self-will and disobedience to the Lord! Sometimes, even those who have been healed of life threatening situations use their “new life” to focus on self instead of the one Who extended their lives. Not good! The Lord was unhappy with Hezekiah’s response to these great blessings.
2 Chronicles 32:25
“But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem.”
Here are 5 ways to respond appropriately to God’s blessings:
Praise God often for His blessings in your life. The bigger the blessing the longer we should praise Him. I believe it’s a mistake if you pray for something for 10 years and then only thank Him for 10 minutes.
2. Praise Openly
Let the world know how good God has been to you. Take every opportunity to mention God’s name in a positive way. Give Him glory!
3. Praise Appropriately
We should respond appropriately to God’s blessings. Do you “render again according to the benefit done” unto you? Big blessings should be answered with big praise, gifts, surrender, etc. to the Lord.
4. Praise Humbly
God’s blessings should humble you. “Why would God bless me this way? Who am I? I am not worthy.” Psalm 8 This is how we should feel in response to our gracious Lord’s many blessings.
5. Praise Obediently
God blesses obedience. It is the proof of our faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. You will stay in the place of blessing when you live obediently. Thank God with your life not just your words. Obey Him as a sacrifice of praise.
Eventually, Hezekiah humbled himself and God forgave Him. However, there were consequences to his family and country because of his time spent in pride. Let’s never allow God’s generous blessings to hinder our relationship with Him. Live a life of appropriate praise!
This is a GREAT reminder! In addition to praising openly, we need to also remember to spend time praising in secret through prayer and God will reward that behavior openly. (Matt 6:6) Thank you for your teachings! Praise God and Praise Jesus Christ our Savior.