2 Chronicles 32:31
However, in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon…
I. HEZEKIAH'S SIN.
1. Its nature.
(1) All sin originates in the heart. Hezekiah's sin did not, like that of David, break forth into gross and external violations of the Divine law, but it betrayed itself in the indulgence of secret pride, in the gratification of a vainglorious spirit, in an idolatrous exaltation of the creature above the Creator. His heart was lifted up.
(2) The particular nature of his sin will be more clearly discerned, if we advert to the occasion of his fall (2 Kings 20:13).
(a) He was actuated by a wrong spirit.
(b) His action had a wrong tendency.It was calculated to erase every serious impression which a recital of the wonder done in the land might have made on these heathen strangers. It was also calculated to confirm them in the conviction that the kings of Judah, notwithstanding their superior pretensions to the knowledge and favour of the true God, in reality neither possessed nor avowed any better source of protection and prosperity than the kings of other nations enjoyed.
2. Its aggravations.
(1) His whole life had been an uninterrupted succession of great distinguished mercies.
(2) He had lately experienced a most remarkable proof of the Divine interposition in his favour.
II. THE PARTICULAR VIEW OF THIS TRANSACTION EXHIBITED IN THE TEXT.
1. It unfolds the cause of Hezekiah's fall. "God left him." What a striking illustration is thus incidentally presented to us of man's depravity and weakness. No sooner was the barrier removed than the stream rushed with impetuosity into the channel of sin. To guard us against presumption the Scriptures present to us the examples of some of the most eminent servants of God, not all falling whenever they were left to themselves, but falling in those very points where we should conceive them to have been most firmly established; Abraham, Moses, etc. What need for us to pray, "Take not Thy Holy Spirit from us."
2. It discloses to us the secret reasons of the Divine conduct in thus permitting him for a season to be overcome. God left him "to try him," that Hezekiah himself might know all that was in his heart.
(1) Nothing but a deep sense of our natural depravity can effectually destroy our vain self-confidence, and can excite us to a diligent use of those means which are essential to our growth in grace, and to our perseverance in well-doing. We shall
(a) Regard our heart with a holy jealousy.
(b) Studiously examine the secret motives of our conduct.
(c) Sedulously avoid those places and practices which are most likely to prove a snare to us.
(d) Be instant in prayer for a supply of the grace that is in Christ.
(e) Fear to resist and grieve the Holy Spirit of God.
(2) In exact proportion to our views of the depravity of our heart will be the degree of our self-condemnation and humiliation before God. Hence, how highly should we value self-knowledge, and how anxiously should we labour to acquire it. Address —
1. Those who studiously close their eyes and shut their ears against every discovery of the sin which dwelleth in them.
2. Those who having in vain endeavoured to stifle their convictions of sin, are filled with consternation and terror at the extent of their depravity.
Parallel VersesKJV: Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to inquire 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.
WEB: However in [the business of] the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent to him to inquire 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.