And then Isaiah the prophet showed up: “And just what were these men doing here? Where did they come from and why?” Hezekiah said, “They came from far away—from Babylon.” “And what did they see in your palace?” “Everything,” said Hezekiah. “There isn’t anything I didn’t show them—I gave them the grand tour.” Then Isaiah spoke to Hezekiah, “Listen to what God has to say about this: The day is coming when everything you own and everything your ancestors have passed down to you, right down to the last cup and saucer, will be cleaned out of here—plundered and packed off to Babylon. God’s word!”
2 Kings 20:14-17 (MSG)
Hezekiah had great wealth and honor from God but lapsed into pride by showing off Judah’s treasures. In trying too hard to impress, he gave up secrets that would have otherwise remained safe. He failed to remember the goodness and kindness God had shown him.
And, yet, if you have time to read the entire chapter, the Bible tells us that King Hezekiah modeled godly character. There was no one like him among all the kings over Judah “either before or after.” His passion for God brought a restored Judah into a national revival and glory period. So, how can a king who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord end up doing what was so obviously not right? The insidious path of pride.
I am always disappointed when I see pride welling up in me during times of success. Solomon wrote, “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18, KJV). Just like the king of Judah, we never see it. Pride can creep into our ambitions, relationships and even our parenting. It rings true that when we succeed, we are more susceptible to getting off track. I have been guilty of getting lost by not trusting God in situations and manipulating things so I can be extolled. Unfortunately, we tend to conspire, control or manipulate things to get our own way too easily .
The meaning of pride is “an unreasonable feeling of superiority, to feel one deserves or is entitled to certain things due to hard work.” Pride is rooted in deep insecurity, maybe even fear or unworthiness. Growing up in a home with many siblings, I felt I was never heard, which created in me a fear of unworthiness. Now, when my sister calls to ask, “how’s it going?” I find myself wanting to brag about everything I have done! Reading the warnings of Isaiah reminds me to put a check on my motivations before I begin my day so that those phone calls don’t tempt me to take a prideful step.
There is no redemption in Hezekiah’s story. But there is in ours because Jesus took the path of obedience until the very end. Jesus came to walk in our shoes and humbled Himself as our role model to follow. You don’t have to give in to pride or fight for your own success. Pride only reveals the truth about us. It says we don’t trust God. We are sufficient on our own. Beware of the blindness that comes with pride! It can make us do foolish things.
- Look at the characteristics of pride below Determine whether you see this in yourself: Insecure, boastful, self-righteous, controlling, power-hungry, perfectionist, people-pleaser, judgmental, rebellious, ungrateful.
- If you see any of these behaviors starting to root in your heart, pray that God will reveal the motivations for the behavior.
- Read Romans 12:3. Ask God for forgiveness and to restore you to His path.