TOPIC: THE TEMPTATION OF SUCCESS
Read 2 Kings 20:12-17
And Hezekiah was attentive to them, and show them all the house of his treasures-the silver and gold, the spices and precious ointment, and all his armory-all that was found among his treasures. There was nothing in his house or all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them (2 Kings 20:13)
The temptation of success is a temptation common to many, especially those in the ministry. Some call it the danger of success or respite. Many men who stand strong against the temptations of failure and weakness fail under the temptations of success and strength. At times of great success, it is easy to become proud and reckless. This can lead to great destruction if we forget that we depend on God’s grace for our successes, to both get and retain them.
King Hezekiah, one of the two kings in Judah who completely followed the Lord, was sick to the point of death. He begged God to help him recover, and God, by the word of prophet Isaiah, granted him the desired recovery and an additional 15 years to his lifetime. Meanwhile, the neighbouring king of Babylon heard about Hezekiah’s illness and miraculous deliverance, and sent envoys to spy out whether the situation made Israel ripe for conquest.
Hezekiah could have seized the opportunity to testify to the Babylonian envoys about the greatness of Yahweh and His blessing on Judah. But he glorified himself by showing them all the house of his treasures and armoury. It appears that his prosperity, success and deliverance from sickness had made him arrogant and full of himself. Was he not already subtly thinking like Nebuchadnezzar (‘Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?’ Dan. 4:30)? He was proud of the honours the Babylonians brought. Rather than giving credit to God for all his blessings and deliverance, he tried to impress the foreigners. He did everything he could to impress them, showing them the very best riches of the royal household – all his secrets. May you not realise your most sensitive information in the hands of your enemy. Amen.
When God helps us, we must not use His help to impress others. A testimony of victory quickly degenerates into vanity and self-congratulations, if care isn’t duly taken.
1. Father, empower me with the Holy Spirit to overcome the temptations of success.
2. Lord Jesus, grant me the grace to always testify to Your greatness and goodness in my life to others.
3. Pray that our elected officers politically and otherwise would always see God as the Giver of all, and not be bragging unnecessarily, or become needlessly domineering.
EXTRA READING FOR TODAY:
Psalms 72:18 – 75:9: Romans 16:1 – 16:22
Author: C.A.C WORLDWIDE