In 2 Chronicles 32:27-31, we read the narrative of King Hezekiah’s rise to wealth and possessions by the hand of God. The Lord had prospered him greatly, to the degree that he had to build treasuries, and storehouses, and stalls to keep it all. In verse 31, we read a profound statement about God’s dealings with the man that He had blessed so abundantly.
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.
It is interesting that God would leave a man, as the ESV translates, “to himself” to test the mettle of the man… to see what the man is made of. We read the results of this testing in 2 Kings chapter 20. The king of Babylon sent his son and servants to greet Hezekiah while he was sick. In Hezekiah’s pride for all his possessions, he takes the Babylonians and shows them every single precious thing the Lord had given him. “there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah showed them not.”
In response to this, the prophet Isaiah declares word from the Lord that Babylon will take away every possession that Hezekiah owns, from his riches to his children and servants. Everything.
What would the path of man be if he knew that a momentary mistake would cost him everything he owned? Would it change the way he behaved when, “left to himself” by God? How about you?