After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done… (2 Chronicles 32:1).
After three very long chapters outlining Hezekiah’s faithfulness to obey God and restore worship in the temple, how would you expect this sentence to be completed:
“After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done…
- …God gave Hezekiah abundant blessings”?
- …Hezekiah never had any problems”?
- …all of Hezekiah’s enemies were afraid of him”?
Actually, the full sentence says, “After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah.”
What?! That doesn’t seem fair!
Shouldn’t it be something like, “If I do these good things then God will do good things for me”? Or even, “If bad guys do bad things then God will do bad things to them”?
But this wasn’t about Hezekiah. It wasn’t even about Sennacherib. It was about God’s glory.
Jonah had delivered God’s message of judgment on Nineveh and the people had repented. But then they had begun to backslide from that. God was mercifully giving them another chance to repent. Sennacherib felt he was invincible and didn’t need to turn to Yahweh. So God had to demonstrate “with [Sennacherib] is only the arm of flesh” (vv. 8, 10-19).
God’s judgment fell, Sennacherib was assassinated, Judah was delivered, and God was glorified (vv. 21-23).
It is shortsighted of me to say, “But God, I did everything faithfully so this bad thing shouldn’t be happening to me.”
It’s not about me! It never has been. It’s all about God’s glory.
Yes, Hezekiah reaped the benefit of Sennacherib’s defeat, but it wasn’t because God was “paying Hezekiah back” for the good he had done. God was still being glorified when “many brought offerings to Jerusalem for the Lord and valuable gifts for Hezekiah king of Judah. From then on he was highly regarded by all the nations.”
Sennacherib was defeated and Hezekiah was saved for the same reason: God was glorified in doing so!
Whenever you walk through a dark time, you too might be tempted to say, “God, this isn’t fair!” But remember, it’s not about you—it’s about God being glorified. Perhaps God gains greater glory and you gain greater rewards by Him delivering you through an enemy’s attack, not delivering you from the attack. Whatever God is doing, He is doing it for His glory.
Sola Deo gloria!