We all know what it’s like to be tested by trials and hardships. But did you know that we are also tested by prosperity? King Hezekiah is a fascinating “case study.” For the most part, his life is one of faithfulness and godliness. As he ruled righteously and justly over Judah, the nation experienced a “lift” into great economic prosperity. Hezekiah was blessed with abundance. “And Hezekiah had very great riches and honor, and he made for himself treasuries for silver, for gold, for precious stones, for spices, for shields, and for all kinds of costly vessels; storehouses also for the yield of grain, wine, and oil; and stalls for all kinds of cattle, and sheepfolds. He likewise provided cities for himself, and flocks and herds in abundance, for God had given him very great possessions” (2 Chronicles 32:27-29). When we are blessed with good things, the question becomes, “Will I be thankful and humble…or give in to pride?” One day special envoys from the nation of Babylon came to visit Hezekiah after he recovered from a serious illness. He showed them around and pointed out all the special treasures he had accumulated. This episode was much more than simple “hospitality.” It was a test for Hezekiah. The Bible says, “God left him to himself, in order to test him and to know all that was in his heart” (2 Chronicles 32:31b). There’s no doubt about it, God tests our hearts. Of course, He already knows our hearts, but He wants to reveal to us our need of His grace and help. This event reminds me of a master craftsman who trains his apprentice in a certain skill and then steps back and watches him work. The Lord blesses us in so many ways. How do we respond to the Lord in times of prosperity? Failing the test is easy. Just follow the carnal, sinful nature. Become proud and think of yourself as deserving and entitled…better than others. However, passing the test requires a heart after God. Acknowledge Him as the giver of all good gifts. Pour out your gratitude and love to the Lord for all His goodness. And remember, the Lord always gives “open book” tests. The answers to every test are in the Bible! ‘’Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endure forever” (2 Chronicles 20:21b).
Pastor Mark Boucher