Isaiah 39

It is folly for one whom God has dignified to be overproud of the respect paid him by unbelieving princes.
We have need to watch our own spirits when showing another what we have done and what we have gotten,
as if our own merit had secured it.
God will take that from us on which we build a carnal confidence.

1 At that time Merodach-baladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah: for he had heard that he had been sick, and was recovered.

2 And Hezekiah was glad of them, and shewed them the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not.

3 ¶ Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee? And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country unto me, even from Babylon.

4 Then said he, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All that is in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them.

5 Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the LORD of hosts:

6 Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD.

7 And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.

8 Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days.

Isaiah 39:4—There is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them.

​   In the book of the Chronicles there is a suggestion which shows the hidden evil that lurked beneath Hezekiah’s attitude to these Babylonish ambassadors. “Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him” (2 Chronicles 32:25). Beyond all other sin, pride is abhorrent to God as the parent of other sins, and it was this accursed principle that prompted Hezekiah to that outburst of ostentation. He did not care to remember that he had nothing which he had not first received, and that at the best he was only a trustee of God’s gifts for others. You will remember that by this sin fell the angels. It was when Nebuchadnezzar surveyed Babylon from the roof of his palace that he was suddenly smitten with madness.
   Be very careful to watch against ostentation and the pride from which it springs. The best antidote is the habit of looking from the gifts to the Giver, and to accustom yourself to the position of a steward of the benefits which have been done to you. Oh for more of the spirit of praise and thanksgiving, of adoring gratitude, of grateful love! Not unto us, not unto us, but unto thy name be all the glory, O Lord God. All things come of Thee: wealth, and the power to get it; love, and the qualities that earn it; success, and the health of body and mind so needful to its acquisition. No doubt Hezekiah’s sad lapse is intended as a warning to us all. The minuteness with which it is recorded may be intended to impress on us the danger of coquetting with the Babylon around us. It is impossible to do so without becoming ultimately carried into captivity to its corruption. —Our Daily Homily