2 Chr 32:31 – Why did God withdraw from Hezekiah?

However, regarding the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, whom they sent to him to inquire about the wonder that was done in the land, God withdrew from him, in order to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart. 2 Chr 32:31

There is a reason for everything that happens. We may not know how events are inter-connected one to another because God may not reveal that to us.

But this verse tells us the reason for God withdrawing from Hezekiah. The reason was to test him – to see what was in his heart.

Sometimes we may ask the reason as to why we fell into sin. Perhaps it was because God withdrew Himself – so that we may be tested – so that He may know what is in our heart, just like the case for Hezekiah. And when we fall, we know what is in our heart – that there is nothing good. We are utterly sinful and fully dependent on the grace of God to sustain us, or we will fail miserably. That reduces us to dust and helps us to appreciate the sustaining grace of God.

If we have fallen into sin, may we find grace through our Lord Jesus Christ who gave Himself to redeem us because we are totally unable to help ourselves.

3 thoughts on “2 Chr 32:31 – Why did God withdraw from Hezekiah?”

  1. This is part of “working out your salvation with fear and trembling” as it says in Phil 2:12. God told Cain that “sin crouches at your door – but you must be the master of it.” Cain should have listened. Instead of looking to see what was in his heart, he acted rashly and killed his brother Able. God gave Cain an opportunity to see what was in his heart when the brothers gave their offerings and Cain’s was not accepted. God lovingly told Cain, “if you do what is right, won’t you be accepted?” The same was true for Hezekiah. God had previously saved his nation from defeat by the Assyrian army and healed Hezekiah – both when Hezekiah prayed to God and asked for deliverance. The third time for bad news Hezekiah did not pray. He basically said “it’s not gonna happed to me.” Based on what Isaiah told Hezekiah the two previous times, I think God wanted him to pray so that the King Hezekiah would lead the people in turning and relying on God.

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    1. Dear Steve,

      Thanks for your comments.

      I agree that it could be because Hezekiah was being taught to “work out his salvation with fear & trembling”.

      In the context of 2 Chr 32:31 – the verse said that “…God withdrew from him, in order to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.” There is no doubt that God’s people are sustained by His grace in every decision, action & speech. The moment He withdraws His grace, we are doomed to act unwisely. This was the case for Hezekiah when God withdrew from him. The question is – why did God do that, since God knew that we are totally dependent on him? My guess is this:
      – Hezekiah had been relatively successful – God had answered all His prayers, rescued him from the Assyrians and even healed him, giving 15 more years of life.
      – Sometimes, when a man meets with such success, pride sets in & there is a possibility that he can forget his total dependence upon God. In this case, Hezekiah foolishly showed the visitors from Babylon all his wealth – a sign of his pride. If God was with him, there is a likelihood that he could have been wiser and not act in this manner. But God’s withdrawal from him exposed the true nature of Hezekiah. And he subsequently acknowledged his sin – a sign of true faith & repentance.
      – I don’t doubt that the whole episode was part of God teaching him to “work out his salvation with fear & trembling”.

      The case of Cain is likely to be different because he was never a child of God in the first place. There was no way he could obey God without God’s enabling grace. Hence, when temptation knocked at the door of his heart, he readily submitted to it.

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