Summary: Hezekiah is a great king, with great talents and abilities, but he has one weakness--pride. Pride is not totally bad, is it? Look at Hezekiah, he was successful. So what is the danger in pride?
JUST ONE LITTLE PROBLEM
TEXT: 2 KINGS 18-20
THEME: THE RISE AND FALL OF PRIDE IN LIFE.
Mike Duncan was the coach of Corey Brewer of Portland, TN. You might know Corey Brewer. He won two national championships with the Florida Gators in the last two years. It is predicted that Corey will go in the first ten picks of the up and coming NBA draft. Corey grew up in Portland, TN in a small trailer with his mother who worked as a teacher’s aid and his father who was on disability. Portland, TN is a small town. While Corey was there the high school students, Mike states, idolized him. It is rare for any high school player to be recruited by division I schools, nevertheless, Tennessee and Florida. But Corey was a premier prospect out of high school. He was the superstar of the high school basketball team. But during his senior year, Corey quit football because he basketball coached encouraged him to focus on basketball. When Corey quit, fifteen seniors quit with him. Corey was a tremendous influence over the minds of these young men. He was a local hero before he was a national hero. During Corey’s senior year, I asked Mike about this situation. “Does he have a chance to make it to the NBA” I asked. “Yes, if he does not let his pride stand in his way,” Mike said. Mike informed me that Corey was a wonderful young man, he was disciplined, and respectful, but he had a pride problem. Pride had entered his life. No one should be shocked. It is difficult for grown men to overcome pride in success. It is even more unimaginable for an 18 year old boy to not allow the accolades to overcome him. His peers idolized him, his community loved him, and coaches sought after him. Of course pride was in his life. Who could blame him for it?
So far Corey has been successful. He is going to sign a million dollar contract because he has pride in himself and in his game. His pride might have helped him to succeed. Because of his pride, he might have stepped up for the big game. Because of his pride, he has remained focused on improving his skills. He prides himself on being a success and the best. His pride might have been the launching point of his career. So is pride that bad.
We throw around the term pride a lot. Some times we use it in a positive sense. We say “I am proud of you” or “take pride in your work.” We use the term for motivation. “Where is your pride?” Taking pride in your work or in yourself cannot be bad. Sometimes our pride helps us to do that which is right. Pride in being a Christian or pride in being a good father—there seems to be some things that we must be proud of in life.
Look at Hezekiah’s life. He becomes King of the nation at the young age of twenty five. He reaps the position of power with limited knowledge and experience. And when he comes into power, Hezekiah is a strong man. The Bible indicates in 2 Kings 18:1-6 that He was a respected King. A king that was pleasing to the Lord. Because Hezekiah had pride in his nation and his God he was on fire to restore the glory of Israel. Look at his estimate in 2 Kings 18:1-6 “Now it came about in the third year of Hoshea, the son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah became king. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. And he did right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father David had done. He removed the high places and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah. He also broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the sons of Israel burned incense to it; and it was called Nehushtan. He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel; so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who were before him. For he clung to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses.” The text indicates that he destroyed the bronze serpent that the people turned into an idol. The same object that Moses used to save the people was used to destroy the people. The serpent was not the only idol that Hezekiah thrown down. It states that he removed the high places within the hills. These high places were spots of pagan worship. The people believed that going to the high places provided a closer connection to God. Many of the people in wanting to connect to the pagan gods would construct altars on the hills. Hezekiah in response to this step down from God instead of a step up to the gods rebukes the people and destroys the places of idolatry. Hezekiah does this because he is a bold king. He knows what he believes and his confident in his convictions. You can call it pride, God calls it honor.