Ellen G. White Writings

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From the Heart, Page 364

Honor the Giver of Gifts, December 18

What have they seen in your house? 2 Kings 20:15.

Study the case of Hezekiah. He had been sick unto death. He had appealed to the Lord, and God had added to his life fifteen years. “At that time ... [the] king of Babylon sent letters and a present to Hezekiah: for he had heard that he had been sick, and was recovered. 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. Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee? ... 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....”

The visit of the ambassadors to Hezekiah was a test of his gratitude and devotion.... God had raised him from a bed of death, giving him a new lease of life. The Babylonians had heard of his wonderful recovery. They marveled that the sun had been turned back ten degrees, as a sign that the word of the Lord should be fulfilled. They sent messengers to Hezekiah to congratulate him on his recovery. The visit of these messengers gave him an opportunity to extol the God of heaven. How easy it would have been to point them to the God of gods. But pride and vanity took possession of Hezekiah's heart, and in his self-exaltation he laid open to their covetous eyes the treasures with which God had enriched His people.... His indiscretion prepared the way for national disaster. The ambassadors carried to Babylon the report of Hezekiah's riches, and the king and his counselors planned to enrich Babylon with the treasures of Jerusalem.

Had Hezekiah improved the opportunity given him to bear witness to the power, the goodness, the compassion, of the God of Israel, the report of the ambassadors would have been as light piercing darkness. But he magnified himself above the Lord of hosts and failed to give God the glory....

Oh, that those for whom God has done marvelous things would show forth His praises and tell of His mighty works. But how often those for whom God works are like Hezekiah—forgetful of the Giver of all their blessings.—Signs of the Times, October 1, 1902.

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