I’m pondering 2 Chron. 32:31: “But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.” NIV (You can read the background in Isaiah 39–the Babylonian King sent gifts to Hezekiah to sway him to join him in the revolt against Assyria.)
What fascinates me is the wording that indicates that God allowed a testing “to know everything that was in his (Hezekiah’s) heart.” Doesn’t God know everything? Or does He know our heart but until we actually operate/take action out of our heart–our heart isn’t truly known? Testing, trials, difficulties, etc, reveal our hearts. Actions reveal our hearts. We can say, for instance, “I love that person,” but if we do anything that isn’t for their good, we aren’t really loving them. I just talked with a distance friend by telephone who told me, “Pray for my (relative), she spends too much money and keeps borrowing from me. I love her and don’t want her to suffer.”
I asked, “How does it make you feel about yourself to rescue her?”
“It makes me feel important,” she replied.
“So, is giving her money for her benefit or is it because it makes you feel good about yourself? Rescuing her is not really loving her–it’s not for her benefit. This is really about you. What do you fear if you don’t say yes to her request for money?”
“I don’t want her to stop loving me,” she replied.
“So, really, she is more important to you than God. She is your idol because she’s your source of love which is more important than obeying God (who says “love her for her benefit, not yours”)–and knowing His love.”
I’m putting into a quick nutshell what happened, so this might sound a little hard hearted, but she was actually quite willing to face these realities. She had a teachable heart and said she hadn’t looked at it like that before. She would have to think about it.
One commentator (unnamed) said about Hezekiah’s test: “God left Hezekiah to himself, that, by this trial and his weakness in it, what was in his heart might be known; that he was not so perfect in grace as he thought he was. It is good for us to know ourselves, and our own weakness and sinfulness, that we may not be conceited, or self-confident, but may always live in dependence upon Divine grace. We know not the corruption of our own hearts, nor what we shall do if God leaves us to ourselves. His sin was, that his heart was lifted up.”
Hezekiah’s true heart was revealed; he saw himself in a new, honest light, and God knew all that was in Hezekiah’s heart by his actions. Does God know everything? I believe He does. He’s omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. 2 Chronicles 32:31 might seem in contrast to that, and I still don’t know exactly how to explain it, so let me know your thoughts.