Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hubris battles humility

Am I proud? This morning I read through 2 Chronicles 32-33 and noticed the central role that conflict between humility and pride takes. I just love the hubris of the speech that the King Sennacherib of Assyria gives to intimidate the residents of Jerusalem:
13Do you not know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of other lands? Were the gods of the nations of those lands at all able to deliver their lands out of my hand14Who among all the gods of those nations that my fathers devoted to destruction was able to deliver his people from my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you from my hand15Now, therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you in this fashion, and do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand or from the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you out of my hand!'"
Of course, he is then humiliated by the LORD and Jerusalem is saved.
Destruction of Sennacherib, Peter Paul Rubens

Although, Hezekiah, the King of Judah, observes all this first hand he does not seem to learn from it, at least at first:
25But Hezekiah did not make return according to the benefit done to him, for his heart was proud. Therefore wrath came upon him and Judah and Jerusalem. 26But Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.

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