King Hezekiah was a phenomenal leader of the Israelite people and provided godly and inspired leadership that saved the country from annihilation. King Hezekiah was a vain fool who couldn’t resist showing off his kingdom’s wealth to envoys (really spies) from Babylon. Q: Which statement is true? A: They both are.
God could have stopped the Babylonian spies, but he didn’t. Why not? Because he was testing Hezekiah: “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” (2 Chronicles 32:31). Doesn’t God know everything, including what’s in people’s minds and what they are going to do? Of course. But here’s the paradox: Scripture also describes God’s work in real time—going moment by moment, waiting to see what we are going to do.
Remember that God’s whole purpose behind the creation of the human race was not to manufacture mindless puppets whose every move he would control. God made us to be miniature versions of himself, with the idea that we would exercise judgment to choose what is good and shun what is evil. Thus he left Hezekiah alone not to abandon him but to give him the chance to use his God-given wisdom and life experiences to do the right thing. Does that mean that God uses our life dilemmas to test our maturity and self-control?