When I was a boy, our family lived on a farm. One spring, we killed 13 rattlesnakes in a brief period of time.
A rattler can be easily destroyed if you know where it is and how far it can reach when it strikes. So my brothers and I never worried about the snakes we could see. We were genuinely concerned, however, about stepping on one whose presence we had not detected.
King Hezekiah was subtly “bitten” by a hidden temptation, not seduced by a gross and obvious evil. He allowed a measure of pride and self-reliance to blight his career. He should have put his full trust in the Lord for protection from his enemies, but instead he sought safety through an alliance with idolatrous men (2 Chronicles 32:25,31).
It’s too bad that this otherwise good king marred his reign by this sin. We need to be on guard lest we allow pride to build up in our hearts until we, like Hezekiah, succumb to the wiles of the enemy. We may be prepared to stand against obvious invitations to sin that would besmirch our name, but we may not be ready for life’s subtle temptations.
Beware of “hidden rattlers”—they’re the most dangerous of all!
The devil has many enticements,
There’s danger wherever you go;
But if you are tempted in weakness,
Ask God for more grace, and say, "No!" —Palmer
If you want to master temptation, let Christ master you.