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27. Hezekiah, King of Judah-Part I

October 13, 2010

Text:    II Chronicles 29:1-31:21

Harmony Text:            II Kings 18:1-12

Outline:           I.     The Temple is Reopened                       II Chronicles 29:1-36

II.   The Passover is Celebrated                  II Chronicles 30:1-31:1

III.  Worship is Organized                              II Chronicles 31:2-21

Context/Discussion/Comments:

I included II Kings 18:1-12 as a harmony text because it gives us a historical perspective.  Hezekiah was 8 years old when his grandfather Jotham, a Godly king. died.  His father Ahaz, a very ungodly king, reigned while he was 9-25 years of age.  So Hezekiah heard and probably knew the reason for God’s blessing on Judah during Jotham’s reign and he surely knew of the troubles that came to his father Ahaz.  Hezekiah had a choice; to be like his grandfather or his father.  He chose to be like his grandfather.  He also saw first-hand the trouble Israel was in because of their idolatry.  In fact Israel was exiled to Assyria in his 7th year as king.  Hezekiah had a choice and he chose to follow the Lord.  He decided to reopen the Temple whose doors were closed by his father Ahaz.  Hezekiah was considered the best and most Godly king since the kingdom divided.

Hezekiah became king at age 25 and ruled for 29 years.  He did what was right in God’s eyes.  He immediately opened the Temple. repaired its’ doors, and commanded the priests and Levites to consecrate themselves, clean the Temple, and make it ready for worship.  The priests and Levites went to work and the Temple was declared ready for worship in 16 days.  The next day Hezekiah gathered his officials and they went to the Temple to sacrifice a sin offering unto the Lord.  Music filled the air as they sacrificed the burnt offering.  Then they knelt down and worshipped while the Levites sang Psalms.  They continued to worship bringing thank offerings and burnt offerings to the Lord, so many that the Levites had to help the priests.  The people rejoiced because the worship of God had been quickly reestablished.

Hezekiah sends word throughout Judah and Israel inviting all to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover.  They will celebrate it in the second month because the Temple and priests were not fully consecrated in the first month.  Hezekiah’s word went out in the form of a personal letter couriered throughout Judah and Israel, inviting all to come to Jerusalem and return to the Lord.  Hezekiah proclaims that the Lord is their salvation and that He will show them His grace and compassion.  Some Israelites accepted Hezekiah’s invitation but many more scorned and ridiculed him, preferring their idols.

A large crowd gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  All the idolatrous altars in Jerusalem had been removed in preparation for the Passover.  The celebration begins with the slaughter of Passover lambs.  The Levites had to slaughter lambs for those who were not consecrated when they arrived, particularly those who came from Israel.  Hezekiah prays for God to be merciful to those who were unable to be consecrated or who did not know the requirements for worshipping the Lord.  They all celebrated for 7 days with Hezekiah offering words of encouragement.  Then they decided to celebrate another 7 days with sacrifices provided by Hezekiah.  There was great unity between the people of Judah and Israel and great joy among all people.  The priests blessed the people and they went home destroying all the idolatrous altars on their way.

Hezekiah organizes the priests and Levites to lead the people in continuous worship.  He personally provided the animals needed for the morning and evening sacrifices.  He asked the people of Jerusalem to begin contributing to the Temple and the Levites so they could be freed up to do their duty.  All Judah and those Israelites who lived in Judah also contributed.  By the 7th month they were praising God for His blessing.. There was much food left over.  Hezekiah asked that storerooms be built to store the leftover food and gifts of money.  Hezekiah appointed 13 men to be in charge of these storerooms.  Seven others were appointed to be in charge of distribution to the priests throughout Judah, even those who were as young as 3years and were destined to be future priests.

Hezekiah did what was good and right.  He was faithful before God and obeyed God’s Law.  He was fully committed to the Lord and the Lord prospered him.

Lessons/Applications:

  1. Fight and work for the reopening of any church doors which have been closed.  People need a place to gather, to learn about God’s grace, and to worship Him.
  2. Support leaders whose hearts are fully committed to the Lord.
  3. There is great unity and joy when people come together in worship of the Lord God, confessing their sin and praising Him.  Do not forsake the practice of worship but  encourage others to return to God with you and worship the Lord.  Support Christian leaders who support community worship of God.  Support political leaders who make the worship of God a priority in their private and their public lives.  Only then will we experience the full joy and blessing that comes when people worship the Lord God Almighty in spirit and truth.
  4. True genuine worship does not occur once a year but daily and continuously.  Raise your voice through prayer and let your heart and voice praise God and thank Him for His blessings, His mercy, His grace, His love, and His hope.  Express your dependence on God daily.
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