revival… and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.” 2 Chr 28:27

Hezekiah becomes king over Judah – the southern kingdom, and within the first year he begins to bring changes to a nation that had lost it’s way long before (29:3). By the time he takes the throne – the northern kingdom of Israel had been ransacked by Assyria and most of the people (minus a small remnant) had been hauled off into captivity. So King Hezekiah, knowing the reason behind that happening, immediately set about to bring reform and return the people of Judah back to the Lord.

First, he has the temple cleaned out after years of neglect and misuse (vs 16). He has the repair work done and the temple returned to it’s former glory. He tells the Levite priests to sanctify themselves according to the law of Moses and prepare to restart their worship of Yahweh in the temple (vs 4-11). They cleaned the altar and all the utensils (vs 18) and they removed all of the vile instruments used by King Ahaz for idol worship which had cluttered up the temple (vs 19).

After that Hezekiah gathers all of the Isrealites (of Judah) together and they re-dedicated the temple to the Lord. They offered fresh sacrifices of repentance and sang thunderous songs of worship before the Lord (vs 20-35). This brought great reformation among the people and spread joy throughout all of their hearts – as King Hezekiah ushered in a revival by his quick action… preventing the same fate that came upon the north to come upon Judah (vs 36).

Once the temple was restored and the Priesthood purified and returned to their proper positions (having been outlawed by previous kings and relegated to obscurity), Hezekiah next sent letters to those left behind by Assyria in the northern kingdom (30:6). This “remnant” of Israelites had seen their homes and kingdom ravished by Assyria and most of their neighbors dragged off into slavery. So King Hezekiah invited them to come to Jerusalem and take part in the revival of worship to the Lord. (Notice who Hezekiah blames for the devastation that had taken over the northern kingdom… not God – but the stiff-necked and rebellious generations before them who had rejected the Lord (vs 7-8). Hezekiah knew that the only way to avoid the same fate as his northern brothers was to “turn again unto the Lord” (vs 9). Unfortunately – most of the people up north had long ago forgotten the Lord and his ways. They also had no respect for Hezekiah nor the small tribes down south… so they laughed and mocked the invitation from King Hezekiah (vs 10); although a few did humble themselves and come to Jerusalem.

Without enough time to properly sanctify themselves – the people all came to Jerusalem and took part in the celebration of the Passover feast. Technically, the feast is supposed to be kept in the first month and the people should go through a period of purifying cleansing before eating of the meal… yet God knew the state of their hearts and demonstrated His great grace when Hezekiah asked Him to pardon the people due to the situation. According to Lev. 15 – if someone approached God without first cleansing themselves they would be put to death with sickness… yet in response to King Hezekiah’s prayer – God “healed the people” (vs 20). This is a beautiful foreshadowing of Jesus.

So King Hezekiah brings reformation to the Israelites – and restores worship in a way that hadn’t taken place for over 260 years – since the kingdom was first divided (vs 26). He had seen the poor examples set before him by his forefathers – and was grieved by the godless society that had grown up around him. So he set his mind to bring change and returned the people back to the way they should have always been. This act by Hezekiah (as we shall see) stave’s off much heartache for the people of Judah – and brings the favor of the Lord upon them during Hezekiah’s reign.

It only took one man to lead the nation of Judah to repent and return to the ways of the Lord – diverting sure disaster for many years.

It only takes one man to lead the nation of the United States to repent and return to the ways of the Lord…

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

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