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Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for twenty-nine years ( 2 Chronicles 29:1 )
Now it is interesting to me that as wicked as was Ahaz, Hezekiah was a very good, spiritual king. Perhaps he saw the folly of his father. Perhaps he saw what his father's reign had done for the nation. But it is interesting how that such an ungodly man as Ahaz could have a son as Hezekiah who was so spiritual. And Hezekiah began to reign, but Hezekiah was strongly influenced by Isaiah the prophet. And no doubt the relationship of Hezekiah and Isaiah is the reason why Hezekiah was such a good king.
Now Hezekiah, when he began to reign, immediately sought to undo the blasphemous work of his father, in the tearing down of all of these idols and images that his father had established and set up.
He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord. In the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and he repaired them. And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and he gathered them together into the east street, and he said, Sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place. For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned their backs. And they have shut up the doors of the porch, they put out the lamps, and they have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place unto the God of Israel. Wherefore the wrath of the LORD was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to the hissing, as you see with your eyes. For, lo, our fathers have fallen by the sword, our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. And it is in my heart to make a covenant with the LORD God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us. My sons, be not now negligent [talking to the priests]: for the LORD hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense ( 2 Chronicles 29:2-11 ).
So here the first thing that Hezekiah does is re-establish the worship of Jehovah. The temple had been shut. It would have been filled with just a lot of junk, filthiness, pollution, and the doors had been shut. They had not been offering the daily sacrifices. They had not been keeping the light of the menorah lit. They had just forsaken the worship of Jehovah God completely during the reign of Ahaz. And it is Hezekiah's purpose to re-establish now. Calling the priests together and saying, "Okay now, you fellows, sanctify yourselves and let's get back. I'm determined to make a covenant to worship God." And so Hezekiah was the instrument to forestall the judgment of God in the fact that he was turning the people back to the worship of God once again.
And so they gathered their brothers, they sanctified themselves, according to the commandment of Hezekiah, by the words of the LORD, to cleanse the house of the LORD. And the priests went into the inner part of the house of the LORD, to cleanse it, they brought out all the uncleanness that was found there in the temple of the LORD and they carried it down to the brook Kidron ( 2 Chronicles 29:15-16 ).
And dumped it down there in the bottom of the valley.
And they began the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the porch of the LORD: and they sanctified the house of the Lord ( 2 Chronicles 29:17 ).
So they started going through sanctifying everything. Now there was a ritual by which things had to be sanctified and the purification rites. There was a whole ritual to it, and it took several days. And they would go one area at a time sanctifying the holy of holies again, then sanctifying the holy place, sanctifying the table of showbread, sanctifying the oil of incense, sanctifying the candles, and it took eight days, actually, to formulate the oil that was burned in the candles. Getting so you'd have the sanctified oil to burn in the sanctified lamp and the whole thing. And so they started this process. The first day of the first month they began this process of sanctification. And it was coming, of course, now you're in the first month; you've got the great Feast of the Passover coming up. But they didn't have time to get everything all set for the Feast of the Passover in the first month.
Now there was a provision in the law of Moses that if a person could not observe the Feast of the Passover in the fourteenth day of the first month that he could do it on the fourteenth day of the second month. And so they determined that they would have the Feast of the Passover once more. It's something that was back in their history. They hadn't done it for a long time, and they determined that they were going to start the feast again, that they would observe the Feast of the Passover unto the Lord.
And so they sent messages throughout all the land inviting the people to come to the Feast of the Passover in the second month. And it is interesting that they even sent messages on up into the northern kingdom, into the areas of Samaria in the northern kingdom, inviting the people that they should come. And so there was this great celebration of the Feast of the Passover. They restored the worship of the temple and all. And then in chapter 30 we get the Passover. But in the restoration of the worship in the temple, verse 2 Chronicles 29:27 :
And Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offerings upon the altar. And when the burnt offerings began, the song of the LORD began also with the trumpets, and with the instruments ordained by David the king of Israel ( 2 Chronicles 29:27 ).
David had invented a lot of musical instruments and ordered the singers and all. And as they started to burn the sacrifice, they began to sing and worship God once more. And so the beautiful sight, really, of the worship of God re-instituted there in the temple.
All of the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: and all of this continued until the burnt offering was finished ( 2 Chronicles 29:28 ).
Now the burnt offering was the offering of consecration. They offered a sin offering because they had sinned against God. But then the burnt offering. You remember he said, "I have made a covenant to serve the Lord." That's what the burnt offering was all about. The burnt offering was the offering of consecration. It is the consecration of my life to serve God.
And so the Bible said, "I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you'll present your bodies as a living sacrifice," not as sin sacrifice, but a burnt offering sacrifice, "holy and acceptable unto God" ( Romans 12:1 ). In other words, "Here, God, is my body. I sacrifice my body to you. That is, I am consecrating my body and my life to serve You." That's what the burnt offering sacrifice was all about, the offering of consecration.
And so Hezekiah the king, the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the Lord with the words of David, and Asaph the seer ( 2 Chronicles 29:30 ).
So they began to sing the songs with which you are familiar.
And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped. Then Hezekiah answered and said, Now that you have consecrated yourselves to the LORD, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of the LORD. And the congregation brought in the sacrifices and thank offerings; and as many as were of a free heart, burnt offerings ( 2 Chronicles 29:30-31 ).
Now sometimes there is a mistaken notion that we can legislate righteousness. It's impossible. The worship of God must always arise out of a free heart. You cannot force people to worship God. That always has to come from the free heart. It should never come out of coercion. It should never come out of pressure. Whatever you give, yourself, that which you have, should always be done freely and willingly from your heart. So the people, as many as were of a free heart came and worshipped.
And Hezekiah rejoiced [verse 2 Chronicles 29:36 ], and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done in a hurry ( 2 Chronicles 29:36 ).
Actually, this was a hurried up deal.
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 29". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30