'Appreciating God's Love'
King Hezekiah's Testimonies
2 Chr 29:8-9 Therefore the wrath of the Lord fell upon Judah and Jerusalem, and He has given them up to trouble, to desolation, and to jeering, as you see with your eyes. For indeed, because of this our fathers have fallen by the sword; and our sons, our daughters, and our wives are in captivity.
King Hezekiah's testified that because of his father's abominable practices in closing down the temple of God and idolatry was practiced throughout the land of Judah, many of his people were killed. They were defeated and ransacked by the Syrians, the Edomites and Philistines.
As their new king, he immediately took action to bring the Israelites back to serve the Lord so that they could once again enjoy the presence, protections and blessings of God.
Note: - testimonies build up our faith in God.
Temple of God Reopened
2 Chr 29:3-5 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them. Then he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them in the East Square, and said to them: "Hear me, Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from the holy place.
The Levites and priests were brought back to cleanse and sanctify the temple so that they could once again offer sacrifices and worship the Lord God Almighty in the holy temple of God.
2 Chr 29:6-7 For our fathers have trespassed and done evil in the eyes of the Lord our God; they have forsaken Him, have turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord , and turned their backs on Him. They have also shut up the doors of the vestibule, put out the lamps, and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel.
Temple of God Cleansed
2 Chr 29:18-19 Then they went in to King Hezekiah and said, "We have cleansed all the house of the Lord, the altar of burnt offerings with all its articles, and the table of the showbread with all its articles. Moreover all the articles which King Ahaz in his reign had cast aside in his transgression we have prepared and sanctified; and there they are, before the altar of the Lord."
Brethren, we too need to check whether we need to cleanse our temple of God. If we are still living like the Israelites during the wicked King Ahaz's time, for
1. rejecting His words and commands (shut up the doors)
2. unrepented sins which grieve the Holy Spirit and walking in darkness without His words (put out the lamps)
3. our lack of love, mercy, prayers, meditations, intercessions, His word and truth (no incense offered)
4. hoarding and not giving to His ministries - mission, charity and helping brethren (no burnt offering)
then, brethren we need to crucify our flesh by denying ungodliness and worldly lust and live for our Lord Jesus Christ who loved us and died for us.
Tit 2:11-13 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
Invitation to All Israelites
2 Chr 30:1,12 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the Passover to the Lord God of Israel... Also the hand of God was on Judah to give them singleness of heart to obey the command of the king and the leaders, at the word of the Lord.
King Hezekiah invited all Israelites (Israel was broken into two kingdoms after King Solomon's reign) including all those dispersed by the Assyrians to come to Jerusalem and celebrate together the Passover of the Lord.
Most Joyful Passover Ever
2 Chr 30:15-20 Then they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought the burnt offerings to the house of the Lord. For a multitude of the people, many from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, "May the good Lord provide atonement for everyone who prepares his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he is not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary." And the Lord listened to Hezekiah and healed the people.
Multitudes of Israelites came to celebrate the Passover but many of them were not sanctified, and yet they ate at the Passover. The Lord forgave them at the intercession of Hezekiah and it was the most joyful celebration of Passover.
Note: - God is forever merciful.
2 Chr 30:25-26 The whole assembly of Judah rejoiced, also the priests and Levites, all the assembly that came from Israel, the sojourners who came from the land of Israel, and those who dwelt in Judah. So there was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the time of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem.