Saturday, July 19, 2008

Good King Hezekiah

July 19: 2 Kings 18:1-8, 2 Chronicles 29-31 & Psalm 48

1 Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. . . . 2 And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done.

3 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them. 4 He brought in the priests and the Levites and assembled them in the square on the east 5 and said to them, “Hear me, Levites! Now consecrate yourselves, and consecrate the house of the Lord, the God of your fathers, and carry out the filth from the Holy Place.

15 They gathered their brothers and consecrated themselves and went in as the king had commanded, by the words of the Lord, to cleanse the house of the Lord. 16 The priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and they brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the Lord into the court of the house of the Lord. And the Levites took it and carried it out to the brook Kidron. 17 They began to consecrate on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the vestibule of the Lord. Then for eight days they consecrated the house of the Lord, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished.
2 Chronicles 29:1a, 2-5 & 15-17

1 Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem to keep the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel.

10 So the couriers went from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun, but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them. 11 However, some men of Asher, of Manasseh, and of Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12 The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the Lord.
2 Chronicles 30:1 & 10-11

20 Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God. 21 And every work that he undertook in the service of the house of God and in accordance with the law and the commandments, seeking his God, he did with all his heart, and prospered.
2 Chronicles 31:20-21

Good King Hezekiah

What a breath of fresh air King Hezekiah must have been to the people; Israel had already been taken into captivity, and because of their sin, Judah was soon to follow. As the new king, one of the first things that Hezekiah did was to order the cleansing of the temple.

Even with all of the men working on the project, it still took 16 days to complete the cleaning, and then the consecration of the temple. Finally, the stage was set for the keeping of the Passover.

Even those who remained in the land of Israel, following their captivity by Assyria, were invited to join in the Passover Feast. Though most laughed them to scorn, some did come from the tribes of Asher, of Manasseh, and of Zebulun.

The people were so overjoyed that Hezekiah extended the Passover another seven days!

Truly Hezekiah was a remarkable king; unlike so many before him, he did not fall away from the Lord in the latter days of his reign. Psalm 48 ends with the following words,

. . . this is God,
our God forever and ever.
He will guide us forever.

Can you speak these words in honesty? Even in the midst of times of great judgment, God did not forsake His people.

In the same way, God will not ever forsake His true children today; He alone is worthy to be praised!

God Bless You,

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