CLEANSING AND RESTORING
2 Chronicles 29
Hezekiah began his reign with his father Ahaz when he was twenty-five. Hezekiah's father was not faithful to the Lord, and he shut up the doors of the house of the Lord. He was faithful and obedient to the Lord earning him a comparison with David. As soon as Ahaz was dead, Hezekiah sought to reverse what his father had done to the temple. King Hezekiah summoned the priests and the Levites and commanded them to consecrate themselves and the house of the Lord. Hezekiah spoke implored these men to remove the filth from the Holy place. The King spoke openly about the sins of their fathers. They had been unfaithful, evil, and forsaken the Lord to the point they turned their backs on the temple. The doors were shut, the lamps were not lit, and no offerings had been offered to the God of Israel. Hezekiah understood their affliction, captivity, and their numerous defeats to be the wrath of the Lord. The kingdom was an object of ridicule to the surrounding nations. Hezekiah was committed to making a covenant and passionately called these religious leaders to give themselves entirely to their ministry. The Levites arose to serve during this reformation, and these leaders gathered their brothers and obeyed King Hezekiah. The priests went into the inner part of the temple in order to cleanse it. Imagine the sights, sounds, and smells as these men made their way into the temple that had been closed for so long. They removed everything unclean that they found in the temple and brought it out into the courtyard. From there, the Levites took it and carried it out to the Kidron brook. The cleansing of the temple area took eight days, and for the next eight days, the priests consecrated the house itself until everything was finished. The priests and the Levites presented themselves before the king and announced that they had completed their task.
Temple Worship Restored
King Hezekiah rose early the next day, gathered all the officials of the city, and went to the house of the Lord. King Hezekiah made sin offerings to the Lord for the kingdom, the sanctuary, and Judah. King Hezekiah commanded the priests to offer these sin offerings on the altar of the Lord. These sacrifices were to make atonement for all Israel. The Levites were stationed in the house of the Lord with their instruments according to the instructions given by David, Gad, and Nathan. As the burnt were offered, the music began, and the whole assembly worshiped. The sounds of music and singing rose with the smoke, filling the air. The people sang and bowed down in worship. King Hezekiah then invited the assembly to bring voluntary burnt offerings. There were so many offerings that the number of priests who had consecrated themselves was too small to handle such a large number of sacrificial animals. Levites were pressed into service to assist them, and on this occasion, the Levites had been more upright in heart than the priests. Peace offerings and drink offerings were made, and the service of the house of the Lord was restored. The King and the people rejoiced because of God's goodness in restoring things so quickly.
Things To Consider:
- Why is character so important for leaders?
- How is obedience connected to effectiveness?
- Why is it important to obey without delay?
- What role does passion play in the life of a leader?
- Why is confession of sin necessary?
- How do we consecrate ourselves today?
- What covenant are Christians under today?
- What sacrifices should be offered today?
- How has atonement been made for us?
- Why does music accompany sin and guilt offerings?
- Can you remember a time when you rejoiced in how quickly God brought you to repentance? If not, why do you think that is?