RESTORATION & REVIVAL brings GREAT JOY & BLESSINGS
May 11 Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles Chapters 28-30
"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. Then the priests, the Levites, arose and blessed the people, and their voice was heard; and their prayer came up to His holy dwelling place, to heaven." (2 Chron. 30:25-27)
Towards the end of his life, King Ahaz had "become increasingly unfaithful to the Lord" (28:22). Not only that, Ahaz had offered "sacrificed to the gods of Damascus" (28:23), and had even "cut in pieces the articles of the house of God, shut up the doors of the house of the Lord, and made for himself altars in every corner of Jerusalem. And in every single city of Judah he made high places to burn incense to other gods, and provoked to anger the Lord God of his fathers" (28:24-25). It was at this time that King Hezekiah took over as the King of Judah, a time when the spiritual condition in Judah and Jerusalem had reached its lowest point!
However, King Hezekiah started his rule on the right note when he "opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them" (29:3). He then gathered together all the religious leaders (the priests and Levites, 29:3-19), all the political leaders (the rulers, 29:20-24) and all the people (29:25-36) to personal sanctification and worship. However, spiritual revival came because God gave the people “singleness of heart” to obey His commandments given through their leaders (30:12). This unity among the people propelled by a genuine desire to obey God and honor the covenant that was in sharp contrast with the disunity that existed among the Israelites since the days of Rehoboam, the son of Solomon (10:1–19).
For the first time in history, Hezekiah invited their kindred folk belonging to the northern kingdom of Israel to join their worship and festivities (30:6–9). However, many of the northerners mocked and refused this invitation, but a few humbled themselves and responded (30:10–11). Since Hezekiah honored the Lord “with all his heart” (31:21), all the people were again able to follow God wholeheartedly. The revival that began in the heart of Hezekiah spread to his people!
The Feast of Unleavened Bread was such a joy to all that they decided to celebrate an extra seven days, which was unprecedented in Jerusalem since the days of Solomon (30:23–27). The king and the leaders contributed animals for this extended feast and there was great joy in Jerusalem. The whole assembly was blessed, and once more the prayers of the priests and Levites were heard in heaven. Genuine worship is an occasion for great joy (30:26). It is so wonderful that God blessed His people abundantly, healed and sent them home rejoicing.
Thus, King Hezekiah had called the whole nation of Israel back to the celebration of the Passover, the feast that depicts Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, and many participated with oneness of heart (30:12). Hezekiah saw to it that the people were taught the Word of God (30:22) because it nourishes the heart and cleanses the life, long after the memories of great events have faded away. The people experienced great joy and blessings as a result of the restoration and revival they experienced that day.