One of the most striking stories of the Old Testament is that of 25 year old Hezekiah who began a wonderful reign of 29 years. 2 Chronicles 29:2 says “he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.” The revival he began as recorded in chapter 29 and develops through chapter 32 is a story that needs to be read and re-read for the wonderful way he initiated and conducted this revival of worship and cleansing in the land. It culminates in God miraculously delivering his people from external invasion.
The first thing he did was open the doors of the Temple, clean it up and then, after the 15 days required for that to be done, he began the implementation of worship practices according to the word of the Lord. It was such a tremendous task that some who had not been properly sanctified according to Levitical procedures were called to participate. Thousands of animals were killed and sacrificed.
Many of the people of both Israel and also Judah were joined together again. But 30:12 says, “Also in Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the LORD.” It was a great unifying of the splintered country. Many from the tribes which were a part of Israel had not cleansed themselves, but ate the passover without proper cleansing and were getting sick. But Hezekiah prayed for them, asking God to “pardon every one that prepareth his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he was not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary” (30:19). “And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.” (vs. 20)
“So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like 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, even unto heaven.” (2 Chronicles 30:26,27)
Chapter 31 is the record of how the entire land was cleansed of the places and practices of false worship. The people brought of the blessings of God in abundance! Jerusalem and the priests and Temple were abundantly supplied.
In chapter 32, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself. Hezekiah brought them a message that is so wonderful I will just quote it: “Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles.” (2 Chronicles 32:7,8a)
How great a leader Hezekiah was! He led, he motivated with his own contributions to the Temple, and the people followed. And when the enemy came to conquer Judah, Hezekiah shows us why he was the king he was! He realized that God’s hand was their protection and provision. He demonstrated that following God paid off! And the last part of verse 8 reveals the key to God’s hand on us and working through us. He brought peace to the hearts of the people by pointing them to God’s strength! “And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.” (2 Chronicles 32:8b)
We are able, with God’s direction and provision, preparing to see one of the greatest blessings of the Lord as we bring the next generation to the realization that:
1. Following God and His Word with “one heart” (30:12) is worthwhile;
2. Cleansing our hearts is the place to begin if we would follow God;
3. Having a compassionate heart for others is going to be blessed by God;
4. Praising God is contagious and will bring greater blessings.
5. No matter who comes against us, our strength is in the Lord and we can REST in Him!
6. When the enemy comes, we can “pray and cry to heaven” (32:20), knowing God will always be there!
It is my prayer that 2021 will be a remarkable year of God’s blessings. We serve a great God and His blessings are waiting in store for each ministry and home using the School of Tomorrow® system. His hand is on us, ready to work through us. Let’s determine this year will be one of “Strength In Him” as we move with ONE HEART to follow Him!
Rev. Delbert Hooge
School of Tomorrow®, Philippines