2 Chronicles 30:1–31:21
King Hezekiah was a godly king. He was obedient to God’s Word which commanded His covenant people to celebrate the Passover each year. The only problem was, they didn’t have enough time to do so in the designated month. By the time the priests and Levites were able to get everything ready and send out the invitations, they would be a month late – but God was okay with that.
Hezekiah used this opportunity to invite all the children of Israel. He sent runners (messengers) to the people in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and all throughout Judah. He called them to gather in Jerusalem, to celebrate this Holy Day, the day in which they contemplated how God set them free from Egypt.
It’s sad that we read how some from Israel laughed at the invitation, for it was during Hezekiah’s reign that Assyria carried the Northern Kingdom away captive. There were some however, who did come. The promise of God is always there, if we return to Him, He will return to us (2 Chronicles 30:6).
I thought it was interesting how God gave grace to the people for the fact that they didn’t celebrate the Passover according to the letter of the law. For one, they were a month late. Secondly, some of the people had not sanctified themselves, they actually ate contrary to what was written in the law, but God showed them grace, He saw the intent of the heart. It also helped that Hezekiah prayed for them.
2 Chronicles 30:18–19 (NKJV) “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 19 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 answered Hezekiah’s prayer.
King Hezekiah made sure there was praise and worship taking place and I like the fact that it was “loud.” (2 Chronicles 30:21)
It wasn’t just a one-day thing, it ended up being 14 days of celebration. I love what we read in:
2 Chronicles 30:26 (NKJV) “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.”
It had been somewhere around 250 years since they had such a celebration! Imagine the joy!
This special time of returning to the LORD led to further cleansing in the nation, breaking down the idols throughout the land even extending up to Ephraim and Manasseh – this was nothing short of a national revival.
King Hezkeiah then made sure that the people had the opportunity to bring their tithes and offerings in order to support the priest and the Levites, “…that they might devoted themselves to the Law of the LORD.” (2 Chronicles 31:4).
We read some very commendable words about King Hezekiah – may it inspire us all to follow his example:
2 Chronicles 31:20–21 (NKJV) “Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and true before the LORD his God. 21 And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered.”
Paul picks it up right where he left off, living our Christianity as a family, as a flock, bearing with one another, loving the unlovely, giving each other room to grow, following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The word “scruples” in Romans 15:1 speaks of the weakness and even the sickness of others. Some translations use the words “failings” (NIV) or “infirmities”
This is very, very practical, applicable! When others fail us or hurt us, we’re to love them as Jesus did. This is a lofty request, for unity and humility, so Paul takes the time to pray for them in this matter (Romans 15:5-6).
Sandy Adams said, “We like friends who come already assembled. When we find that a friend has idiosyncrasies that irritate, or aggravate, or agitate us, we tend to avoid them. Paul tells us that we are to bear with each other. Remember that God is not finished with your friend.”
Paul seems to transition into applying this to the relationship that the Jews should have with the Gentiles. He quotes many Old Testament passages to make his point – yes, it was prophesied, the Gentiles would be saved!
Paul prays for them again (Romans 15:13).
Paul then begins to close the letter by telling the church in Rome about the ministry he so graciously received from the Lord, to minister to the Gentiles, the things that Jesus had done through Him, signs, wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, preaching the Gospel. I love the way he says it, “I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ..” (Romans 15:19) Man, I want to be able to say that one day! Paul said he makes it his aim to preach the Gospel, and to do so where Christ was not named. The NLT explains it very plainly in:
Romans 15:20, “My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else.”
Paul wanted the world to hear about Jesus, to see Jesus in the Scriptures, he wanted the world to understand God’s love…it’s no wonder he was opposed by the enemy, every step of the way.
David prays for God to give him victory over his enemies. He even makes it a prayer for all God’s people:
Psalm 25:3a (NKJV) “Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed…”
To wait on the Lord has less to do with timing than it does trust. When we wait on Him, we don’t act hastily of sinfully; we wait in faith, with eager expectation, great anticipation. God will show up, save the day, and have His way.
David prayed for God to show him, teach him, lead him, and forgive him.
David knew that God would bless obedience, that God would even bless the children of those who fear the Lord and keep His Word.
I can relate with David all too well in the way he asked for forgiveness. O God, don’t remember the sins of my youth, or the sins of yesterday, according to Your mercy remember me (Psalm 25:7).
Psalm 25:11 (NKJV) “For Your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my iniquity, for it is great.”
We also have another powerful reminder to keep our eyes on the Lord (see Isaiah 26:3).
Psalm 25:15 (NKJV) “My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for He shall pluck my feet out of the net.”
It’s necessary to glance at our problems periodically, but let’s make sure to gaze on God. It’s okay to look in the mirror occasionally for there are those times of heart examination, but let it not replace our concentration on Christ.
As we simply keep our eyes on Him, the Lord will rescue us from the traps of the enemy.
Proverbs 20:13 (NKJV) “Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.”
This definitely goes hand in hand with:
Proverbs 20:4 (NKJV) “The lazy man will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing.”
It’s okay to enjoy a good night’s rest; and it’s even okay to enjoy your “siesta,” to take a nap as God allows.
But too much sleep, and loving sleep and laziness leads to poverty. So we gotta get up, maybe even get up early, in order that we might work hard, seize the day – we’ll be blessed with some good bread!
Proverbs 20:14 (NKJV) “‘It is good for nothing,’ cries the buyer; but when he has gone his way, then he boasts.”
So, you find this million-dollar antique at a garage sale – what would you do?
You’re aware of the value but apparently the owner doesn’t, he’s just cleaning out his great, great grandpa’s garage.
Do you tell him, do you inform him, “Hey, you need to know this is worth a million dollars, take this down to the local museum…and get your money.”
Or do you say, “Hey Mr., I’ll take this piece of junk off your hands…I’ll even give you $20.” And then you pocket the profit.
One man’s trash another man’s treasure? Doesn’t quite fit here. It’s an abomination to God. Let’s be honest in our business transactions.
God just does not like it when we rip people off – He wants a fair price that benefits both the buyer and the seller. (Proverbs 20:10). In the world they brag if they can hustle someone…but not us.
Proverbs 20:15 (NKJV) “There is gold and a multitude of rubies, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.”
God’s message is more valuable than money.
I’d much rather have a wise friend than a wealthy friend, if I had to choose between the two…because that’s the type of gold I need to get, those rubies are rare, those jewels are most precious.
Shelly and I don’t have a lot of jewelry or bling, but we are blessed with brothers, sisters, and teachers with lips of knowledge.
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.