2 Chronicles 30

In 2 Chronicles 30, Hezekiah takes the next step and wants to return to the feasts that had been neglected for many years.  He determines that the people “should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem to keep the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel”.  It’s been a long time since the feasts had been celebrated, but Hezekiah knows it is important to return to obedience.  He challenges the people, not only in his own kingdom of Judah, but sends messengers to all of the tribes of Israel calling them to come to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover.

It wasn’t a soft invite.  “Do not now be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord and come to his sanctuary”.  Pretty in your face invite, but Hezekiah wasn’t about being politically correct but jarring a people that has been ignoring God back to reality.  But he has a hook in his invite.  “For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him”.  That’s a great promise.  But the reception his messengers got was not positive – “they laughed them to scorn and mocked them”.

That didn’t stop everyone however.  There were some that humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.  But it had been decades and people didn’t prepare properly.  “There were many in the assembly who had not consecrated themselves”.  Hezekiah sees the issue and immediately intercedes on their behalf.  “May the good Lord pardon everyone who sets his heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his fathers, even though not according to the sanctuary’s rules of cleanness”.  God hears his prayer and forgives the people.

Hezekiah also shows great leadership in encouraging the people.  He knows that the priests are working hard to serve.  “Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who showed good skill in the service of the Lord”.  And the celebration went for another seven days as they celebrate together.  The people are rejoicing in their obedience and the city of Jerusalem was filled with joy unlike any “since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem”.

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