Lessons in Grace- King Hezekiah

29 Jun

I’m back!! After a long hiatus, I am now free to work on the blog once again. Marking and end-of-the-year duties are just about done, and I’m happy that now I can focus on many things that I’ve neglected such as this.

Only a few more posts in this series will follow. Today I want to share what I was learning about in my devotions this morning. In reading 2 Chronicles 30, I came across a story about God’s grace shown to the Israelites, on behalf of King Hezekiah. In brief, after the death of King David, Israel had gone through many kings that had been unfaithful to God and turned the hearts of the people to serve idols and false gods. Then enters King Hezekiah. In spite of the unfaithfulness of his own father, he “did right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his [fore]father David had done”. He became king at the age of 25. In the very first year of his reign, he reopened the doors of the house of the LORD that had been shut for some time, and repaired them. Hezekiah brought in a series of reforms and called the people to turn their hearts back to serve the LORD.

The passage that I read today just blew me away. Hezekiah sends a message to all Israel to tell them to come to the house of the LORDin Jerusalem to celebrate Passover as a nation since this had not been done in a very long time. His request was met with laughter, scorn, and mockery from many of the tribes. But, some of the people came. And when they gathered together, they reinstituted the Passover celebration.

Passover was meant to be a celebration of God’s forgiveness and redemption of His believing people. It began after God “passed over” the households of the Israelites in Egypt and spared the firstborn sons from death in any household that had covered their doorpost with the blood of a lamb. Passover is a symbol of God’s “passing over” the sins of His people and sparing them graciously from His wrath.

While they were in Jerusalem, the people did not properly observe the celebration, perhaps since it had not been done in some time. So, in light of the fact that the people were not celebrating Passover the way that the law prescribed, Hezekiah prayed saying, “May the good LORD pardon everyone who prepares his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though not according to the purification rules of the sanctuary”. And the LORD answered him and “heard Hezekiah and healed the people”.

It also says that as a result, there was great joy in the whole assembly and the people celebrated for an extra seven days! There was “nothing like this in Jerusalem since the days of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel… their [the Israelites] voice was heard and their prayer came to His holy dwelling place, to heaven”.

The point I want to raise from this passage is four-fold.

1) God desires faithfulness from each generation, in spite of what past generations have done. We are each required to be faithful to God regardless of the sins of our fathers or the things that those around us do that are unfaithful to God. The unfaithfulness of others is NO excuse for our unfaithfulness to God.

2) God heard the prayer of Hezekiah on behalf of the people, and He granted them forgiveness. God hears our prayers for others and He is faithful to answer.

3) God is concerned about the attitude of the heart and this prevails over outward activity. That is why he forgave those who, in spite of the fact that they did not celebrate according to the rules, were still forgiven because of the attitude of their hearts.

4) What a wonderful display of God’s goodness, that He “heard their prayer” and it came to His Holy dwelling place, heaven. I pray that our repentance and contrition over our sin, and our celebrating of God’s goodness would be heard from Him in heaven and be a sweat-smelling aroma.

Thank God that He is still faithful and patient in spite of our unfaithfulness to Him. Just like He showed the Israelites his grace, He continues to display it today to those who would come to Him in humility and repentance and seek forgiveness on behalf of His Son. Praise God for His mercies that are truly new every morning!

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One Response to “Lessons in Grace- King Hezekiah”

  1. Shirley Whitney April 11, 2015 at 9:48 AM #

    Grandma has a family lesson on Hezekiah at:
    http://www.mygrandmatime.com/3019-2/visit-with-grandma/bible-fun-with-grandma/family-bible-activities/
    Blessings!
    Grandma

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