Ep. 150: Hezekiah
Hezekiah became king when he was 25 years old. He followed the Lord more than any king since David.
The first thing he did was to open the Temple his father had closed. He said to the priests and Levites, “We all know God has turned against us because of our sin. We’re almost like the kingdom of Israel and nearly beyond hope. But I’m making an agreement with the Lord so possibly he’ll turn his anger away from us. I need your help because you’re chosen by God to stand in his presence and serve him.”
The priests and Levites rallied around their king. The first thing they did was purify themselves before the Lord. They then went into the Temple and started cleaning it up. They took out things that were defiled and cleaned everything else.
After that, King Hezekiah and the city officials went and sacrificed to the Lord. They then made preparations so all the people of Jerusalem could come and worship God. The priests and Levites were put in place. Musical Levites got their instruments ready. Choirs prepared to sing the songs of David.
The people came and sacrificed to God. They sang to the Lord while trumpets blew. Everyone rejoiced, and bowed down and worshiped. So many burnt offerings were brought that the priests couldn’t do it all. The Levites had to help them until the work was done.
When it was time for Passover, Hezekiah sent a message throughout all of Judah and Israel. He invited everyone to come and celebrate Passover together in Jerusalem.
The messengers went to every city throughout the entire area. God moved the hearts of the people of Judah, and they came to celebrate Passover with their king.
Most of the people of Israel had been taken to other countries, but there were still a few in the land. They were amazed when Hezekiah invited them to come back and worship the Lord in Jerusalem. Some laughed at the messengers, but others humbled themselves and made the trip to Jerusalem.
An extremely large crowd met together. The first thing the king had them do was walk throughout the city and tear down all the pagan altars. He also had them destroy the bronze snake that Moses had made, because people were burning incense to it.
They then offered the Passover lambs before the Lord. Many of the people from Israel weren’t considered clean before God. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to go through that procedure. King Hezekiah prayed and asked the Lord to make an exception for them since they were coming to seek the Lord. God heard his prayer and purified the people so they could eat the Passover.
This celebration lasted for seven days. Then the entire crowd decided to extend it for another seven days. Everyone rejoiced together, whether they were from Judah or from Israel. Even Samaritans rejoiced with them. Such a festival hadn’t been seen in Jerusalem since the days of David and Solomon.
After it was all over, the people went home. The first thing they did was to tear down all altars of false gods and objects of idol worship. They started sending their tithes and offerings to the Temple so the priests and Levites could continue their fulltime service to the Laws of God.
In all the history of Judah, there was no king like Hezekiah. He reigned for 29 years.