Revival broke out at the beginning of Hezekiah’s reign. He sought the LORD with all his heart, followed in the footsteps of his “father” David, and restored both the Temple and the worship of the LORD which his predecessor Ahaz had neglected. He so prioritized God’s worship over all the other affairs of his reign that he began on the first day of the first month of the first year of his reign to cleanse and restore the house of the LORD (2 Chron. 29:3, 17). When the priests and Levites completed the cleansing of the temple, the king offered sacrifices to sanctify it and organized a Passover that had not been kept for over 200 years.
The great gain of all Hezekiah’s work was the new sense of joy and singing that came upon the people of God. The whole assembly who had gathered for worship sang through the burnt offering and then “sang praises with gladness” (2 Chron. 29:28-30). When they came together again for the Passover, they once again experienced gladness and joy (2 Chron. 30:23, 26) as they obeyed God and experienced His holy presence.
Revival is characterized by singing with joy; the psalms that Hezekiah and his men find express that joyful singing that took place. While the psalter (Israel’s hymnbook) ran the gamut of emotion, the psalms written during Hezekiah’s time (or found and copied out during that time) are filled with joy and commandments to sing:
Ps. 33:1, 3—“Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful. Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully with a shout of joy!”
Ps. 92:1—“It is a good thing to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High”
Ps. 95:1—“Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.”
Ps. 96:1-3—“Oh sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations His wonders among all peoples.”
Ps. 97:1—“The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad.”
Ps. 98:1, 4-6—“Oh sing to the LORD a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory. Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; break forth in song, rejoice and sing praises. Sing to the LORD with the harp, and the sound of a psalm, with trumpets and the sound of a horn; shout joyfully before the LORD, the King!”
These commands (and many others like them) express the joyful heart of God and His people when they walk with Him. When His Word and His worship are elevated to their proper place in the hearts of the leaders and the people revival singing with joy becomes the norm. (written by Stan May)