When Revival Breaks Out

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), July 1

imagesHezekiah’s decisive and godly leadership draws Judah back from experiencing the covenant cursings to enjoying the outpouring of covenant blessings (Deut. 28). Under Hezekiah’s leadership, Judah experiences revival.

This revival occurs in Judah when Hezekiah:

Recognizes spiritual reality (2 Chron. 29:1-19):
Hezekiah connects the dots of his kingdom’s oppression under the Assyrians to Judah’s present spiritual condition: “Therefore the wrath of the LORD fell upon Judah and Jerusalem, and He has given them up to trouble, to desolation, and to jeering, as you see with your eyes. For indeed, because of this our fathers have fallen by the sword; and our sons, our daughters, and our wives are in captivity” (29:8-9). Hezekiah galvanizes the priests to do their job–repair the temple and remove all defilement from the sanctuary.

Reminds Judah of the seriousness of sin (29:20-35):
Hezekiah gathers the city officials to join him in offering “seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs and seven male goats for a sin offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary, and for Judah” (29:21). Restoration of the sacrificial system reminds Judah of sin’s cost and God’s grace and mercy.

Rejoices in the LORD (29:39, 36):
Like his forefather David, Hezekiah is unashamed of PDA (public display of affection): “The king and all who were present with him bowed and worshiped” (29:29); “Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced that God had prepared the people people” (29:36).

Returns to the LORD (2 Chron. 30):
Hezekiah calls all of Israel and Judah to celebrate the Passover to demonstrate their return to the LORD, “Children of Israel, return to the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel; then He will return to the remnant of you . . . do not be like your fathers and your brethren, who trespassed against the LORD God of their fathers, so that He gave them up to desolation, as you see. Now do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the LORD” (30:6b-8). As a result “many people, a very great assembly, gathered at Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread” (30:13).

Hezekiah prays for the people, “May the good LORD provide atonement for everyone who prepares his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers . . . . And the LORD listened to Hezekiah and healed the people” (30:18-20).

God always raises up and uses a leader who turns to the Lord with all of his heart and leads those who follow him to do likewise.

Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (2 Chron. 29-31):
What does Hezekiah’s reopening of the temple and restoring the sacrificial system reveal about Israel’s spiritual state?
Review Exodus 12:17-20. How had the lack of an annual Passover celebration contributed to Israel’s spiritual declension?