After the reign of Ahaz, who brought such trouble upon Judah, it was a great joy to learn that Ahaz’s son, Hezekiah, did not continue in the evil ways of his father. Hezekiah did what was right in the sight of the Lord. The Chronicler draws our attention back to good king David as the model of what a king should be. Hezekiah led the people of God in the way that David would have if he had still been alive.
Returning to the true worship of the Lord was his greatest priority. This required much work. All of the idolatry of Ahaz had to be removed from the temple area, and the temple needed to be cleansed and repaired. The temple workers, the Levites, had to be gathered and consecrated for this important task.
Hezekiah understood that serious negligence of the true worship of the Lord had led to much trouble for Judah. His aim was to set things right again. He could not do this alone. He needed the support of many other hands in order to achieve his godly goals.
The names of the Levites who led this great work at the direction of the king were recorded in this account. In only sixteen days they restored the house of God, undoing so much of the damage that had been done by Ahaz. They reported to the king that the temple, the altar of sacrifice, and all of the holy utensils were once again ready for the priests to use in accord with the Word of God.
Hezekiah led the people in doing what was required. He gathered both the leading officials and all the people. They offered up to God a sin offering “for the kingdom and for the sanctuary and for Judah.” This was for all the evil that had been done in the days of Ahaz, not only in Judah, but also “to make atonement for all Israel.”
Hezekiah also restored the musical worship practices that had come to Israel and Judah in the time of David, knowing that this expansion of worship under David “was from the Lord through His prophets.” The burnt offering was consumed before the Lord in the fire on His altar, and all the people of God worshiped the Lord with rejoicing, bowing before the Lord God Almighty.
Then, according to the summons of the king, all the people renewed covenant with God, bringing sacrifices and thank offerings to the Lord with a willing heart. So many people were desirous of worshiping the Lord according to His commandments that the work of attending to the offerings of the nation overwhelmed the number of priests who were prepared to serve.
The worship of God was restored in Jerusalem. All of this had taken place very suddenly at the beginning of Hezekiah’s reign. If Hezekiah was able to lead the people in this dramatic turn of events, how can we have any doubt that Jesus, our eternal King in the line of David, is very able to bring about far greater changes in our time and place?
The church is always in need of recovering true worship and obedience in accord with the Word of Christ. We always need to remember the teaching of the one Sacrifice appointed for sin. It is always our privilege to serve Him with thankful hearts. But will we do it? We will only live for God and joyfully suffer for His Name if the Lord Jesus speaks in the midst of His people and leads us in a life of honest consecration. Our sinless King bids us to put away all the filth of former days and to follow the Word of the Lord, dedicating our lives to Him with sincerity of Christian hope. How can we do less than this for the One who died for us?