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Hezekiah A Reign of Revival

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2 Chronicles 29 & 30  Hezekiah “A Reign of Revival”    

If all the sleeping folk will wake up—and all the lukewarm folk will fire up—and all the dishonest folk will confess up—and all the disgruntled folk will sweeten up—and the discouraged folk will look up—and all the estranged folk will make up—and all the gossipers will shut up—and all the dry bones will shake up—and all the true soldiers will stand up—and all the church members will pray up—then you will have a revival.

John Wesley: “Give me one hundred men who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I will shake the world.”

When worship is wrong, when worship of God is neglected, Revival is needed.

Re-opening & Repair

Repentance-

Revival-

Restoration-

Renewal-   

Worship-                                                                                                                                 Re-opening & Repair-Recognizing the problem

1 Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem.  And his mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah.  2 He did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.  3 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them.                   There had been no worship. Ahaz, his father had shut the Temple. He had closed the place where the people were to come and worship God.  The nation had instead worshiped false Gods.

  Hezekiah gets down to business, he doesn’t waste anytime getting things headed in the right direction. In the first year, in the first month he opens the doors of the Temple and has them repaired. The Temple is re-opened and repair is begun.

          Hezekiah starts right at the most important place, the Temple. This is important for the whole nation.  Hezekiah starts here at the very place of worship. The Temple in Jerusalem was to be the focal point of worship of the One True God. 

 4 He brought in the priests and the Levites and gathered them into the square on the east.  5 Then he said to them, “Listen to me, O Levites. Consecrate yourselves now, and consecrate the house of the Lord, the God of your fathers, and carry the uncleanness out from the holy place.  6 “For our fathers have been unfaithful and have done evil in the sight of the Lord our God, and have forsaken Him and turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and have turned their backs.  7 “They have also shut the doors of the porch and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel.  8 “Therefore the wrath of the Lord was against Judah and Jerusalem, and He has made them an object of terror, of horror, and of hissing, as you see with your own eyes.  9 “For behold, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. 10 “Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that His burning anger may turn away from us. 11 “My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before Him, to minister to Him, and to be His ministers and burn incense.”

Hezekiah doesn’t start out with the political leaders, he begins with the spiritual leaders. The priests and levites were to lead the people in the worhip of God.  They had failed horribly during the reign of Ahaz, they had even erected a false alter in the Temple once upon a time for worship of one of the false Gods Ahaz idolized. They have gone far astray.

          They are now to prepare themselves.

Great prepartation for service, they are to consecrate themselves,

con•se•crate \ˈkän(t)-sə-ˌkrāt\ adj

14c : dedicated to a sacred purpose

This is serious business here. They are first to consecrate themselves to The Lord, then they are to consecrate the Temple. It is an obvious order, each needed to cosecrate himself, confess and repent of his sin, and set  himself apart for the work of The work of  The Lord.

(Basically all the families of the Levites)

12 Then the Levites arose: Mahath, the son of Amasai and Joel the son of Azariah, from the sons of the Kohathites; and from the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi and Azariah the son of Jehallelel; and from the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah and Eden the son of Joah; 13  and from the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeiel; and from the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah;  14 and from the sons of Heman, Jehiel and Shimei; and from the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel.

     15 They assembled their brothers, consecrated themselves,

They do just as the king had commanded, they get right with God. They turn from their sin and uncleaness, they separate themselves unto The Lord and His service. They prepared themselves for service.

 and went in to cleanse the house of the Lord, according to the commandment of the king by the words of the Lord.  16  So the priests went in to the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and every unclean thing which they found in the temple of the Lord they brought out to the court of the house of the Lord. Then the Levites received it to carry out to the Kidron valley.  17 Now they began the consecration on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they entered the porch of the Lord. Then they consecrated the house of the Lord in eight days, and finished on the sixteenth day of the first month.  18 Then they went in to King Hezekiah and said, “We have cleansed the whole house of the Lord, the altar of burnt offering with all of its utensils, and the table of showbread with all of its utensils. 19 “Moreover, all the utensils which King Ahaz had discarded during his reign in his unfaithfulness, we have prepared and consecrated; and behold, they are before the altar of the Lord.”

They do a thorough house cleaning. Or Temple cleaning.  The Temple had been so neglected it is  hard to imagine that it has fallen into such bad shape.  But now as we think on this, we know that today we don’t need to go to a Temple. We have become The Temple.

16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

 What kind of shape is your Temple in? Is God being worshiped and reverenced? Are things in order in your temple? Does it need some repair? Does it need to be addressed so The Lord can be worhiped properly? The lack or neglect of worship can and should be a warning to us. Something is wrong. Something in our lives.

The Restoration of Worship in the Temple

 20 Then King Hezekiah arose early and assembled the princes of the city and went up to the house of the Lord. 21 They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs and seven male goats for a sin offering for the kingdom, the sanctuary, and Judah. And he ordered the priests, the sons of Aaron, to offer them on the altar of the Lord. 22  So they slaughtered the bulls, and the priests took the blood and sprinkled it on the altar. They also slaughtered the rams and sprinkled the blood on the altar; they slaughtered the lambs also and sprinkled the blood on the altar. 23 Then they brought the male goats of the sin offering before the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands on them. 24 The priests slaughtered them and purged the altar with their blood to atone for all Israel, for the king ordered the burnt offering and the sin offering for all Israel. 25 He then stationed the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with harps and with lyres, according to the command of  David and of Gad the king’s seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for the command was from the Lord through His prophets.  26 The Levites stood with the musical instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. (Set up just as the Word of God prescribed)

     27 Then Hezekiah gave the order to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the song to the Lord also began with the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David, king of Israel. 28 While the whole assembly worshiped, the singers also sang and the trumpets sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. 29  Now at the completion of the burnt offerings, the king and all who were present with him bowed down and worshiped.  30  Moreover, King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to sing praises to the Lord with the words of David and Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with joy, and bowed down and worshiped.   31 Then Hezekiah said, “Now that you have consecrated yourselves to the Lord, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of the Lord.” And the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all those who were willing brought burnt offerings.

The people  now had been consecrated to The Lord.  What a worship service this would have been.  The people come and they worship almighty God again. This had not happened in quite some time, there is great renewal among the people.  

Look at the preparation for worship here. I wonders sometimes in this age that we live in if we sometimes fail terribly to prepare our hearts and minds to worship God properly. We can be so casual in our worship, but when we gather together corporately on a Sunday morning to worship our Great God, are you prepared to worship; have we spent time in preparation, having our hearts and minds right?  We are to worship in Spirit and in Truth.

2 Chronicles 7 :14  if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

This passage spoken to Solomon would certainly be applicable to these folks and  we see Hezekiah leading the people forward.

Now let’s look at their continued worship here.

 32 The number of the burnt offerings which the assembly brought was 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs; all these were for a burnt offering to the Lord.  33 The consecrated things were 600 bulls and 3,000 sheep.  34 But the priests were too few, so that they were unable to skin all the burnt offerings; therefore their brothers the Levites helped them until the work was completed and until the other priests had consecrated themselves. For the Levites were more conscientious to consecrate themselves than the priests.  35 There were also many burnt offerings with the fat of the peace offerings and with the libations for the burnt offerings. Thus the service of the house of the Lord was established again.  36 Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over what God had prepared for the people, because the thing came about suddenly.

This happened suddenly, Hezekiah in the first month of his reign gets down to business with The Lord. He doesn’t mess around, he is a man of action who gets things going. He leads the people, the leaders, the nation back to The Lord.

In this chapter and in the scriptures we always see that Confession & Repentance always precede Renewal and revival.  Confession and repentance always preceed renewal and revival. It is true personally and corporately.

Now let’s work this out for a moment. We hear of many people praying for revival, that’s great I often do to. I think that is a good thing to do. But, if the entire Church in America, I mean all born again believers, if they truly experienced this in their own lives, Confession and repentance leading to renewal and revival; what would that look like here in America?

copyright 2000 Paul R. Dienstberger A nation of Christians (Finney’s revival prc 1820’s)

The Welsch Revival in the early 1900’s- The Baptist Temple in Brooklyn, NY baptized hundreds each month.    Excerpt about the Revival in 1905

 The Northeast was ablaze. New Jersey reported that spacious churches were overflowing, and the "Young Peoples" societies were gaining new members at a rate of 10 to 300 percent. Newark said that "Pentecost was literally repeated." Atlantic City claimed that only 50 people remained unconverted in their town of 60,000. Town after town said that church life was being revived. In Schenectady, New York the local minister's association reported that all the evangelical denominations had joined for prayer, and that revival meetings were crowded at noon, afternoon, and evening regardless of the church. The secular press had daily columns with headlines on the "Power of Prayer," "Great Moral Liftup," "The Fires of Pentecost," and "Yesterday's Conversions."

New York City was having its best spiritual days since 1858. By April the awakening was throughout New England. Even without any organized evangelistic effort churches were experiencing responses everywhere. They came for membership, baptism, prayer, and especially for confession. In Danbury, Connecticut Daniel Shepardson, the wheel-chair evangelist, saw results and repenters. On one Sunday in Boston 150 professed conversion at Dr. A.C. Dixon's church. In Rutland, Vermont the union prayer meetings at the YMCA received such a response that they asked Dr. Dixon to help with the harvest. Within a week 450 inquired for instruction.

Even the most unlikely responses took place. At Northfield, the birthplace of D.L. Moody, the stories of the Welsh revival caused a wave of confessions and repentance at the Christian meetings. In Forest City, Maine where drunkenness was common and the churches closed for eight months of the winter, a revival broke out during the summer of 1905 affecting the entire state. Gloversville in New York's Mohawk River Valley reported a cross-section of converts: infidels, drinkers, moralists, black, white, Italian, Swede, American, fathers, mothers, and youths. In Boston the daily prayer meeting at the Old North Church became so crowded that businessmen expanded to other churches in the city. Throughout the Northeast church leaders agreed that this was not a man-made revival for they had planned nothing, but the Spirit of The Lord was upon the land.”

Must have been something to witness.

Evangelism, fine as it is, is not revival. After a successful meeting, Billy Graham was asked, “Is this revival?” Graham replied, “No. When revival comes, I expect to see two things which we have not seen yet. First, a new sense of the holiness of God on the part of Christians; and second, a new sense of the sinfulness of sin on the part of Christians.”

Do we really have a good sense of the holiness of God?

Do we really see sin for what it is; do we sense the sinfullness, the awfullness of sin?

Evan Roberts the fella that seemed to be at the start of this revival

Evan Roberts
....Within a month he felt compelled to share this message of the reality of God and the possibility of complete forgiveness of sins with his home youth group at Moriah Loughor.

Summing up the message in 4 parts, Evan pressed it home to the astonished church

1. Confess all known sin

2. Deal with and get rid of anything ‘doubtful’ in your life

3. Be ready to obey the Holy Spirit instantly
4. Confess Christ publicly

 Chapter 30

     1 Now Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover to the Lord God of Israel.  2 For the king and his princes and all the assembly in Jerusalem had decided to celebrate the Passover in the second month,  3 since they could not celebrate it at that time, because the priests had not consecrated themselves in sufficient numbers, nor had the people been gathered to Jerusalem. 4Thus the thing was right in the sight of the king and all the assembly.  5 So they established a decree to circulate a proclamation throughout all Israel from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to celebrate the Passover to the Lord God of Israel at Jerusalem. For they had not celebrated it in great numbers as it was prescribed.

     6 The couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with the letters from the hand of the king and his princes, even according to the command of the king, saying, “O sons of Israel, return to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that He may return to those of you who escaped and are left from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7 “Do not be like your fathers and your brothers, who were unfaithful to the Lord God of their fathers, so that He made them a horror, as you see. 8 “Now do not stiffen your neck like your fathers, but yield to the Lord and enter His sanctuary which He has consecrated forever, and serve the Lord your God, that His burning anger may turn away from you.  9 “ For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and your sons will find compassion before those who led them captive and will return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.”  10 So the couriers passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun, but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them.  11 Nevertheless some men of Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.  12 The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the Lord.                    Passover Reinstituted

     13 Now many people were gathered at Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month, a very large assembly.  14 They arose and removed the altars which were in Jerusalem; they also removed all the incense altars and cast them into the brook Kidron.  15 Then they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth of the second month. And the priests and Levites were ashamed of themselves, and consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings to the house of the Lord. 16 They stood at their stations after their custom, according to the law of Moses the man of God; the priests sprinkled the blood which they received from the hand of the Levites. 17 For there were many in the assembly who had not consecrated themselves; therefore, the Levites were over the slaughter of the Passover lambs for everyone who was unclean, in order to consecrate them to the Lord.

     18 For a multitude of the people, even many from Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover otherwise than prescribed. For Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the good Lord pardon 19 everyone who prepares his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though not according to the purification rules of the sanctuary.”  20 So the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people.  21 The sons of Israel present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great joy, and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day after day with loud instruments to the Lord. 22 Then Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who showed good insight in the things of the Lord. So they ate for the appointed seven days, sacrificing peace offerings and giving thanks to the Lord God of their fathers.

 23 Then the whole assembly decided to celebrate the feast another seven days, so they celebrated the seven days with joy. 24 For Hezekiah king of Judah had contributed to the assembly 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep, and the princes had contributed to the assembly 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep; and a large number of priests consecrated themselves.  25 All the assembly of Judah rejoiced, with the priests and the Levites and all the assembly that came from Israel, both the sojourners who came from the land of Israel and those living in Judah.  26  So there was great joy in Jerusalem, because there was nothing like this in Jerusalem since the days of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel.  27 Then the Levitical priests arose and blessed the people; and their voice was heard and their prayer came to His holy dwelling place, to heaven.

May each of us learn from this revival here in Judah under Hezekiah, may we be people that have a real and renewed sense of the Holines of God. May strive toward personal renewal and revival.

May we be quick to confess, repent, and consecrate ourselves to our Great and awesome God

May we  be  bold to confess & proclaim Christ before others.

May we prepare ourselves for worship, prepare our hearts, minds and bodies.

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