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We are continuing our study of a section I have titled in the worksheets ‘Three Contrasting Kings.’
We are looking at kings that are the polar opposites of the kings they followed.
Last week, we studied the first two of these kings.
Three contrasting kings ()
Jotham’s obedience (27:1–9) Jotham’s contrast with his father (27:1–2) Jotham’s continuity with his father (27:3–6) Jotham rests with his fathers (27:7–9) Ahaz’ unfaithfulness (28:1–27) Ahaz’ apostasy (28:1–4) Massacre and mercy (28:5–15) False help (28:16–21) Ahaz’ further apostasy (28:22–25) Ahaz’ burial (28:26–27)
Jotham - GOOD (27:1–9)
Jotham was a good king who was consistent.
27:6 tells us this about him: “6 So Jotham strengthened his position because he did not waver in obeying the Lord his God.”
He was faithful to the LORD and did not attempt to go into the temple and try to burn incense like his father, Uzziah, did.
Jotham’s contrast with his father (27:1–2)
, CSB)
Jotham’s continuity with his father (27:3–6)
Jotham rests with his fathers (27:7–9)
Ahaz - BAD (28:1–27)
Nothing good is said about Jotham’s son Ahaz.
He did not walk in the ways of David.
Instead he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, like Jeroboam and Ahab.
He is even compared to the Canaanites because he burned his children in the fire.
Massacre and mercy (28:5–15)
The worse his circumstances got physically, he hardened his heart more and more against the LORD.
Instead of trusting in the LORD, he reached out to Assyria for help against his enemies, which ended up being unsuccessful for Ahaz because Assyria oppressed him instead of helping him.
False help (28:16–21)
The only good thing about Ahaz’s reign is that it ended - bringing his son, Hezekiah, to the throne.
Ahaz’ further apostasy (28:22–25)
Ahaz’ burial (28:26–27)
Hezekiah - GOOD (Chs 29-32)
So, beginning in ch29, things start to turn around.
Invitation to consecrate the temple (29:1–11) Renewing temple worship (29:12–36) Invitation to the Passover (30:1–12) Celebrating the Passover (30:13–31:1) Reorganizing tithes and offerings (31:2–21) God saves Judah through Hezekiah’s faith (32:1–33) Hezekiah defends (32:1–8) Sennacherib attacks (32:9–19) The Lord saves (32:20–23) Hezekiah’s successes and failures (32:24–33)
Renewing temple worship (29:12–36)
Invitation to the Passover (30:1–12)
Celebrating the Passover (30:13–31:1)
Reorganizing tithes and offerings (31:2–21)
God saves Judah through Hezekiah’s faith (32:1–33)
Hezekiah defends (32:1–8)
Sennacherib attacks (32:9–19)
The Lord saves (32:20–23)
Hezekiah’s successes and failures (32:24–33)
Consecration & Worship Restored
Hezekiah gets the third most amount of space dedicated to himself (behind David and Solomon).
Hezekiah’s reign is given inordinate attention because of the prominence he gave to temple music, worship, and priesthood.
Much of the Chronicler’s account (chaps.
29–31) is not paralleled in Kings.
The Temple Cleansed (29:1-19)
The first act of business for Hezekiah is opening the temple back up.
Remember, the temple had been closed by Ahaz.
So Hezekiah opens the doors back up and repairs them.
Then Hezekiah told the Levites to consecrate themselves and to begin to cleanse the temple of the idolatry that was brought into it by Ahaz.
He reminded them of the wicked acts of Ahaz & Judah and of the consequences they suffered for turning their backs on the LORD.
Many fell by the sword and some went into captivity at the hands of the king of Aram (28:5).
But then Hezekiah makes known to them his intentions - why he wants the temple cleansed:
“10 It is in my heart now to make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel so that his burning anger may turn away from us.” (, CSB)
In order to make this covenant, the levites need cleansed, the temple needs cleansed, and they need to offer sacrifices again to the LORD.
The worship needs restored.
So beginning in verse 12, the levites consecrate themselves and begin the work they were appointed by Hezekiah to do, and after sixteen days the Levites completed the task and opened the temple once again.
So now the worship can be given again.
after sixteen days the Levites completed the task and opened the temple once again.
Worship Restored (29:20-36)
The king then led the congregation in worship through offerings.
He collected all of the officials of Jerusalem and gave sin offerings to the LORD for the kingdom and for Judah.
Then he put the musical worship back into place that David instituted by the commandment of the LORD (29:25).
They offered the musical worship along with the burnt offerings.
“29 When the burnt offerings were completed, the king and all those present with him bowed down and worshiped.
30 Then King Hezekiah and the officials told the Levites to sing praise to the Lord in the words of David and of the seer Asaph.
So they sang praises with rejoicing and knelt low and worshiped.”
(, CSB)
After this, the whole congregation began bringing their offerings to the temple.
They had so many offerings that they were understaffed, so they got help from the levites in helping to skin the burnt offerings.
It is interesting that verse 34 tells us that the levites “were more conscientious, to consecrate themselves than the priests were.”
Those who should have been more dedicated to making sure they were consecrated and ready for work were not ready.
So one of the reasons why the temple was understaffed was because all of the priests did not consecrate themselves as they should have.
conscientious,d to consecrate themselves than the priests were
“35 ...So the service of the Lord’s temple was established.
36 Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over how God had prepared the people, for it had come about suddenly.”
(, CSB)
The Passover
In chapter 30, the focus is the reinstitution of the Passover.
This passover was being celebrated in the 2nd month instead of the first because the consecration work had not been completed by the day the Passover was to be observed, the 14th day of the first month.
The question we need to ask is, “Was this acceptable to the LORD?”
Yes, because of .
This was acceptable to the LORD regarding those who are unclean.
God allowed a make-up Passover, but since, in this case, they wanted to make sure there were enough priests consecrated for the Passover and to make sure all of the nation could be included, they did it in the second month.
Who all was invited to this Passover celebration?
Not just Judah, but those who were in Ephraim and Manasseh.
Even the northern tribes were invited.
In verse 5, we are told that the proclamation went out from Beersheba to Dan.
All who wanted to submit to the LORD and worship him were invited.
In verses 10-11, we see the response of the northern tribes to Hezekiah’s couriers and the letter that called those who were still in the land and survived the Assyrian captivity to repentance:
“10 The couriers traveled from city to city in the land of Ephraim and Manasseh as far as Zebulun, but the inhabitants laughed at them and mocked them.
11 But some from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.”
(, CSB)
This is the response that you would probably expect from the northern tribes.
Many were not humbled by the judgments of the LORD and by Hezekiah’s call to repentance, but there were some who were willing to humble themselves before the LORD and to come to Jerusalem to observe the Passover.
Let’s read verses 18-20:
“18 A large number of the people—many from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun—were ritually unclean, yet they had eaten the Passover contrary to what was written.
But Hezekiah had interceded for them, saying, “May the good Lord provide atonement on behalf of 19 whoever sets his whole heart on seeking God, the Lord, the God of his ancestors, even though not according to the purification rules of the sanctuary.”
20 So the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people.”
(, CSB)
The LORD hears the prayer of his king that he prayed towards the temple and forgave the sins of the people of the northern tribes who were consecrated as they should have been at this time.
So devoted was the worship of the people that they extended the Feast of Unleavened Bread a second week (20:23).
The Chronicler compared the joy of Jerusalem on that occasion to the days of King Solomon (30:26).
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