2 Chronicles 29 Moving The Right Direction
A new beginning
Moving the right direction
2 Chronicles 29
Robert Robinson lived in the mid 1700s Father died at an early age – forced to the street to survive. Involved with a gang of hoodulums.
Finally, at the age of 17, he went to a service of George Whitfield to scoff at hiim. However, there he made peace with God, Soon he set out to become a Methodist preacher himself. Two years later, in 1757, he wrote a hymn which expressed his joy in his new faith:
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
In the last stanza, Robert had written:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love
Take my heart, O take and seal it
Seal it for thy courts above.
Rumored that he did wander from God in his later days when he lapsed into sin, unstableness and involvement with Unitarianism
A widely-told, but unverifiable, story says that one day as he was riding in a stagecoach a lady who had been engrossed in a hymnbook thought to encourage he by askind him what he thought of the hymn she was humming. He responded in tears, "Madam, I am the poor unhappy man who wrote that hymn many years ago, and I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, to enjoy the feelings I had then."
This is a modern adaption of that story of his later life.
Video – Come thou fount of many blessings
We can return to new beginnings. Though Ahaz his father went far from God, Hezekiah took new paths and shows us the way.
I. New beginnings: General principles
A. A new beginning
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 29 1 Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. 2 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.
B. Based in the promises of God
(NKJV) 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. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.
1. New beginnings by grace
2. Offered no matter how far away
3. Must choose
II. New beginnings: Serious personal response
A. Seeking His presence
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 29 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.
a) Went back to God of blessing (place = presence here)
b) Commitment to fix relationship
B. Recommitment on God’s terms
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 29 4 Then he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them in the East Square, 5 and said to them: “Hear me, Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers,
2. Pursue God God’s way
C. Getting rid of hindrances
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 29 5 …and carry out the rubbish from the holy place.
D. Confession of sin
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 29 6 For our fathers have trespassed and done evil in the eyes of the Lord our God; they have forsaken Him, have turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and turned their backs on Him. 7 They have also shut up the doors of the vestibule, put out the lamps, and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel.
E. Recognition of source of problems
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 29 8 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. 9 For indeed, because of this our fathers have fallen by the sword; and our sons, our daughters, and our wives are in captivity.
F. Desire to respond to covenant offer
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 29 10 “Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that His fierce wrath may turn away from us.
G. Commitment to serve
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 29 11 My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him, and that you should minister to Him and burn incense.”
III. New Beginnings: The response
A. Individual response
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 29 12 Then these Levites arose: Mahath the son of Amasai and Joel the son of Azariah, of the sons of the Kohathites; of the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi and Azariah the son of Jehallelel; of the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah and Eden the son of Joah; 13 of the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeiel; of the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14 of the sons of Heman, Jehiel and Shimei; and of the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel.
B. Obedient response
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 29 15 And they gathered their brethren, sanctified themselves, and went according to the commandment of the king, at the words of the Lord, to cleanse the house of the Lord. 16 Then the priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and brought out all the debris that they found in the temple of the Lord to the court of the house of the Lord. And the Levites took it out and carried it to the Brook Kidron.
C. Response that finished the task
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 29 17 Now they began to sanctify on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the vestibule of the Lord. So they sanctified the house of the Lord in eight days, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished. 18 Then they went in to King Hezekiah and said, “We have cleansed all the house of the Lord, the altar of burnt offerings with all its articles, and the table of the showbread with all its articles. 19 Moreover all the articles which King Ahaz in his reign had cast aside in his transgression we have prepared and sanctified; and there they are, before the altar of the Lord.”
IV. New Beginnings: the need for sacrifice
A. Threefold principle for renewal
1. Represented by offerings
a) Approach to God
b) Symbolic of a true offering for sin (animals could never take away sin)
c) Cost to be paid – For us / by us
2. Offering for - Forgiveness for sin
3. Offering for - Dedication of self
4. Offering for - Continual fellowship with God/Man
B. The need for pardon - Sin offering
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 29 20 Then King Hezekiah rose early, gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the Lord. 21 And they brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats for a sin offering … 22 So they killed the bulls, and the priests received the blood and sprinkled it on the altar. Likewise they killed the rams and sprinkled the blood on the altar. They also killed the lambs and sprinkled the blood on the altar. 23 Then they brought out the male goats for the sin offering before the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands on them. 24 And the priests killed them; and they presented their blood on the altar as a sin offering to make an atonement for all …
a) Restoration of broken fellowship
C. The need for dedication - Burnt Offering
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 29 27 Then Hezekiah commanded them to offer the burnt offering on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord also began, with the trumpets and with the instruments of David king of Israel. 28 So all the assembly worshiped, … 29 And when they had finished offering, the king and all who were present with him bowed and worshiped. 30 …. So they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshiped.
a) Establish favor with God
b) Self dedication to God
c) Maintain fellowship with God
d) Praise is natural result
D. The need for willing fellowship with God others - Thank Peace offerings
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 29 31 Then Hezekiah answered and said, “Now that you have consecrated yourselves to the Lord, come near, and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of the Lord.” So the assembly brought in sacrifices and thank offerings, and as many as were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings. … 35 Also the burnt offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace offerings and with the drink offerings for every burnt offering.
a) Based upon a willing heart
b) Demonstration of thankfulness to God
c) Fellowship with God and one another (fellowship meal from the sacrifice)
V. New beginnings: The results
A. Personal Renewal
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 29 35 … So the service of the house of the Lord was set in order. 36 Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced that God had prepared the people, since the events took place so suddenly.
a) Recognition that is was from God
B. A desire to see others renewal
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 30 1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the Passover to the Lord God of Israel.
C. Many still reject
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 30 10 So the runners passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, as far as Zebulun; but they laughed at them and mocked them.
D. Some believe
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 30 11 Nevertheless some from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. … 13 Now many people, a very great assembly, gathered at Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month.