Chapter 29-31 are listed along with II Kings 18 and Psalm 48 in the Blue Letter Bible chronological list. In other lists I see II kings 18-20 included and Isaiah 36, so I'm curious how it's all going to fit together; but I have read that there are some questions about the chronology of Hezekiah's events.
II Chronicles 29
Verse 1 starts with the same facts as II Kings 18. Hezekiah's own reign (after being co-regent with his father Ahaz, began when he was 25 years old and lasted 29 years. 20 on his own and 9 with his son.
And he did right in the sight of the Lord.
In the first year, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and he repaired them.
He brought together the priests and called them to consecrate themselves and the house of the Lord- carrying out the uncleanness. (v.5)
He confessed that their father had been unfaithful and done evil in the sight of the Lord- forsaking Him and turning their faces away. (v. 6)
In verse 7 he goes on to confess that their fathers stopped tending to the business of glorifying and honoring the Lord with incense and such.
The consequences starts in verse 8 with the wrath of the Lord against Judah and Jerusalem. Despised, defeated, and hauled off.
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.II Chronicles 29:10
My sons, do no 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.II Chronicles 29:11
The various "sons" from the tribe of Levi arose. They assembled, consecrated themselves, and cleansed the house of the Lord. These commandment came from their king, but verse 15 says it was "by the words of the Lord." (v.15)
They cleansed the inner part of the house of the Lord and brought all unclean things out to the valley of Kidron. (v. 16) This took them 8 days.
Then they brought word to Hezekiah that they cleansed the house of the Lord and consecrated all that Ahaz had contaminated. (v. 18-19)
Hezekiah arose and collected the princes of the city, as well as 7 of various beast for sacrifice. The priests sacrificed them on the altar of the Lord, sprinkling the blood on the altar. Then a sin offering for all of Israel. (v. 20-24)
Then offerings were accompanied by music from the priests and the prophets. The whole assemble worshiped and the singers sang until the offering was complete. (v. 25- 28)
And then the king and present with him bowed and worshiped. The Levites sang praise and everyone bowed and worshiped. Then he called the assembly, now having been consecrated, to bring sacrifices, offerings, and even burnt offerings. (v. 29-31)
So many bulls, and rams, and lambs, and sheep came that they overwhelmed the small number of priests. Their brothers had to help until the other priests had consecrated themselves. (v. 32-34)
Verse 34 makes a point to add that the Levites were more conscientious to consecrate themselves than the priests. I thought that was interesting.
Verse 35 goes on to add that there were also many burnt offerings with the fat as peace offerings and with libations for the burnt offerings.
This the service of the house of the Lord was established again.II Chronicles 29: 35 b
Then Hezekiah and all of the people rejoiced over what God had prepared for the people, because the thing came about suddenly.II Chronicles 29:36
I feel like there are a hundred sermons worth of materials here.
There's rarely such a positive example in the scriptures. It's so nice to see everyone doing the right thing.
Notice the order:
- First he went to the Lord and did what he could to repair what he could in the relationship. He restored the doors, making room for a protected holy place
- Then he got leadership together and got their hearts right
- He confessed the sins of the fathers and their own sins, leaving the Lord's wrath burning
- Then he made a covenant with the Lord. And look what the covenant included...simply returning to the ways of the Lord. There weren't children to be sacrificed or penalties paid or revenge satisfied...simply consecrate yourselves, clean up His house, minister to Him in obedience to His ways and His laws.
- Look what happens next, real restoration is always followed with worship. First the leadership with musical instruments, but then the assembly joins in.
- What happens when the people worship? Hezekiah, the king, bows and worships, which brings everyone into a bowed worship. That's the dance between leaders and followers. The people get the leader they deserve; and the leader can lead the people to spiral up toward the Lord or spiral down away from the Lord.
- And the service of the house of the Lord was established again. When we return to the proper order; the proper worship; the proper obedience; His order is established and there is joy in the land.