After the death of Ahaz, his son Hezekiah began his reign at the age of 25. Here was a breath of fresh air as far as kings go in the southern kingdom. After the miserable reign of his father, the temple was in poor shape. Hezekiah set about getting the temple cleansed, and he called the Levites together and charged them with consecrating themselves, cleansing the temple, and restoring worship in the temple. They completed the task, and the people celebrated and rejoiced with thank offerings. Notice in verse 17, it took 16 days to cleanse and consecrate the temple. Ahaz had caused all of this.
Hezekiah wrote letters and sent couriers throughout Israel and Judah telling the people to consecrate themselves and come to celebrate the Passover. Some of them laughed and mocked, but many did come. Some did not consecrate themselves, however. Hezekiah prayed on their behalf, saying “May the good Lord pardon everyone who sets his heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his fathers, even though not according to the sanctuary’s rules of cleanness.” Verse 26 says that God heard him and that He healed the people. The festivities were good for the people and it was a great time of spiritual awakening. Verse 23 says that the whole assembly agreed to keep the feast an extra seven days.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.