(36 verses, 5:51 to read)
What I am about to READ
- Hezekiah begins his reign over Judah (centered in Jerusalem) at 25 years old, and begins a reformation of the temple and her worship. You can read about Hezekiah outside of II Chronicles in II Kings 18, 19, 20, Isaiah 36, 37, 38, and 39. He was an ancestor of Christ in the line of King David.
- vv. 1-2: The Chronicler begins with his usual formula of outlining the history and faithfulness of a particular ruler. In this case, the next few chapters of II Chronicles will detail the reign of King Hezekiah.
- vv. 3-11: Hezekiah addresses priests and Levites about the deplorable state of the religious life of the people, centered on the temple itself.
- vv. 12-19: The Levites and priests take up Hezekiah’s task and cleanse the temple of anything that is not to be part of Israel’s worship life.
- vv. 20-36: Hezekiah restores the sacrificial system, beginning with offerings for the sins against the temple, sins of the people of Judah, and even the sins of the people of Israel (which at this point in history has been carried off into exile and is no more).
- Hezekiah immediately begins a reformation to sweep away all the idolatrous practices that have grown up around the true worship life of Israel and have, in many cases, completely overtaken them. We do well to remember that not everything that operates under the auspices of the Church are good, right, and salutary for us Christians. In the Old Testament, God had a very specific set of statutes for the Israelites and their worship of Him. God is a jealous God, who does not wish to share His people with other gods. He is God and is able to set the terms for the worship life of His people. In the same way, when the Church in our day strays from the faithful proclamation of the Word of God and the right administration of the Sacraments, we are guilty of straying from what God has given us. The results are uncertainty in the promises of God that ultimately leads us away from Christ and His gifts.
- Perhaps most interesting about Hezekiah’s zeal is that his faithless predecessor, King Ahaz, was his father. Hezekiah is an example to us of what Jesus says in Matthew 10:37: “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” In the world, blood is thicker than water, meaning that family relationships are of a particularly close nature–and for good, God-pleasing reason. However, in the Church, it is the blood of Jesus, which covers us in Baptism and is poured into our mouths in the Lord’s Supper that bonds us even more closely to God and the saints in heaven and on earth. When these two relationships are at odds with one another, we must remain faithful to the Lord, constantly remembering our unbelieving family members in prayer while calling them to repentance and faith.
- This chapter shows the immense number of animals slaughtered for the sins of the people. This reminds us of the great price our dear Lord, Jesus Christ, paid for us. By His once and for all sacrifice for our sins, we are cleansed of the filth of sin and made holy in His sight. His blood covers all our sins.
- Prayer: O Lord, cleanse us from sin with the blood of Christ and make us holy in Your sight. Amen.
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-Rev. Jordan McKinley, pastor
Trinity Lutheran Church, Vallonia, IN
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