Second Chronicles 30 Commentary
By the time of King Hezekiah, the sister kingdom of Israel had already gone into captivity to Assyria. During the days of Ahaz, Hezekiah’s father, the LORD had begun to scatter Judah. A significant portion of Judah’s population was under captivity by Aram. Hezekiah’s righteousness, therefore, provided a very important interruption to the LORD’s judgment on Judah. The sword on the errant nation was temporarily halted.
It is to Hezekiah’s good works that the Book of Chronicles has credited 4 chapters to record for us his story. This chapter begins with Hezekiah’s evangelism work. Letters of invitation are dispatched to the wider Israelite community, including parts of the now fallen kingdom of Israel. Such is Hezekiah’s zeal for the name of the LORD! Let God’s people assemble to honor the name of the LORD.
Hezekiah urges all of Israel to return to the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. He is very deliberate in his sermon. The existence of many gods within the communities of God’s people can be very confusing. He is referring to the God of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. Let Israel return to the God of the promise – the one God of Abraham.
There is more: returning to the LORD would evoke the LORD’s compassion on the community in captivity. We can tell the LORD is speaking repentance through His servant Hezekiah.
We learn that Hezekiah’s evangelistic effort covered every town in Ephraim and Manasseh. But who is interested? There is scorn and ridicule. It’s a blessed but painful yield that every evangelist knows all too well. Nevertheless, some from Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem. It takes humility to return to the LORD. This is interesting. We thought it was only the rich and the powerful who are susceptible to pride! It appears pride is a problem for all mortals.
This Passover event is discussed in detail because of its significance at this very critical moment in the history of God’s people. Every single letter of the Passover word carried its value to the fullest. Israel was saved once again from wholesale enslavement. This event opened another page for Israel, but will the nation hold on and replicate Hezekiah’s zeal?
For now, we can bask in the obedience of Hezekiah. He has made us proud.
We are reminded of yet another king, a son of Hezekiah, who ‘went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom’. Our King, the man Jesus Christ, lived in complete obedience. He is inviting everyone to the real Passover. It will take humility to accept the invitation and find salvation; not only for ourselves but also for our relatives who are in captivity to sin. Then the LORD can halt the sword permanently.
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