Scripture reading – 2 Chronicles 30

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Unlike his father, Hezekiah set his heart to serve the LORD and obey His Law and Commandments (2 Chronicles 29:2). In his first year as king, Hezekiah commanded the doors of the Temple be opened and repaired (2 Chronicles 29:3). He directed the priests and Levites to clean and sanctify the house of the LORD (2 Chronicles 29:4-5).

Arguably, 2 Chronicles 30 was the pinnacle of Hezekiah’s reign as king of Judah. With his zeal for the LORD and longing to see God’s blessings return to His people, Hezekiah invited “all Israel and Judah” to “come to the house of the LORD in Jerusalem, to keep the Passover unto the LORD God of Israel” (2 Chronicles 30:1).

2 Chronicles 30


A Revival of the Passover (2 Chronicles 30:1-4)

The Passover was to be observed annually; however, the people had long neglected to do so (2 Chronicles 30:3). King Hezekiah consulted with other leaders, and it was determined to keep the Passover “in the second month” (2 Chronicles 30:2). Though the Law commanded the Passover be observed in the first month (Exodus 12:1-2), the month delay was necessitated by the priests’ need to prepare themselves ceremonially (2 Chronicles 30:3-4).

A Royal Decree and Invitation (2 Chronicles 30:5-13)

A Royal Decree and Invitation (2 Chronicles 30:5-13)

Bearing the king’s invitation to assemble in Jerusalem for the Passover, messengers were sent “throughout all Israel, from Beersheba (southernmost Judah) even to Dan (the northernmost territory of Israel, 2 Chronicles 30:5).

The king’s decree was more than an invitation. It was an appeal, a challenge to the remnant of Israel to “be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the Lord God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see” (2 Chronicles 30:7). Hezekiah charged the sins of their fathers was the cause for their afflictions (2 Chronicles 30:8). He urged the people, “yield yourselves unto the Lord, and enter into his sanctuary [Temple], which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you” (2 Chronicles 30:8)

Hezekiah implored the people to turn from their sins to the LORD. He promised the LORD would move on the hearts of the Assyrians to show their loved one’s compassion (2 Chronicles 30:9a). The king spoke to the people, saying, “The Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him” (2 Chronicles 30:9).

The northern tribes of Israel had experienced the wrath of the LORD, and the remnant that was left by the Assyrians was impoverished. Nevertheless, the hearts of the people were hardened. When they received the king’s messengers, they “laughed them to scorn, and mocked them” (2 Chronicles 30:10). Yet, there were many from the tribes “of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun [who] humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem” (2 Chronicles 30:11).

With the “hand of God” on them, Judah gathered with “one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the Lord. 13And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation” (2 Chronicles 30:12-13).

The Passover Observance and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (2 Chronicles 30:13-27)

The Passover Observance and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (2 Chronicles 30:13-27)

To observe the Passover and rededicate themselves to the LORD, the leaders were mindful to put “away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kidron” (2 Chronicles 30:14), where they were destroyed. When the congregation came together to offer sacrifices, some priests and Levites failed to sanctify themselves, and others were not prepared to participate in the Passover observance (2 Chronicles 30:15-20).

After the Passover, the people observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days, singing and praising the LORD (2 Chronicles 30:21). In fact, the spirit of the people was so great that they determined to enjoy the time of revival for another seven days. Thus, the king and leaders were required to give more to be slain for the people (2 Chronicles 30:22-25). The people of Judah, the remnant of Israel, and others who were “strangers” (non-Hebrews) “rejoiced” (2 Chronicles 30:25).

The joy and celebration at the Passover and the unity of spirit among the people were not seen in Jerusalem since Solomon dedicated the Temple (2 Chronicles 30:26-27). The revival ended, and the people returned to their homes. However, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, was already moving his army to lay siege to Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 32:1).


Closing thoughts –  

Friend, life is not a “fairy tale,” and the storyline, “they lived happily ever after,” is rare. Living amid this sinful world, we will often experience the observation of the songwriter when he penned, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love.”

* A second devotional Bible study will follow.

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

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