We are to live a life worthy of the calling we have received. God is the one who calls us, choosing his people to serve him and minister before him. And when there is a stirring of people toward God, rejoice at what God has prepared and be careful to give him all glory.
1 Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done.
3 In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the temple of the Lord and repaired them. 4 He brought in the priests and the Levites, assembled them in the square on the east side 5 and said: “Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the Lord, the God of your ancestors. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary. 6 Our parents were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the Lord’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him.
10 Now I intend to make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger will turn away from us. 11 My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before him and serve him, to minister before him and to burn incense.”
18 Then they went in to King Hezekiah and reported: “We have purified the entire temple of the Lord, the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the table for setting out the consecrated bread, with all its articles. 19 We have prepared and consecrated all the articles that King Ahaz removed in his unfaithfulness while he was king. They are now in front of the Lord’s altar.”
20 Early the next morning King Hezekiah gathered the city officials together and went up to the temple of the Lord.
28 The whole assembly bowed in worship, while the musicians played and the trumpets sounded. All this continued until the sacrifice of the burnt offering was completed.
29 When the offerings were finished, the king and everyone present with him knelt down and worshiped. 30 King Hezekiah and his officials ordered the Levites to praise the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness and bowed down and worshiped.
36 Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced at what God had brought about for his people, because it was done so quickly.
2Chronicles 29:1-6, 10-11, 18-19, 20, 28-29, 36
At the end of our verses, we see a unique description of what happened: Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over what God had prepared for the people, because the thing came about suddenly.
This revival in Jerusalem came about as a result of King Hezekiah coming to power and doing right in the eyes of the Lord. After King Ahaz’ desecration of the temple and worship, Hezekiah restored the temple and its contents, along with the practices of worship. He called the priests and Levites together and challenged them to live up to their calling before God: “The Lord has chosen you to stand before him, to minister to Him, and to be His ministers…”
Sound familiar? Ephesians 4:1 is our challenge to live a life worthy of the calling we have received. God is the one who calls us – he chooses his people to serve him and minister before him. The priests and Levites were called in ancient times. Today, God’s call is on you and me. And so the challenge of Hezekiah to not be negligent relating to God’s call resonates deeply with anyone on whom God has placed a call.
The temple was restored. Worship was reinstated. The whole assembly worshiped, singers sang, and the trumpets sounded. Then the king and all who were present bowed down and worshiped. This sounds like a right response to the God who made us and called us to himself. Yet we must not overlook that its origin is not with humans, but rather with God.
Hezekiah gets this. He and the people rejoiced over what God had prepared that day. It all came about quite suddenly and they realized that this revival was inspired by, orchestrated by, and executed by God himself. Hezekiah and the priests may have played a great role from a human perspective, yet God was the hand of the revival. God gets the glory.
Make sure in your life that it happens like this. When you celebrate whatever it is which is worth celebrating in your life, look for God’s hand. When there is a stirring or a turning of people toward God in your community, rejoice at what God has prepared. Don’t neglect your part and call by God to serve him. Yet be careful to give all glory to the Lord…