Daily Bible Studies
Series Theme: Studies in 2 Chronicles 10-36
"The Kings of Judah" (The Southern Kingdom)
Chapter: 2 Chron 29
Passage: 2 Chron 29:1-36
A. Find Out:
1. How was Hezekiah described and what did he start to do? v.1-4
2. How did he link past and present? v.5-9
3. What did he declare? v.10
4. What role did the Levites & priests play? v.11-15, 25-26
5. What did the priests do? v.16-24
6. What then happened? v.27-36
1. How did Hezekiah carefully prepare for what followed?
2. How would you summarise what followed?
Hezekiah's activity is characterised by speed, care and zeal. First, the SPEED with which he acted: within one month of starting his reign he started restoring the temple. This must have been something on his heart even while his father had been far from God.
Next, the CARE of his preparation. He starts with the priests and the Levites because they had been the ones ordained by God to serve Him and so no others will do. He orders them to consecrate themselves, to ensure that their lives are right before the Holy God whom they will serve. He explains what he is doing and why – because of the failures of past generations which have brought the anger of the Lord. They are now going to whole-heartedly seek the Lord and seek to turn that anger away. Before they start worshipping, the Temple is to be thoroughly cleaned out and properly re-established. They then present sin offerings before the Lord, acknowledging their need in the appropriate way. Worshipping the Lord is NOT a casual exercise!
Finally, consider the ZEAL of this king which was caught by the people. Having carefully prepared the way into the Lord's presence, they offer burnt offerings (love offerings) and sing and worship with all their hearts. There is much guided singing, much guided worship, many love offerings. This is all-out giving to God from thankful hearts. It's not just the king but the people as well. This is excellent!
1. God is awesome. Worship should be with care and with zeal.
2. Worship should be under God's direction.
Chapter: 2 Chron 30
Passage: 2 Chron 30:1 - 31:1
A. Find Out:
1. To whom did Hezekiah write and why? v.1,5,6,10
2. Who decided to do what? v.2-4
3. What was the call that was sent out? v.6-9
4. What clear-up went on? v.14, 31:1
5. What problems occurred? v.3,17
6. How did Hezekiah resolve this? v.18-20
7. For how long did they celebrate? v.21-23
8. To what was it compared? v.24-27
1. Why, numerically, was this a unique occasion?
2. Why, practically, was it a unique occasion?
The Temple has been re-established and now Hezekiah makes a proclamation that is unique since the days of Solomon – a proclamation to the WHOLE of Israel , both southern and northern kingdoms. The only thing is that the northern kingdom had come to an end several years earlier and so he is sending out to the remnant of the tribes still left before they are finally deported. The Lord, through Hezekiah, is giving them a final chance to gather to Jerusalem (and perhaps stay there?) to be reunited in worship. Some come, some don't.
Hezekiah's call is to return to the Lord, a call to the remnant in the north (v.6c), so that perhaps God will bring back those who have already been taken. This is an amazing call of grace!
The outcome is that there is a tremendous gathering to celebrate the Passover, but so unusual was it, that many of the people had not realised that they should thoroughly prepare themselves, and thus Hezekiah has to intercede on their behalf. The Lord accepts the situation and the celebrations go ahead, and are bigger than anything that has happened since before the kingdom was divided. First of all Jerusalem is cleared up, and then the land and all signs of false worship are removed. It is almost the equivalent of a revival. Wonderful!
1. God may judge but always gives opportunity for salvation.
2. Again and again the Lord gives opportunity to the remnant.
Chapter: 2 Chron 31
Passage: 2 Chron 31:2-21
A. Find Out:
1. Who did Hezekiah set up to do what? v.2
2. How did he make provision for them? v.4
3. What response did he get? v.5-10
4. What did he have then to do? v.11-15
5. Who received from all this? v.16-19
6. How was his activity summarised? v.20,21
1. How would you summarise the contents of this chapter?
2. Why do you think it is particularly important?
3. What impact did it seem to have?
At first sight this chapter simply seems a chapter about administration which may not strike us as either exciting or important, but when we stop and think what it enabled to happen, we should see that it was very significant.
So far in the life of the southern kingdom we have heard little about the administration of the Temple , the dwelling place of God among His people. For that reason the administration was weak and the worship in the Temple haphazard. Hezekiah is going to change that. According to God's original instructions it was only the priests and the Levites who were to serve in the Temple , so the first thing was to reassign them to this task so they know that that is what this king expects of them. But that's only part of it.
If they are to give themselves to this, then they need to be provided for so that they will not have to continually worry about that side of their lives. Thus the remainder of this chapter is all about that provision. Hezekiah gives the command and the people give willingly, so much so that storehouses have to be built to take the provision which is then distributed among them all. Thus Hezekiah ensures that the administration of worship WILL continue; the heart of their religion was re-established. If the ministers are well established then there is hope for the spiritual state of the nation.
1. Pray for our spiritual leaders to day, that they WILL be spiritual.
2. Where you can, ensure your leaders are well provided for.
Chapter: 2 Chron 32
Passage: 2 Chron 32:1-23
A. Find Out:
1. Who came and did what, when? v.1
2. What preparations did Hezekiah make? v.2-8
3. How did Sennacherib seek to undermine morale? v.9-19
4. How did the Lord deal with him? v.20-22
5. Read Isa 36:4-10. How further did they try to undermine morale?
1. How did Hezekiah show his trust in the Lord?
2. What do Sennacherib's tactics teach us?
For a fuller view of all that happened read Isa 36-39. What is intriguing about this episode is that it seems to go against the general trend for Judah . When Judah went away from the Lord, He used surrounding nations to chastise them. When they sought Him they had peace. Hezekiah has been faithful and the enemy comes. Is it that the Lord allows this to test Hezekiah and show His glory?
The king of Assyria comes, bent on subduing Judah . Hezekiah sees that this will end up on his doorstep in Jerusalem , so makes preparation to repulse them. The most significant thing is his words to his leaders. Basically it is, don't worry God is on our side. In the face of this large invading army that is a mighty statement of faith. Excellent!
Then Sennacherib eventually comes and, as all invaders do, tries first to win a war of words. See the strategy of the enemy here and understand that's how Satan works with us. He sows seeds of doubt (v.10,11) and uses half truths (v.12). He uses the example of the failure of godless nations (v.13-15), he speaks lies (Isa 36:6) and makes you feel inferior (Isa 36:8). In all of these ways he is trying to do two things: first get you to lose your trust in God, and second, to make you feel so weak you just give in. However, the truth is that we are children of the Most High King and He will look after us and He will deal with the enemy and He will deliver us! THAT is the truth! It was the truth for Hezekiah and it is the truth for us today!
1. Satan seeks to pull us down. Resist him!
2. The Lord is there as our protection. Trust Him.
Chapter: 2 Chron 32
Passage: 2 Chron 32:24-33
A. Find Out:
1. What happened to Hezekiah? v.24-26. Read also Isa 38:1-8.
2. How had God blessed him? v.27-30
3. Yet what happened? v.31 Read also Isa 39:1-8.
1. What signs were there that God was with Hezekiah?
2. Yet in what ways did Hezekiah struggle?
It is said, to whom much is given, much is required. Hezekiah, as he followed the Lord, received the Lord's blessing, perhaps not as much as Solomon but in ways that remind us of that king (v.27-30). It may be for that reason that Hezekiah seems to have been tested in his latter years.
First of all he suffers a life-threatening illness which appears to have come to humble him because of his pride (v.25). There had been previous kings who had had illnesses but not cried out to the Lord, but Hezekiah does – and is healed. More than that he asks for (2 Kings 20:8) and gets a miraculous sign from the Lord. How such a thing can possibly happen we don't know but somehow the sun seemed to shine on an area of the courtyard that it had already left. This is quite an amazing sign of the Lord's grace to Hezekiah. The word of this gets out (did God intend that as a further test?) and the rulers of Babylon visit him to hear about this and see the wealth of this small kingdom. Hezekiah rashly shows them all his riches (pride is still there). For this he receives a stinging rebuke from Isaiah – all these riches will eventually be carried to Babylon . Of course, years later it was as other kings failed God.
So we come to the end of the life of Hezekiah who seems to have died of old age having been given a further fifteen years of life by the Lord. Very largely he followed the Lord and when the Lord blessed him with great abundance, he struggled with pride.
RECAP - "Hezekiah" - 2 Chronicles 29-32
In this fourth group of 5 studies we have seen Hezekiah :
- cleansing and purifying the Temple (29:1-36)
- celebrating Passover (30:1-27)
- cleansing the land (31:1)
- making provision for the priests & Levites (31:2-21)
- threatened by Sennacherib (32:1-23)
- struggling with pride in his last years (32:24-33)
The critical significance of what takes place under Hezekiah is that he is the first king of Judah after the northern kingdom has been destroyed. His restoration of the temple and calling the people to return to God, comes also to the remnant left in the north. It is like God calls to the remnant scattered in the north to come south, worship and join with the remaining southern kingdom. Even though He has destroyed the northern kingdom, the Lord still makes opportunity for the remnant to be saved!
Hezekiah is also an example of a king who followed the Lord and was blessed in abundance for that. That produced struggles of pride in Him but the Lord dealt with that. He was a responsive king.
1. The Lord blesses those who seek Him and follow Him.
2. Worship is to be in the ways God says.
3. Affluence brings temptation to pride.
4. God deals with that through tests that humble.
Ask the Lord to keep your heart firm and set on him.
PART 5 : "The Last Kings"
In this next and final Part, we will see the final block of kings who followed Hezekiah. There are good signs initially but after a while these kings fall away from the Lord and so the southern kingdom is taken into exile. Watch carefully, therefore, for the signs of decline and the Lord's actions against them – actions that were not responded to well by the various kings. A sad time!