2 Chronicles 29 gives us a vivid picture of how a nation can be restored and as a result, genuine revival can take place.
King Hezekiah, at the beginning of his reign, found the temple in a shocking state of neglect and misuse. It mirrored the people’s condition before God. His predecessor, Ahaz neglected and abused the temple and Hezekiah wanted this all stopped. He wanted not just the temple restored; he wanted his people to return to following God in all their ways. The first thing Hezekiah did when he took the throne was to open the doors of the temple. He modeled the open attitude he wanted his people to have with God. He knew what Proverbs 8:17 says, “Those who seek Me early shall find Me.” He desperately wanted his people to find God.
2 Chronicles 29:3–19 show us how he first restored the temple. In that day a locked temple kept the people from accessing God. When Hezekiah flung open the doors it mean that worship and prayer could proceed and that God’s grace and blessing could be invoked.
He knew what he was doing because a cleaned up temple would have its affect on the people. Jon Courson wrote, “Because we are the temple of the true and living God, there must be a continual cleansing of the filthiness that pollutes and penetrates our lives.” That’s sanctification—when we’re open to purification and we dedicate ourselves to God. Hezekiah knew that restoration of the temple needed to come first if he was to lead his people in revival.
He also knew that he did not want to continue with a broken fellowship with God. We can see his godly attitude in verse 10, “Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel that His fierce wrath may turn away from us.” He knew if Israel continued to misuse and abuse the temple and consequently their abuse and ignore their relationship with God that God would break fellowship with them—He would lift His presence from them.
Hezekiah took action to cleanse the temple and he took action to renew fellowship with God. With those two in place he took action to restore the people (v. 20–36). His goal was to bring the relationship between his people and God back to normal. If we look closely we see two critical steps—confession (v. 20–24) and worship (v. 25–30). Confession focused on their sins. They began the process of renewal by recognizing their sin and atoning for it. Then, again quoting Courson, “The cymbals crashed. The people began to sing. And the king and all the people bowed down and worshiped.
Friends, sanctification (purification and dedication) leads to restoration. When we desire to be in God’s presence, seek forgiveness, holiness and obedience, He is quick to make His presence known in our lives. Then, when we feel that special covering of Him and the Holy Spirit, we are free to worship and praise Him for what He’s done, what He’s doing and what He will do.
Let’s pray together for sanctification and restoration that leads to repentance and revival. Let’s earnestly pray for ourselves, our church, our city and nation to be like Hezekiah and throw open the doors, and remove any barriers from God and His leading.
Please join us, Sunday October 5 at the Capital for Sacred Assembly and pray for revival of hearts.