Hezekiah Succeeds Ahaz in Judah
29 Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. 2 He did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.
3 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them. 4 He brought in the priests and the Levites and gathered them into the square on the east.
5 Then he said to them, “Listen to me, O Levites. Consecrate yourselves now, and consecrate the house of the Lord, the God of your fathers, and carry the uncleanness out from the holy place. 6 For our fathers have been unfaithful and have done evil in the sight of the Lord our God, and have forsaken Him and turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and have [a]turned their backs. 7 They have also shut the doors of the porch and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore the wrath of the Lord was against Judah and Jerusalem, and He has made them an object of terror, of horror, and of hissing, as you see with your own eyes. 9 For behold, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. 10 Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that His burning anger may turn away from us. 11 My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before Him, to minister to Him, and to be His ministers and burn incense.”
12 Then the Levites arose: Mahath, the son of Amasai and Joel the son of Azariah, from the sons of the Kohathites; and from the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi and Azariah the son of Jehallelel; and from the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah and Eden the son of Joah; 13 and from the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and [b]Jeiel; and from the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14 and from the sons of Heman, [c]Jehiel and Shimei; and from the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15 They assembled their brothers, consecrated themselves, and went in to cleanse the house of the Lord, according to the commandment of the king by the words of the Lord. 16 So the priests went in to the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and every unclean thing which they found in the temple of the Lord they brought out to the court of the house of the Lord. Then the Levites received it to carry out to the Kidron [d]valley. 17 Now they began [e]the consecration on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they entered the porch of the Lord. Then they consecrated the house of the Lord in eight days, and finished on the sixteenth day of the first month. 18 Then they went in to King Hezekiah and said, “We have cleansed the whole house of the Lord, the altar of burnt offering with all of its utensils, and the table of showbread with all of its utensils. 19 Moreover, all the utensils which King Ahaz had discarded during his reign in his unfaithfulness, we have prepared and consecrated; and behold, they are before the altar of the Lord.”
Frankly, it’s amazing that anything good could come from the house of Ahaz. But always, though the king may have gone into full rebellion and the people with him, God preserved a chosen remnant who loved and served Him.
Ahaz and his firstborn were dead, and as soon as Hezekiah takes the throne, in the first month of the first year of his reign he begins to clean house. Indeed, we see that it was only eight days before the Levites and priests began consecrating the temple, and they wasted no time in getting the job done.
Can you imagine the joy of the faithful as they set about the work that had been suppressed for decades? Ahaz had not just worshipped idols with abandon, but he had shut the temple doors. Now they were open for worship and sacrifice once more, and the cleansing would not stop with the temple. It would continue into the hearts of all those who chose to follow the king as he repented of the ways of his father.
It doesn’t seem Hezekiah quite knew what to expect, as he makes it somewhat of a proposal, as in, “hey, what we’ve been doing isn’t working, let’s try God and see what happens…” Whatever state you may find yourself in, it’s never too late, and never a mistake to choose to follow God’s ways.
It starts with a choice, but goes much deeper. Let him change you from the inside out, fix your eyes on God and see what happens. You will find unspeakable joy, unfailing love, undeniable peace, and just a glimpse of his unimaginable glory.