Hezekiah Restores Temple Worship
20 Then King Hezekiah arose early and assembled the princes of the city and went up to the house of the Lord. 21 They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs and seven male goats for a sin offering for the kingdom, the sanctuary, and Judah. And he ordered the priests, the sons of Aaron, to offer them on the altar of the Lord. 22 So they slaughtered the bulls, and the priests took the blood and sprinkled it on the altar. They also slaughtered the rams and sprinkled the blood on the altar; they slaughtered the lambs also and sprinkled the blood on the altar. 23 Then they brought the male goats of the sin offering before the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands on them. 24 The priests slaughtered them and purged the altar with their blood to atone for all Israel, for the king ordered the burnt offering and the sin offering for all Israel.
25 He then stationed the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with harps and with lyres, according to the command of David and of Gad the king’s seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for the command was from the Lord through His prophets. 26 The Levites stood with the musical instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27 Then Hezekiah gave the order to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the song to the Lord also began with the trumpets, [f]accompanied by the instruments of David, king of Israel. 28 While the whole assembly worshiped, the singers also sang and the trumpets sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.
29 Now at the completion of the burnt offerings, the king and all who were present with him bowed down and worshiped. 30 Moreover, King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to sing praises to the Lord with the words of David and Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with joy, and bowed down and worshiped.
31 Then Hezekiah said, “Now that you have [g]consecrated yourselves to the Lord, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of the Lord.” And the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all those who were [h]willing brought burnt offerings. 32 The number of the burnt offerings which the assembly brought was 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs; all these were for a burnt offering to the Lord. 33 The consecrated things were 600 bulls and 3,000 sheep. 34 But the priests were too few, so that they were unable to skin all the burnt offerings; therefore their brothers the Levites helped them until the work was completed and until the other priests had consecrated themselves. For the Levites were more [i]conscientious to consecrate themselves than the priests. 35 There were also [j]many burnt offerings with the fat of the peace offerings and with the libations for the burnt offerings. Thus the service of the house of the Lord was established again. 36 Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over what God had prepared for the people, because the thing came about suddenly.
At first glance, one might think the sacrifices a bit paltry for the entire tribe of Judah, but towards the end we see that they really did pretty good: “…because the thing came about suddenly.” This was only 16 days into Hezekiah’s reign, and many were no doubt still wrapping their brains around what was happening.
The “chosen” were all in, but even among the priests we see some were a little slow to get going, so that not enough of them had been cleansed to take care of all the sacrifices. Their kin from the Levites had to help, partially because they were quicker to dedicate themselves, and there were also more of the Levites than the priests, which were a “subset” of the tribe of Levi.
Either way, this was new to many of those in attendance at this celebration. Worship in the temple had not happened for a long time, but now it was back and it was time to get their hearts in the right place. Even today, there are two general groups of people in the church. Those who get things done, and those who sit on the sidelines and watch.
God doesn’t call anyone to the sidelines. The only one who can “bench” you is yourself. Don’t be a bench-warmer, but find out what God has for you to do and get going. That may mean full-time ministry, or it might just be a small role in your local church. No matter what, God has a purpose for your life, go out and find it, and embrace your purpose.