Repentance

Our nation needs revival and renewal. What if we applied Hezekiah’s strategy for our own nation?

FIRST – The Priestly/Pastoral Leaders:  The first call has to be for the priesthood, the spiritual leaders, to consecrate themselves. The King ordered the priests to get right with God, to rid their lives of anything that would be offensive to God (2 Chronicles 29:5). They obeyed his command, “following the word of the Lord” (14, 15).

SECOND – The People: Hezekiah also pointed out the sins of the people (6). He warned them that because of their refusal and failure to live according to the law of God that the consequences for the nation would be severe – the Lord would completely destroy them unless they repented (8-11). Their only hope was in the Lord.

THIRD – The Temple: The priests were then ordered to reopen the temple. But they first had to remove all the idols, the pagan altar and symbols, the rubbish and filth that had accumulated there (5, 16-17). It took eight days for all the debris to be removed (18-19). And then, it took another week, eight more days, to do temple cleansing.

FOURTH – The Nation Came to The Altar: Hezekiah led the procession and he had the priests offer sacrifices as an act of national repentance (29:20-24, 30-31). Later, the whole nation gathered for a Solemn Assembly. Their sins were corporate, not merely individual. And so corporate repentance was necessary.

FIFTH – National Renewal of Worship: He arranged for the Levites to lead the people in the open worship of God with cymbals, trumpets, other musical instruments and with song (25-28). All the congregation joined in this praise (28-29). Imagine your city, gathering to worship God. Imagine Washington gathering to worship God, the true God, the Living God.

SIXTH – Bible-based Worship: After this he ordered that the Psalms of David were to be sung (30). The Scripture, the ancient sacred writings, had been intended as a guide for communication and connection with God – that principle was now reinforced.

SEVENTH – Living Righteously: His reforms went further than merely outward religious acts. Hezekiah knew that to worship God was not sufficient to make a person right with God. What was needed was for the nation to commit to God and live according to His commandments.

This rededication inspired those who attended to want to worship God even more. After the initial ceremony, there was yet another round of sacrifices and praise offered unto the Lord (31-35). There was great rejoicing as this first group of eager hearts turned back to God (36). While they were the first-fruits of revival, a large part of the national constituency, watched hesitantly.

Check back next week to see what happens next!

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P. Douglas Small is founder and president of Alive Ministries: PROJECT PRAY and he serves in conjunction with a number of other organizations. He is also the creator of the Praying Church Movement and the Prayer Trainer’s Network. However, all views expressed are his own and not the official position of any organization.

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