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As you know, wickedly fearful King Ahaz did not walk in the ways of God like David had. But God gives each and every person a fresh start and a chance to choose who they’ll be. So after King Ahaz died and his son Hezekiah became the king, Hezekiah had his own choices to make.
His dad, Ahaz, had been a pretty bad example, huh? It would have been easy for Hezekiah to just follow in the ways of his dad. It’s very easy to do that — to just believe whatever they believe, to just copy what you see, whether good or bad.
But, you don’t have to. That’s not what Hezekiah did. Even though he was a young man when he became king, he said “No way!” to the wicked ways of his father, and instead he chose to follow God. It must have taken a lot of courage for him to step up and turn things around.
But Hezekiah didn’t waste any time. In the very first year, in the very first month, on the very first day of his reign, Hezekiah got to work.
He opened up the doors of the Temple again and started cleaning it up and repairing it. It only took him 16 days to clean up what was a big mess. He recognized that it was God’s power that had gotten that job done, and he gave all the credit to God.
And he wasn’t going to stop at just cleaning God’s House; he was going to start using it. The very next day after it was all clean, he got up bright and early and gathered the people together to worship God and make sacrifices. He also brought the priests and Levites together and talked to them about getting back on the right track. Hezekiah and the people were very happy because God had changed things for the better so fast that it surprised them.
But Hezekiah didn’t stop there. He smashed up idols — anything that was taking the place of God in people’s hearts. And he encouraged other people to smash, smash, smash them too.
But Hezekiah didn’t stop there either! The people hadn’t been celebrating God’s feasts like they’d been told. So, Hezekiah was going to change that. It was time to remember, remember, remember all that God had done. He sent messengers all throughout Judah and ISRAEL telling the people to come to God’s City for Passover. Even though “Israel” was all spread out every which way from being taken over by Assyria, that didn’t stop Hezekiah from trying to help them come back to God, too.
So Hezekiah sent runners to go throughout Israel to tell any of God’s people who were scattered all around to come to God’s City for Passover. The runners took with them a letter from King Hezekiah that said, “Return to God. You don’t have to be like your disobedient fathers and live in this lifeless condition you are currently in. For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and He will not turn His face away from you if you come back to Him.”
Most of the people still scattered around in Israel just laughed at Hezekiah, but some people humbled themselves and came.
But when those people got to God’s City, Hezekiah saw they had not made themselves set apart and clean like they were supposed to. (I’m guessing they didn’t even know they needed to be clean since their fathers never taught them!) But Hezekiah prayed for them and made sure they were taught God’s ways.
And all God’s people in Judah were of one heart and were happy. It was the biggest and best Passover since the time of King Solomon.
Hezekiah trusted in the Lord his God, and the Bible says, “Hezekiah did what made God happy, just like David had done.” Because of that, God was with him and made him successful in whatever he did.
Want to hear something I think is special? One of the things Hezekiah did to help the Levites get back on track, was he encouraged them to praise God by singing some of the songs that David had written. So just like we sometimes sing some of David’s words from the Psalms, Hezekiah helped the Levites do that too. And the Levites sang, sang, sang praises to God with happy hearts as they bowed down and worshiped.
Want to hear the words from a couple of songs they probably sang?
“They will place their confidence in God. They will not forget the works of God. They will obey His commands. They will not be like their rebellious and stubborn relatives.”
“O Lord, Your loyal love reaches to the sky, Your faithfulness to the clouds. Your justice is like the highest mountains, Your fairness like the deepest sea; You, Lord, take care of people and animals. How precious is Your loyal love, God! People find shelter under Your wings. They are filled with food from Your House, and You allow them to drink from the river of Your happiness. The fountain of life is in You; in Your light we see light!”