2 Chronicles 30:1-27
Return to the Feast
For some time, there had been no observation of the feast of unleavened bread. This was troubling to Hezekiah. As this time there were not enough consecrated priest to oversee the Passover.
So, the king sent messengers or couriers throughout Judah, proclaiming the following: (v6-9):
People of Israel, return to the LORD. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel. Return to him. Then he will return to you who are left in the land. You have escaped from the power of the kings of Assyria. Don’t be like your parents and the rest of your people. They weren’t faithful to the LORD, the God of their people. That’s why he punished them. He made them look so bad that everyone was shocked when they saw them. You can see it for yourselves. Don’t be stubborn. Don’t be as your people were. Obey the LORD. Come to his temple. He has set it apart to himself forever. Serve the LORD your God. Then he’ll stop being angry with you. Suppose you return to the LORD. Then those who captured your relatives and children will be kind to them. In fact, your relatives and children will come back to this land. The LORD your God is kind and tender. He won’t turn away from you if you return to him.”
Most places the messengers traveled to, they were mocked and laughed at. But many people agreed and traveled to Jerusalem for the feast. They helped prepared by removing the alters of the idols that had been worshipped.
The priest made ready and were consecrated. It was the largest gathering in the city and it says many people set themselves apart before the Lord. They praised the Lord and worshiped with music for 14 days! In the south we would say “they had church”.
Two verses we should play close attention to
v22 Hezekiah spoke words that gave hope . . .
v26 There was great joy in Jerusalem, like never before
As I have been reading through the Chronicles, I have enjoyed the rich history of the children of Israel. But as with all my reading, I try to put todays spin on the story. Where were they and what were they going through as it related to the church today
The people of Judah had not celebrated the feast for some time. Partially due to their own failure to follow God and the lack of holy or consecrated men to lead them. Does that sound familiar in America today? We may have churches on every corner, on every street, but is the Gospel of Jesus the message?
Attendance may be up, but are there true followers in the pews?
We need to cry out as Hezekaih for a return the feast. We need to remove idols from our lives and offer ourselves as a living sacrifice. As a church, we must pray that God will raise up “Men of Hope” (v22), that we would return to the “Joy of Our Salvation”
Many of our churches are empty today for various reasons, including the covid. I hope soon God will call us all back to Jerusalem, that the church will “set herself apart” and that there will be joy in the hallways, praise in the temple and worship in the church.
In Him , Amen —- Bill Burgan