“Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over what God had re-established for the people, and at how suddenly this had been done.”

As I continue reading through the entire Bible in a year, I recently came across the verse above at the end of 2 Chronicles 29 (v. 36).  Certainly not one of the most quoted passages in scripture, nevertheless I found it particularly relevant for our times.

This line concludes the rare chapter dealing with a king of Judah in which the ruler is actually faithful to God (this chart gives a very helpful overview of the turbulent history of the monarchies of both Judah and Israel).  Hezekiah was a reformer, the son of the particularly wicked monarch Ahaz.  Immediately upon ascending to the throne, Hezekiah cleanses the temple of “filth” (29:5) (one can’t help but see him as a type of Jesus in this — refer to Mark 11:15–19, 11:27–33, Matthew 21:12–17, 21:23–27, Luke 19:45–48, 20:1–8, and John 2:13–16) and re-establishes proper worship.  Before he even restores the celebration of Passover (ch. 30) and tears down the “high places” of pagan worship (31:1), he is already hailed by the people of Judah in the words in the headline.

Why did this strike me so?  Because sometimes I look at our present age with sadness, even anger, wondering whether (when?) God might unleash on us what He did to Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19:1-29).  Maybe I am too much like a son of thunder (Lk 9:54) in this regard.  But the Lord works in mysterious ways.  Literally overnight, after God installed Hezekiah as king, massive changes for the better took place.  The people rejoiced, so undoubtedly many prayers were answered in this surprise change of attitude from father to son.  “How suddenly this had been done!” the people exclaimed.

The lesson for us today is not to lose heart in this increasingly pagan world in which we live.  God is in control and will take care of matters in His time.  The key for us is to be faithful, steadfast, and prayerful so that someday we too can “rejoice” in a world turning back to God “suddenly.”

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