“And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.”
—II CHRONICLES 29:2
“For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned their backs. Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place unto the God of Israel.” —II CHRONICLES 29:6-7
For a more in-depth study please read this article in conjunction with II Chronicles 29.
UNDER AHAZ, Hezekiah’s father, Judah had gone into deep apostasy. There is an important point to be made here. Leadership is crucial whether it be of a city, state, country, or church. A leader sets the tone for the people.
Regarding the church, we need pastors who understand the times in which we live and what the church must do and then set the example.
Under Ahaz, the Bible says, they “turned their backs” (II Chron. 29:6) meaning they turned away from the things of God.
In verse 7, they “shut up the doors of the porch,” meaning they rejected the true door, Jesus Christ; they rejected the Word of God.
Also in verse 7, they “put out the lamps.” The lamps typified Christ as the light of the world. And they no longer “burned incense.” This represented the intercession of Christ on our behalf. And they no longer “offered burnt offerings” representing the cross. So, in effect, they rejected the Word, the will, the way, and the person of Christ.
Now the son of Ahaz, Hezekiah, comes along. As king, he knows that without God’s help they can’t make it, so Hezekiah begins to institute renewal; he wanted revival.
What Is Revival?
The word revival is not found per se in the Bible, but is derived from the word revive, which means “to quicken, recover, restore, bring back to life.” From this word, we get revival, which means “rebirth, regeneration, rejuvenation, to restore from a depressed state.”
The definition “to bring back to life,” is, I think, the most fitting.
With this definition in mind, we must ask the question, Does the church need to be brought to life? I think the answer is yes.
We must never forget that every generation must have its own move of God. We cannot survive on the great revivals of the past. As wonderful as the first and second Great Awakenings were, as great as the Azusa Street Revival and the charismatic renewals of the twentieth century were, we cannot survive on those. We must experience a move of God for ourselves.
When you look at the state of the church, you must see that, by and large, the message of the church today is wrong.
If you would watch what passes for most Christian television, after a while you would begin to notice that the majority of the messages are rooted in psychology and self-help. You would notice that “self” is prevalent. I know some of you are thinking, “Doesn’t self need improving?” Don’t we need to get better? The answer is yes, we do need to get better, and, yes, self does need to be addressed. However, the way self needs to be addressed is to address the elephant in the room, and that elephant is sin.
The church today very seldom addresses sin in the life of the believer. Righteousness and holiness is very seldom addressed. The church focuses on good works but not good vessels. The message of psychology in the church today negates the great Holy Spirit outpouring of the past. We have pushed aside the help and the instruction of the Holy Spirit for the babblings of Sigmund Freud and his minions.
Salvations are down, healings are down, and people being filled with the Holy Spirit are down, so what must the church do? We should look at what Hezekiah did.
The first thing we should take note of is found in II Chronicles 29:2, “He did that which was right in the sight of the LORD.” All that matters is what God says is right, which is the Word of God. The Bible, and the Bible alone, must be our guide.
Hezekiah “opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them.” We must let the church be the church, meaning we are not of the world, we are not to look like them, act like them, or have music like them.
Hezekiah sanctified the priests and Levites. The word sanctify or sanctification means to be set apart from something to something—set apart from the world and exclusively unto God. Our ministers must not be for sale, they must not compromise the Word or their calling. Our calling is to lead people to Christ, to impart correct doctrine, and to shepherd the sheep.
Hezekiah cleansed the filthiness of the high places, meaning he tore down the groves and the idols his father had built. Are there idols in the church that must be torn down today? One idol that needs to go is denominationalism.
The priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it. Spiritually, revival must begin in the inner part, which means the heart. Never forget revival is personal before it is corporate. Revival begins in one before it begins in many.
They killed the rams; they sprinkled the blood upon the altar. They went back to the cross for all the offerings of the law of Moses portrayed through Calvary. When the church returns to the cross, the end result is always revival.
All the people rejoiced. True worship is the result of true repentance.
They sang praises unto the Lord. Music that truly worships God is always the result of true revival.
By looking at Hezekiah of old, we see the steps needed for revival today.
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