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This chapter relates the continuance of Hezekiah's good reign. He proclaims a passover. The people are earnest in destroying the idols.
It should seem that in consequence of the general defection of the people from the worship of the Lord, the holy service of the passover had not been punctually observed. And at the time when Hezekiah set up this reform in the opening of his reign the season of the paschal feast was over. Unwilling to let so refreshing a service pass by until another year, the king availed himself of a permission in the law which was made for persons under uncleanness, that when by reason of this they could not observe it at its proper season, they might keep it in the second month instead of the first. Numbers 9:10-11 . The king therefore having taken counsel on this subject, and it meeting the general approbation both of the princes and the congregation, the celebration of the passover was determined upon. Reader! what a superiority in point of privilege are we of the gospel church called to, in that we have our holy supper, in commemoration of Christ our passover sacrificed for us every month, and if occasion offers, every day, and like the primitive church may daily in the temple, or from house to house, be engaged in the sweet service of breaking of bread and of prayer. Yes! dearest Jesus! thy people whom thou hast made kings and priests to God and the Father, are supposed to be daily carrying about in their body the dying of the Lord Jesus! Acts 2:46 ; 2 Corinthians 4:10 .
I admire the conduct of Hezekiah on this occasion. He not only invites his own subjects of Judah, but all Israel. For both Israel and Judah had alike revolted; and a return to the Lord God of their fathers was as much the duty and interest of Israel as of Judah.
How awful a state was Israel now in! if the Reader makes a calculation of time he will discover that this happened not above two or three years, at the most, before the captivity of Israel by the king of Assyria. Hence their hearts were infatuated and blinded to their ruin. It is refreshing, however, amidst this general depravity, to observe that there were some whose hearts were inclined to seek the Lord. Hosea was king of Israel at this time; but it doth not appear that he either accepted the king of Judah's invitation himself to go to Jerusalem at this pass over, or that he forbade any of his subjects from going.
This is a beautiful account of Judah; and their unanimity on this solemn occasion. No doubt the thing was of the Lord. Oh! dearest Jesus! how sweet is it when thy churches, like that of old, are of one heart and one soul; all striving for the faith of the gospel. Acts 4:32 .
What a beautiful representation is here made of the church. Who but must have prayed for the sanctifying influence of the divine presence in such an assembly?
There are several most interesting things observable upon this occasion. The people first put away all the idolatrous altars before they proceeded to their pure worship. The old leaven of malice and wickedness must he put away by the followers of the Lord Jesus before they keep the feast of unleavened bread on the body and blood of Christ. 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 . The sprinkling of the blood, according to the original institution, plainly shows that amidst the long dreadful reign of idolatry there were some precious souls who by faith looked to the blood of sprinkling in Jesus. Hebrews 12:24 . The zeal of many upon this occasion outdoing the priests and Levites, is a delightful testimony also that the Lord had a seed alive in the midst of that degenerate nation, which though to the eye of men unknown like as it was in the days of Elijah, yet to the Lord were known, and by the Lord reserved from the general corruption. Romans 11:3-4 . The unseasonable appointment of this passover which necessity had induced, and the quickness with which it was brought forward after it was determined upon, not allowing space for the usual preparation, the king implored the Lord to pardon, and to accept the people according to what they had, and not what they had not. And the Lord's gracious attention to the king's prayer and healing the people; these things, beheld with an eye to Jesus, are sweet gospel blessings veiled under these law dispensations. Reader! do not overlook your own personal concern in this. After all your preparations what sanctification is there in your best prayers and services. Need not the holiest of men to cry out, The good Lord pardon every one? Oh! how precious, how infinitely precious, is the thought, that the same worth, the same sin-atoning efficacy is in the Lamb that was slain, though there be new guilt and new defilement in our hearts and in our poor services, from day to day. The virtue and merits of Jesus's blood become the sanctification and cause of acceptance of his people forever.
This feast, agreeable to the original appointment by Moses, followed up the holy service of the passover. And the joy of the people, of all ranks and orders among them, can better be conceived than expressed. It may serve to show the holy joy that is in the heart of one poor sinner in an house, in a family, in a nation or kingdom, when a real conversion takes place in the soul, and amity and friendship, are again restored between heaven and earth. Then everything is sanctified. The most ordinary enjoyments are sanctified. When the Lord hath blessed a soul with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus; he blesses him in making a covenant with everything and every creature, both in his basket and in his store. Reader! if Jesus be yours, all things are yours. He that overcometh (saith Jesus himself) shall inherit all things; and I will be his God; and he shall be my son. Revelation 21:7 . Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart, for God now accepteth thy works. Ecclesiastes 9:7-8 . The garment the sinner wears of Jesus's righteousness is always white; and his head lacks no ointment, because the Holy Ghost sheds abroad his grace abundantly upon him in Christ Jesus. Hosea 2:18-20 . Observe in this account of the close of this great festival how the priests blessed the people. Long neglected as this divine service had been, even from the days of Solomon, yet the form appointed by the Lord (see Numbers 6:22 , etc.) had not been forgotten. Oh! how sweet is it to bless the people in the joint name of the Father, Son and Spirit. And how sure is it when done by his authority, that the blessing pronounced on earth will be confirmed in heaven.
READER! while we pay all due respect to this beautiful piece of history in the church, and find cause to bless God for raising up his servant Hezekiah in such a time for the recovery of the land from idols, let you and I have our thoughts exercised in the contemplation of the mercies we are called to in the free, and full, and seasonable enjoyment of our gospel ordinances under the rich profusion of the means of grace the Lord our God hath reserved to us. Are we as a nation, as a people, better than our fathers? Have we merited the blessings we possess in our hallowed things? Are we not gone away in a thousand instances from his sacred word, from the love of his truth, from the grand distinguishing doctrines of the gospel; from the love of ordinances and from a well-grounded confidence in him? And doth the Lord amidst all our provocations, still preserve to us those best of all privileges, our sacred things, our sabbaths; his holy word and ordinances. Oh then, let the example of Hezekiah and his people stir us up to an earnest, hearty, and sincere return to the Lord. Let us send out missionaries to the various kingdoms of the earth, as he did his posts to Israel, and invite all ranks and orders of people to come to Jesus. And oh! let our return to the Lord be with an eye to the person, blood, and righteousness of Jesus. He is our passover, he is our peace, our propitiation, our altar, our sacrifice, our righteousness, our all. Yes! blessed Jesus! thou art divinely prepared and graciously furnished by God our Father, a suited Saviour for fallen, sinful men. Sweetly and secretly in thy person are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge: and in thy finished work the life, safety, present peace, and everlasting happiness of thy people is contained. Lord! to whom shall we go but unto thee, thou hast the words of eternal life. Thou art our passover sacrificed for us. In thee, and on thee, we would keep an everlasting feast. And oh! do thou bless us as a High Priest of our calling, and may our God and Father answer it, and confirm it in heaven his dwelling place, the habitation of his holiness and his glory.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 30". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent