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The prosecution of Hezekiah's history is carried on in this chapter. He puts down the remains of idolatry. The character of Hezekiah in his sincerity is briefly spoken of.
2 Chronicles 31:1
This chapter opens in a delightful account of what followed the great festival Hezekiah and the people had observed. Reader! I know not know not what your view of things may be; but I confess that I love to see the Lord's days followed up with gracious days through the week. It is a pity, methinks, when the sabbath is past that the impressions of it should be over. Ought not the sweet savor of the sanctuary to be as ointment poured forth in all we say or do; that the world as well as our own hearts may know that we have been with Jesus? The captivity of Israel and Judah, in this one case of destroying the remains of idolatry, became a convincing proof how sincere they were in what they had embarked. I do not presume to say as much, but yet I venture to think that this remnant of Israel, which came up to Judah upon this solemn occasion, were led there by the Lord; and if so, were of the Lord's secret ones preserved amidst the rubbish hastening to captivity. It is worthy the Reader's observation, that the prophet Isaiah who ministered during the reign of Hezekiah, as well as before him, spake of this destruction of idols. And though no doubt the great feature of this man's prediction painted gospel times, yet not without an eye to the present circumstances also. Isaiah 2:20 .
The liberal supply which both the king and people made for the maintenance of the priests and Levites, is another proof how much the service of the sanctuary lay in the hearts of the people. Those only can have a real sense of the value of ordinances who have been deprived of them. I cannot pass over this long account of the liberality of the people towards their priests, without remarking the grateful conduct of Azariah the chief priest upon the occasion. We have not only had enough to eat (said he) but we have left plenty. It were devoutly to be wished that while the people are liberal to their ministers, all ministers were liberal to them. An idle priest is of all characters the most odious. And what Paul hath said of men in general, ought in a most special manner to be followed up in law concerning the supposed servants of the sanctuary; If any will not work neither should he eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 .
This is but a short account of Hezekiah's character, yet is it a very precious one. What he did was with a single eye to the glory of God. Reader! it is a great thing to have a heart not divided. Few know what this means. The Lord gives an account what it means when he saith concerning Israel; he is an empty vine; he bringeth forth fruit unto himself; their heart is divided. Hosea 10:1-2 .
I pass over several otherwise interesting reflections which this chapter ministereth unto in the zeal of Hezekiah and the people to put idolatry out of the land, in order to attend to what the Holy Ghost hath here so largely dwelt upon, the liberality of the people providing for their clergy, and the faithfulness of the clergy in the moderate use of the good things of God's providence, and their zeal and services in the Lord's work among the people. In whatever character the ministers of Jesus are considered as servants and laborers, as watchmen or stewards, they are uniformly held forth as exercising a most solemn and awful office, for the faithful account of which they are responsible at the judgment-seat of God. We watch (saith one of them, well taught in divine things) for your souls, as they that must give account, that we may do it with joy, and not with grief. Called to the great work and labor of the ministry; solemnly engaged in it; intrusted by the Lord with the charge of his word, his people, his house, his ordinances, and family; the grand object should be how to promote his glory in the salvation of men; and by every means in their power to win souls unto Christ. Every faithful servant is bound to advance his Lord's interests. How much more every faithful servant of Jesus, in that the salvation of the souls of poor perishing sinners is so intimately connected with the glory of his master. Oh! Lord Jesus! do thou in compassion to the perishing state of sinners all around, call such to thy service whose hearts, like thine own, may be moved with compassion in the contemplation of a lost world. And to those whom thou hast called, or shalt call, be pleased to give the sweet communications of thy Holy Spirit. Make them more anxious to win souls to Jesus than to win kingdoms to themselves. And let the same gracious frame of mind mark all thy sent servants, which the apostle, Paul felt when he could and did appeal to his people, and say, I will not be burdensome to you, for I seek not yours, but you. 2 Corinthians 12:14 .
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 31". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany