The Central Role of the King
John Bennett, Pinxton, Nottingham [SEE PROFILE BELOW]
It is worth noting the central position that Hezekiah plays. We read:
- ‘he brought in the priests and the Levites’, 2 Chr. 19. 4;
- ‘And he commanded the priests’, v. 21;
- ‘the king commanded’, v. 24;
- ‘And he set the Levites in the house of the Lord’, v. 25;
- ‘And Hezekiah commanded’, v. 27;
- ‘Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded’, v. 30;
What Hezekiah was doing was not establishing his own position and rule but carrying out that which was the mind and will of God. This is confirmed in verse 25, ‘and he set the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet: for so was the commandment of the Lord by his prophets’. The lesson that we can learn in this is that revival in the things of God starts with an adherence to the word of God.
‘The king and all that were present with him bowed themselves, and worshipped’, 2 Chr. 29. 29.
We might comment here upon the further evidence of Hezekiah’s commitment as he leads the nation in worship. They see the king bow in worship before the God of heaven. It tells us too of Hezekiah’s appreciation of the character of God. He bows before One who is worthy of every expression of worship. Hezekiah acknowledges the worth, the greatness of God. It is interesting, as we read further on in the history of this king, that he did not bow to the demands of the king of Assyria. He would not bow to an earthly potentate, to an ungodly man, a Gentile. His kingdom may be overrun and his capital under siege but he would not bow to Sennacherib. The only expression of Hezekiah’s will is that he will bow before the God of heaven.
Finally, let us appreciate Hezekiah’s offering - 370 burnt offerings, 3,600 consecrated things. To be able to offer all these animals had cost him both in monetary terms as well as in preparation beforehand. There is a real spiritual lesson here. If our worship has become ritualistic and repetitive might it be because we have made no effort to prepare beforehand. Where we have nothing to say to God about His Son it is often on account of the fact that we have not meditated upon the Saviour during the preceding day or week. We should come with full hearts and, figuratively, with full hands ready, as priests, to offer something to God in remembrance of His Son.
What can we learn from Hezekiah’s revival? There are vital parts to any revival and these are clearly seen in the work of God accomplished through Hezekiah. We are fools indeed to dismiss any of them and we would be wise indeed to pay full heed to them if we wish to see God do the same in our day. Here is a list of those principles clearly evident from what God has chosen to put on record here concerning divine revival. May we have the grace and wisdom to note them well.
- It starts by getting back to the simplicity of the word of God and seeking to put into practice its solemn truths;
- It starts at the house of God by reestablishing the worship of God, providing a focus for the prayer life of the people of God, and setting up a testimony to the power of God;
- It demands personal holiness in the saints and in their handling of the things of the Lord;
- It requires men and women who will give themselves to the word of God in order that they might know its teaching and be able to apply those teachings in the circumstances that prevail;
- It requires sensitivity to sin and a thorough confession of sin as an essential pre-requisite;
- It necessitates a heart for the saints and a heart for the lost.