People often struggle with change.
But the truth is, as life progresses
the thing that we can most count on...
the thing that most often stays the same,
is the consistency of change.
And in our present day,
as we watch this political scene,
it's not unusual to see
a swing from one extreme opinion
But as much as we might want them,
the changes of a new administration
are slow to take effect.
Even when we tire of the same direction
that a flawed human leader may take us,
a newly elected flawed human
cannot possibly get everything right.
But of course, we can all sit back
and say how we would do things...
if we were in charge.
And I bet that's what often
went through the mind of Hezekiah
as he grew up under the leadership
of his father Ahaz, the King of Judah.
For Hezekiah most likely knew
that he was to be crowned as heir...
the successor to the throne.
In fact, I'd be willing to bet on it.
Even that he had a plan all worked out.
I believe that he had in mind
exactly what he would do the very day
that crown rested upon his head
and he sat as ruler over Judah.
How can I be so confident?
Simply because his father,
King Ahaz, was recorded as
doing evil in the sight of the Lord.
So Ahaz gathered the articles
of the house of God,
cut in pieces the articles of the house of God,
shut up the doors of the house of the Lord,
and made for himself altars
in every corner of Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 28:24 NKJV
And then we watch his reign
turn to ruins until his son is crowned.
And this is recorded
as Hezekiah's first deed...
In the first year of his reign,
in the first month,
he opened the doors
of the house of the Lord and
2 Chronicles 29:3 NKJV
It seems determined, doesn't it?
As if, he didn't wait a day.
In fact, a bit later, we read that the priests
began restoration on the first day
and just sixteen days later
the temple is restored and opened.
Hezekiah is clearly a man of firsts...
first day, first year, first month.
Hezekiah is clearly a man of action.
Hezekiah is clearly a man of God.
And the people begin to take notice.
For then he reinstates
all the priests and Levites
who have not been taken captive.
And He invites all of Judah,
and all of Israel
to come and worship.
He declares the feasts, and the Passover
to begin again...
the celebrations and commands
that God had put into place
in the days of Moses.
So the service of the house of the Lord
was set in order.
Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced
that God had prepared the people,
since the events took place so suddenly.
2 Chronicles 29:35-36
Clearly, these people Hezekiah led
For they rejoiced that the events
took place so suddenly.
They celebrated the change
Hezekiah was a man of firsts.
Hezekiah was a man of action.
Hezekiah was a man of God.
After the Passover celebration
the people were so filled with gladness
that of their own accord...
when all this was finished,
all Israel who were present
went out to the cities of Judah
and broke the sacred pillars in pieces,
cut down the wooden images,
and threw down the high places
and the altars... (from surrounding cities)
until they had utterly destroyed them all.
2 Chronicles 31:1
Hezekiah had not even commanded
that they do so.
But he had directed them
to turn their hearts back to the Lord.
And then he asked that they bring
their first fruits...
the first portion of their harvest,
the first offspring of their animals,
the first tenth of their income...
before they consumed any themselves.
This was to be given to the priest and Levites
who ministered to the Lord
on their behalf.
As soon as the commandment
was circulated, the children of Israel
brought in abundance the firstfruits
of grain and wine, oil and honey,
and of all the produce of the field;
and they brought in abundantly
the tithe of everything.
2 Chronicles 31:5
Oh how I admire these people...
for they surely had made a change.
Even when we as people...
struggle with change.
This was a generation
that had never really known God.
For they grew up under King Ahaz.
And the king before him,
who was evil as well.
It had been quite a while
since the nations of Judah and Israel
followed the Lord.
But these people had a great leader.
These people recognized the change in him.
And they began to follow their leader...
even in their actions.
They became people of firsts.
They became people of action.
They became people of God.
They gave the first of all they had
as soon as the command was given...
and they did so abundantly.
Because they saw their king do so...
with all his heart, from the very first day.
They were moved to action
tearing down altars to false gods
because they saw their king do so...
as he reconstructed the house of God
and removed all the rubbish
and evil from it.
They came and worshipped the Lord God
and became His people because
they saw their king do so...
bowing down and singing before Him.
O how wonderful it would be
if we had a leader of this nation
who would set such an example...
the changes we would see.
But if not in our government,
then certainly in our local church.
Let us look for a place to worship where
the pastor is a person of firsts.
the minister is a person of action.
the priest is a person of God.
For surely in that place
we will find gladness.
And we can then follow the leader
and give to the Lord
in unchanging devotion to God.
Word of God
train me, today...
to put You first, before myself,
and even the distractions of this world.
to faithfully give to You the firstfruits
of my increase, and do so abundantly.
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