Tag Archives: America and apsotsy

Hezekeiah:Reforms, Reinstituted, and Restoration

2 Chronicles 29-34; I have waited for two weeks before writing the blog on this portion of scripture. I have been enthralled with the passage! We use to play games with the name of Hezekiah, asking people to turn to the book; of course it sounds like a book in the Bible but is not. Hezekiah the King of Judah is a remarkable person. Beginning in chapter 29, we find this 25 year old King sitting on the throne of God’s people – Judah. As a pastor I have always been told “don’t do anything for the first couple of years when taking over a new church;” sounds like great advice. But this is not what King Hezekiah did – it says ” in the 1st year and the 1st month, he opened the door to the house of the Lord; then called the Levities and Priests on the carpet – saying “CONCECRATE YOURSELVES AND THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.” Talk about having some brass! Now in our current climate of Christianity, we have a lot of resistance to the younger generation of pastors and ministers. I found it ironic that the people God uses to bring revival and restoration to Judah and Israel is the kings, not the religious leaders. God used Kings like Asa, Jehoshaphat, Josiah and Hezekiah.

I pray for revival everyday for the church. I keep praying that God will somehow open the eyes and hearts of believers to the urgency of the Gospel in our world. 2 Chronicles 7:14 is a oft quoted formula prayer for revival. As I have mentioned before, I see that passage not as prescriptive but descriptive about revival. King Hezekiah didn’t wait around to be given permission to act as king; he jumped in and took command of the situation. What is interesting also is Hezekiah follows a corrupt king in Ahaz. I got to thinking about the revolving door of kings and couldn’t help but draw the analogy of revolving doors of pastors in churches. It seems that whoever follows; begins to deconstruct what was done, and then establish their own leadership system. This makes sense if and only if the previous leadership was in fact corrupt and needed changing. But many times what happen, is pastors and those in leadership scrap the organizational structure for a new one. If this is done enough times, the people grow weary of the constant change and bow out of listening to leadership as a whole.

Anyway, Hezekiah spends no time in restoring the LORD’s house, and tells the religious leaders to “clean up their act.” We have been taught that the Church or Christianity is the secret to restoring a nation, country, community or church back to God. Hummm? Really, then why is it that God had to use those outside the Church to fix the church? Revival is for the people who know God but have become disobedient and apathetic towards God and His requirement of obedience.

The condition of the religious leaders is disheartening; they were unclean – filthy, yet they stood in the honorable place of intercession for the people. The Church/Lord’s house had been neglected and was in ruins. The religious leaders cowered down and gave into Ahaz and Baal worship. Today as then we must have men of God who will stand in the Gap and stand up against the garbage of culture and Satan! Where are all the men of God today that will speak against the sins of the world and the sins of the congregation?

Hezekiah brought a wonderful revival to the land. He got the religious leaders right, cleansed the Lord’s House, then called people to come worship. There was something to come worship about now. Restoration of the Passover, a feast that was to be perpetually observed, hadn’t been for years. Hezekiah did what Revitalization Leadership does – make pastors and churches do what they already know to do, but aren’t!

A single word is repeated over and over in these chapters – CONSECRATION, CONSECRATE, CONSECRATED. The word means is more than -separated or sanctified. It carries the concept of cleansing that which is filthy, to purify, to make holy for the use of the Lord. Hezekiah wouldn’t let the religious leaders conduct services until they personally were consecrated. Here is this 25 year old King standing up to the vile filth of Baal worship and apostasy of the religious leaders and orchestrating an awesome revival, that the people wanted to extend another week. Oh, that we would hear a prophetic voice of God today for consecration before God. DO we really want revival? It starts with us!!

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Why? If you know these things You don’t act

Habakkuk is a book of prophecy, one of the 12 minor prophets. Habakkuk writes from a different perspective.  Rather than being a voice of God to the people, He addresses God about the people. The overwhelming word in the 1st chapter is Why? This in itself isn’t surprising, especially in our day and age. I find myself asking the WHY question over and over again. This calls into question the omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience of God. We feel so many times that if God is God why do the things happen as they do.

Habakkuk is asking God the very question in this short book. Now Habakkuk wrote about 605-586 BC, this is prior to the fall of Jerusalem and the deportation of the captives. It is an odd time because there was just a period of “good” because of Josiah. But Josiah has died around 609 BC, so things are relatively stable. Yet Habakkuk asks the LORD “how long will I cry for help and you not answer?” Many of us have been such a situation – we call on God, and it seems that He is turning a deaf ear to us. I know today I ask so many times “Lord what is going on?” I get the same response as Habakkuk got – 1:5 – look at the nations, observe! Be astonished and wonder! Because I am doing something in your days – you would not believe it if you were told. The world we live in is in great turmoil and upheaval. Where does it all end? How do we make sense out of all this? As a believer in Christ I must put my lack of understanding aside and know that the Father in Heaven has this! Even if He was to answer our questions and tell us what He is doing, we just wouldn’t get it.

With the many atrocities that happen routinely today, we ask, Why God have you not done something to stop or prevent this? I have had to understand that God isn’t necessarily ‘doing” as much as He is “allowing” us to be the brunt of our own poor choices. Now we all have read the end of the Bible, we know what is ultimately going to happen. But the questions comes too many times, Is this the End? Or is this just a bad time in our life?

God is going to raise up Babylon to be His instrument for punishment and discipline towards Judah. Judah didn’t heed the warning of the fall of Israel [Northern Kingdom] nor did they heed the warning of Nineveh falling [Assyrian capital] in 612 BC.

While it appears there is still hope of revival and renewal of the Kingdom of Judah, the plan is already in motion for Judah’s captivity. Habakkuk is in dialog with God about what is going to happen. There is no record that Habakkuk survived the 586 BC siege of Babylon. Yet God does give the hope of a future after the punishment events.

Habakkuk 2:4 is a wonderful verse that has made the carry into the New Testament. [Romans 1:17 and Galatians 3:11-12] The Just shall live by faith.

Questions – Will Judah be punished – yes. Will Babylon be punished yes. Is there a future – Yes. Even though Habakkuk doesn’t understand all the details or working of God, he has to live within that hope in God’s providential redemptive plan.

I find myself asking many of the same questions today about America. Is America going to be punished – yes. Will we survive – yes. One thing about Judah and America, neither nation will ever be the same after the disciplining of God. Many prophets/preachers have drawn a line in the sand to say that this is the End Times, and ultimately the end as Bible prophecy in Revelation speaks. But that is Man’s opinion, not God’s. Nations have risen and fallen, but God was still at work trying to redeem creation from the Fall. Now if this is the end as in Last days – then if we know that and have understood God is at work, why do we thwart God’s working? If this is the End Times or if it is just a time of pruning and purifying, so be it – We [I] must still live by Faith.

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