“Then he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them in the East Square, and said to them: “Hear me, Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from the holy place.” (2 Chronicles 29:4-5 NKJV).
Hezekiah was undoubtedly the most outstanding King of all the kings of Judah. The Scripture testifies of Hezekiah that: “He trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him.” (2 Kings 18:5 NKJV).
In the first month of Hezekiah’s reign, he began a great reformation in Judah which he started out from the house of God, among the servants of God.
Every true and lasting spiritual reformation always starts from the house of God (1 Pet. 4:17).
Before Hezekiah ascended the throne, the priests and the Levites and all the people of Judah had forsaken God, set up strange altars, idols and images in the house of God (the temple) and turned their faces away from the holy place.
Besides, the Scripture records that: “They have also shut up the doors of the vestibule, put out the lamps, and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel.” (2 Chro. 29:7 NKJV).
Apparently, in those days the house of God was in a very sorry, messy and awful state. Unfortunately, the spiritual state or condition of the Church today is nothing better.
But, what did Hezekiah do to bring reformation and how did he do it?
It is wisdom for us to find out and learn from it if we also have a true burden, passion or desire for a true spiritual reformation in our generation!
First, according to the Scripture, Hezekiah swung into action as soon as he ascended the throne (2 Chro. 29:3-6). Obviously, Hezekiah must have had a burning passion, a clear vision, and a definite plan or course of action for the reformation before he was presented with the opportunity to do it.
Before he became the King, Hezekiah must have sought the face of God privately, in his closet, for divine wisdom, strength, courage or boldness to bring about true reformation in Judah.
This is a lesson for everyone who wants to be a reformer today!
While you may not yet have the authority or opportunity to bring about radical positive changes in the sorry system you are now, you can begin by seeking the face of God in fasting and prayer for divine wisdom and courage, and also begin to draw out a divine and definite plan or course of action you will pursue when you are finally presented with the position, authority and opportunity for reformation.
The Scripture admonishes: “Prepare your work outside, get everything ready for you in the field; and after that build your house.” (Prov. 24:27 RSV).
Second, the Scripture bears testimony to Hezekiah’s moral uprightness, right conduct, good motives, faith in God, reverence and love for God.
The Scripture testifies of Hezekiah in 2 Kings 18:
5 He trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him.
6 For he held fast to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses. (NKJV).
Also in 2 Chronicles 29:
1 Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah.
2 And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father David had done.
3 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the LORD and repaired them. (NKJV).
You don’t have any moral or spiritual ground to call anyone to repentance when you are continually living in disobedience to God’s Word.
The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 7:
3 “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?
4 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?
5 “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (NKJV).
Third, Hezekiah called a solemn or sacred assembly. He gathered together the priests and the Levites in the house of God and admonished them, saying, “Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from the holy place.” (2 Chro. 29:5 NKJV).
Frankly speaking, we have had enough entertainments, jamborees and festivities in the house of God. Calling a sacred or solemn assembly where and when a call to repentance and holiness would take priority or precedence over other things is a prerequisite for true revival or reformation.
The time is certainly ripe for us to: “Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the people, Sanctify the congregation… Let the priests, who minister to the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, “Spare Your people, O LORD, And do not give Your heritage to reproach, That the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?'” (Joel 2:15-17 NKJV).
Apparently, there are lots of rubbish and filth to carry out of the holy place today as in the days of Hezekiah.
As a believer, you are the house of God. The Scripture queries, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16 RSV).
Therefore, the reformation starts from your heart. Anything that is not found in Christ that is in your heart is a rubbish or filth that you must get rid of. Don’t allow lust, bitterness, grudge, hatred, malice, evil thought, pride, envy, jealousy, anger, unforgiveness and such things to pile up in your heart.
Carry out the rubbish today from the holy place!
Sadly, the church today is also full of rubbish and filth. Any human tradition, custom or culture, any religious rites, rules or regulations, or any human philosophy, doctrine, view or opinion that is contrary to the teaching of Christ and His early apostles is nothing but rubbish and filth that we must carry out of the church today.
But, you must first carry out the rubbish and filth in your heart before seeking to carry them out of the church. This is why Hezekiah instructed the priests and the Levites to sanctify themselves first before seeking to sanctify the temple (2 Chro. 29:5).
Beloved, there is undoubtedly an urgent need for reformation in our generation, but it has to start from the house of God, from the hearts of God’s servants and from the hearts of true believers.
Personal repentance and revival always precedes national or corporate repentance and revival!
We have certainly seen and had enough of greedy and eloquent prophets and preachers who are specialists in dishing out soothing, enticing and swelling but empty prophecies and messages to undiscerning souls in God’s house.
Where are the true reformers today?
Where are the “Hezekiahs” of our generation?
Where are God’s servants who will carry out the rubbish that has piled up in God’s house today?
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, here I am today; make me a true reformer, the Hezekiah of this generation, that will teach and lead others to carry out the rubbish that has piled up in Your house, in Jesus’ name. Amen.