Thoughts on 2 Chronicles 29-30

2 Chronicles 29‑30  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 9
This chapter may be called the account of the re-consecration of the temple and of the priests and Levites; the trumpets and the instruments of David were there (ver. 31). Nor did Hezekiah fail to remember all Israel (ver. 24), and accordingly, in the following chap. 30., he sends to all Israel and Judah, and wrote to Ephraim and Manasseh, to the remainder of the ten tribes that were not carried into captivity by the King of Assyria (2 Kings 17:66In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. (2 Kings 17:6) ver.). Some scorned the invitation; but many came (vers. 10, 11). When the antitypical day comes, the scorners will have perished; for then all the tribes in various ways will come to the house of the Lord and to Jerusalem (see Psa. 107 which is a grateful remembrance and thanksgiving for the lovingkindness of the Lord: a song of praise from Israel restored). So in these chapters we have the re-opening of the doors of the temple, its re-consecration, and the recall of all Israel. What can these be but pledges from God of what is yet future, for the temple then standing was soon to be burnt by the Chaldeans, and the tribe of Judah to be scattered, as Israel was? why then such a great change, if it were not symbolical of a greater yet to come? The temple service was certainly restored because Hezekiah was good. But a deeper truth, I think, is to be apprehended—that Hezekiah was made a good king, because the Lord was going to give a little sample of His grace and power to be fully manifested in His time. Is this not intimated in the sudden preparation of the people's hearts, which humanly would require many years? “And Hezekiah rejoiced and all the people that God had prepared the people, for the thing was done suddenly” (chap. 29-36). Looking at the circumstances, their most universal idolatry and the national and truly quick response to Hezekiah's call, apparent in all the chapter (30.), are we not compelled to acknowledge the constraining hand of God, and while acknowledging, stand aside and humbly inquire what new act of grace and love is now to bring out more of God of which this rebellious and idolatrous people are to be the platform? Soon is the grace displayed. A sample, shall we say? of that eternal love that never changes and of that power before which all enemies are as chaff, is presented and each while prophetically it points to the future, historically it is the voice of a call. He Who can do this, can do much more. Repent for why will ye die? for God hath spoken and evil is determined against this nation, but if you turn from your evil, He will repent of the evil He thought to do (Jer. 18:88If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. (Jeremiah 18:8)). But the earnest call of the prophet and the gracious interpositions of God in delivering power were alike unheeded. “Make the heart of this people fat.” How true of the last days of the kingdom! How patiently God waited to be gracious!
All that were invited could not keep the passover of the appointed time, the 14th day of the first month; for the priests were not sufficiently sanctified, nor the people gathered. The king and princes had taken counsel to keep the passover in the second month. This was a provision made by the Lord for unavoidable failure. (See Num. 9) But even in the second month a multitude of the people, chiefly of the ten tribes, had not cleansed themselves; yet did they eat otherwise than it was written.
Hezekiah prayed for them; not that he was indifferent to their condition, but his only resource under the circumstances was to pray for them saying, “the good Lord pardon every one.” There might have been much ignorance in the people which were left of the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun. These tribes had forsaken the temple for many years; the sins of ignorance were forgiven: if not ignorance, it was presumption—no forgiveness for that (see Num. 15). This does not intimate that he knew of the uncleansed condition of some while at the feast; for the purport of his letters (ver. 1) was to come according to the law, and waiting for the second month was affording time to be cleansed. Rather, when he knew it after, and it could not humanly be remedied, and that some had eaten the passover otherwise than it was written, he had no resource but in prayer.