Hezekiah seeks to destroy all idols. He inspired the people, renewing Burnt Offerings . . . set feasts (II Chr. 31:3), as well as commanding them to tithe and support the priests so that the people might be encouraged in the Law of the Lord (31:4), firstfruits, tithes, and many Biblical reforms. Hezeiah . . . wrought that which was good and right and Truth . . . in every work . . . and in the Law, and in the Commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered (31:20-21). A powerful enemy rises up and threatens to destroy the nation of Israel. Notice which prophet Hezekiah joins forces with to pray for the Lord's protection (32:20-22).
Hezekiah appealed to the people to supply the financial needs of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the Law of the Lord. . . . the children of Israel brought in abundance . . . and the tithe of all things. . . . The Lord hath blessed His people (II Chr. 31:4-5,10). When Jerusalem was cleansed of idolatry, the tithes poured in from all parts of the nation. The king was amazed at the overabundance when the people were in a right relationship with God. Faith in the ever-present God inspires worship, and faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). This, in turn, encourages spontaneous generous giving.
After Hezekiah's death Manasseh reigned and committed more evil acts than any king before him. After being captured, bound, chained and imprisoned, when he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself . . . and prayed unto Him (33:12-13). He repented, was miraculously set free, and regained his throne. He repaired the Altar of the Lord . . . and commanded Judah to serve the Lord (33:16), but it was too late for him to restore the nation to worship the One True God. His evil son Amon was murdered and the people . . . made Josiah his son king (33:25) when he was only 8-years-old.
Repentance and cleansing from sin are followed by a desire for fellowship with God. This inevitably results in various offerings and worship since all offerings are directly related to the basic principle of love. What God wants first is not what you have; He wants you and me first, then our offerings are acceptable.
In your giving, recognize that you are giving to the Lord what belongs to Him. We are merely His ambassadors and responsible as His stewards to reach the world with His Word (Matt. 28:18-20) through every means that is available.
Thought for Today:
Giving in order to gain financial prosperity from God is motivated by greed and never acceptable. But the Scripture teaches us that: Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8).
By Hezekiah's offering of the king's portion (share) of his substance for the Burnt Offerings (II Chr. 31:3). Burnt Offerings were wholly consumed, symbolic of total surrender, and offered as a sweet savour to the Lord (Lev. 8:28; Num. 15:3). God offered His King's portion in Christ Jesus who, in total surrender on the cross, was wholly consumed, even unto death. Christ . . . hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour (Eph. 5:2).
31:10 store =abundance; 31:14 oblations =free will offerings; 31:16 courses =assigned tasks; 31:18 set office =appointed office; 31:19 every several city =every city; 32:6 comfortably =encouragingly; 32:8 rested themselves =elied; 32:17 rail on =belittle; denounce; 32:18 affright =frighten; 33:11 fetters =chains.
Pray for Government Official: Rep. Steve Israel (NY) • Country: Luxembourg (429,000) in western Europe • Major languages: Luxembourgish and German • Religious freedom • 84% Roman Catholic; 2% Protestant; .1% Eastern Orthodox • Prayer Suggestion: Intercede fervently in prayer for others (James 5:16).
Optional Reading: 2 Corinthians 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:31