Hezekiah Calls The Nation to Celebrate The Passover

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Stubbornness

This passage finds Hezekiah calling the whole nation back to the celebration of the Passover, the feast that depicts Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God. It had been delayed because many of the priests were still unclean and not everyone in Judah had come to Jerusalem for the festival (vv. 1-4). It was tragic that the spiritual leaders were responsible for delaying this event. Everyone from Beersheba in the south to Dan in the north were invited.

It had been a long time since the people had celebrated the Passover (v. 5) so Hezekiah sent his messengers everywhere in Israel and Judah commanding the people to come (v. 6). He told them not to follow their ancestors who were unfaithful to the Lord and He had to punish them because of it (v. 7). He said for them not to be stubborn but to decide now  to obey the Lord and worship Him in the temple (v. 8). For if you return to the Lord your brethren and your children will find compassion with their captors and be returned to this land (v. 9).

The messengers went to every town in Ephraim and Manasseh and as far north as Zebulun but everyone laughed and mocked them (v. 10). However, a few of the people humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem (v. 11). God also made everyone in Judah eager to do what Hezekiah and his officials had commanded (v. 12).

Application

The people who turned down the invitation missed a special opportunity. When God invites me to be a part of what He is doing I want to be a part of it.

II Chronicles 30:1-12 (English Standard Version)

Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem to keep the Passover to the LORD, the God of Israel. For the king and his princes and all the assembly in Jerusalem had taken counsel to keep the Passover in the second month-- for they could not keep it at that time because the priests had not consecrated themselves in sufficient number, nor had the people assembled in Jerusalem-- and the plan seemed right to the king and all the assembly. So they decreed to make a proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, that the people should come and keep the Passover to the LORD, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem, for they had not kept it as often as prescribed. So couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with letters from the king and his princes, as the king had commanded, saying, "O people of Israel, return to the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that he may turn again to the remnant of you who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. Do not be like your fathers and your brothers, who were faithless to the LORD God of their fathers, so that he made them a desolation, as you see. Do not now be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the LORD and come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever, and serve the LORD your God, that his fierce anger may turn away from you. For if you return to the LORD, your brothers and your children will find compassion with their captors and return to this land. For the LORD your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him." So the couriers went from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun, but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them. However, some men of Asher, of Manasseh, and of Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the LORD.

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