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All idolatry had to be surrendered before Judah (and parts of Israel) could be ready for battle.  King Hezekiah was up to the task.

Now when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities.  And Hezekiah appointed the courses of the priests and the Levites after their courses, every man according to his service, the priests and Levites for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister, and to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the tents of the LORD.  He appointed also the king’s portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the LORD.  Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD.  2 Chronicles 31:1-4

Everything was done to restore the belief in the God of Abraham, and in the Law of Moses.  All the ordinances were obeyed to build faith in God above all else.

And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.  And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of holy things which were consecrated unto the LORD their God, and laid them by heaps.  In the third month they began to lay the foundation of the heaps, and finished them in the seventh month.  And when Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed the LORD, and his people Israel.  Then Hezekiah questioned with the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps.  And Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok answered him, and said, Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the LORD, we have had enough to eat, and have left plenty: for the LORD hath blessed his people; and that which is left is this great store.  2 Chronicles 31:5-10

When the people abandoned their false religions they also surrendered the appropriate offerings to the sacrifice.  Yet they suffered no shortages, and prospered more when they had given.  Even the leaders were impressed with their generous giving.

Then Hezekiah commanded to prepare chambers in the house of the LORD; and they prepared them,  And brought in the offerings and the tithes and the dedicated things faithfully: over which Cononiah the Levite was ruler, and Shimei his brother was the next.  And Jehiel, and Azaziah, and Nahath, and Asahel, and Jerimoth, and Jozabad, and Eliel, and Ismachiah, and Mahath, and Benaiah, were overseers under the hand of Cononiah and Shimei his brother, at the commandment of Hezekiah the king, and Azariah the ruler of the house of God.  And Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, the porter toward the east, was over the freewill offerings of God, to distribute the oblations of the LORD, and the most holy things.  And next him were Eden, and Miniamin, and Jeshua, and Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah, in the cities of the priests, in their set office, to give to their brethren by courses, as well to the great as to the small.  2 Chronicles 31:11-15

As the people had given faithfully, the priests also conformed to their assigned roles according to the Law.  The offerings were prepared appropriately.

Beside their genealogy of males, from three years old and upward, even unto every one that entereth into the house of the LORD, his daily portion for their service in their charges according to their courses;  Both to the genealogy of the priests by the house of their fathers, and the Levites from twenty years old and upward, in their charges by their courses;  And to the genealogy of all their little ones, their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, through all the congregation: for in their set office they sanctified themselves in holiness:  Also of the sons of Aaron the priests, which were in the fields of the suburbs of their cities, in every several city, the men that were expressed by name, to give portions to all the males among the priests, and to all that were reckoned by genealogies among the Levites.  And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God.  And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.  2 Chronicles 31:16-21

Every one of the families of god’s servants received their portions.  Hezekiah submitted himself to God in everything he did, and God gave him his prosperity.  This is a pattern that remains valid today.  We will fail to stay on this path, but we will be reminded by scriptures to turn back when we stray.  We can turn to God the Father as Jesus taught us,  to repent and to let him help us to come back. 

Isn’t it good to have the New Testament with all its letters of instruction to teach us?  We can go straight to the proper source for help when we fall.  Hezekiah was teaching Judah this same lesson of repentance and correction.  They needed a teacher like him until the Lord himself came to teach us.  Now we will see if Judah is prepared to stand in the face of a challenge.



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Young Hezekiah has initiated a revival of godly worship in Judah.  Sacrifices were made and the celebration of song was restored in the land.  There were still more observations to be restored, and Judah went ahead with their revival. 

And 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 unto the LORD God of Israel.  For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month.  For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.  And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation.  So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written.  2 Chronicles 30:1-5

The new king has reinstituted the Passover feast, which is still significant to the Messiah.  This proclamation is not limited to Judah either, for he is offering revival to the northern tribes of Israel as well. 

 So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria.  And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the LORD God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see.  Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.  For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.  2 Chronicles 30:6-9

Hezikiah is boldly declaring the superiority of God to this brethren to the north.  He is not unforgiving or judgmental of those who left Jerusalem so long ago.  The messengers get the kind of reception you might expect from Israel.

So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them.  Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.  Also in Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the LORD.  And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation.  And they arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kidron.  Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the LORD.  2 Chronicles 30:10-15

The people of Israel mock and scorn the message of repentance, but not all of them.  Some do repent and return to Jerusalem for the Passover.  Even today some of Israel are coming to the lamb of our Passover who is also the Lion of Judah.  Note that Yeshua himself wrote letters to seven churches in Revelation, knowing that some were backslidden.  How reassuring to know that he will write to the weak churches to reach the few who are still ready to hear him.  Even the priests who were falling behind were moved to repent and serve again.  Common people who will tear down altars and idols can change the church.

  And they stood in their place after their manner, according to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood, which they received of the hand of the Levites.  For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore the Levites had the charge of the killing of the passovers for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the LORD.  For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good LORD pardon every one That prepareth his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. 2 Chronicles 30:16-19

People were not purified properly but the Levites helped with their sacrifices.  No one was left out.  They asked God for forgiveness for this uncleanness in this special case.  If they were unclean by ritual, their hearts were clean by true repentance.

And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.  And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the LORD.  And Hezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the LORD: and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession to the LORD God of their fathers.  And the whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days: and they kept other seven days with gladness.  For Hezekiah king of Judah did give to the congregation a thousand bullocks and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave to the congregation a thousand bullocks and ten thousand sheep: and a great number of priests sanctified themselves. 2 Chronicles 30:20-24

God responded by healing people.  To be forgiven and to receive healing is motivation to celebration.  People released their secret sins and were made joyful.  People of every station made themselves holy again in this revival.

And all the congregation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the congregation that came out of Israel, and the strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelt in Judah, rejoiced.  So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem.  Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy dwelling place, even unto heaven. 2 Chronicles 30:25-27

Hezakiah has moved the people to faith, and God has answered their prayers.  The nation is full of joy.  When hard times come they will have this joy to reinforce their faith.


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The Old Testament seems like a pattern of failure, doesn’t it?  Yet while all have sinned, some find a way to shine.  This is a good study for Christians because we all pass through good and bad trials.  We all fail as these kings did, but we all have the hope of redemption.  We live a pattern of failure like these men of flesh, but we see opportunities to turn in repentance as they did.  They heard the same gospel when Jesus was crucified and joined them with his testimony.  If they recognized him as Messiah, they will be there with us.  We may be surprised by some who have decided to turn at that time, even as some are surprised to see us serving Yeshua.  Judah had a king in the time of their trials that learned to lean on God.

Hezekiah began to reign when he was five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah.  And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.  He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them.  And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street,  2 Chronicles 29:1-4

Was this Zechariah the prophet who was Hezekiah’s grandfather?  What a great start on a Godly life path!  He was ready to lead at the age of twenty five, prepared as Timothy was also at an earl age.

And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place.  For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned their backs.  Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place unto the God of Israel.  Wherefore the wrath of the LORD was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes.  For, lo, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this.  Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the LORD God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us.  My sons, be not now negligent: for the LORD hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense.  2 Chronicles 29:5-11

When your family has been taken as prisoners of war this is a good time to listen to our godly king.  Perhaps he does have a better idea for your life.  The priesthood of God was aroused to provide the service of the temple.

Then the Levites arose, Mahath the son of Amasai, and Joel the son of Azariah, of the sons of the Kohathites: and of the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi, and Azariah the son of Jehalelel: and of the Gershonites; Joah the son of Zimmah, and Eden the son of Joah:  And of the sons of Elizaphan; Shimri, and Jeiel: and of the sons of Asaph; Zechariah, and Mattaniah:  And of the sons of Heman; Jehiel, and Shimei: and of the sons of Jeduthun; Shemaiah, and Uzziel.  And they gathered their brethren, and sanctified themselves, and came, according to the commandment of the king, by the words of the LORD, to cleanse the house of the LORD.  2 Chronicles 29:12-15

They came by the orders of their king, and in compliance with the word of their God.  They were prepared by a double testimony to move ahead.

And the priests went into the inner part of the house of the LORD, to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the LORD into the court of the house of the LORD. And the Levites took it, to carry it out abroad into the brook Kidron.  Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of the LORD: so they sanctified the house of the LORD in eight days; and in the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end.  Then they went in to Hezekiah the king, and said, We have cleansed all the house of the LORD, and the altar of burnt offering, with all the vessels thereof, and the shewbread table, with all the vessels thereof.  Moreover all the vessels, which king Ahaz in his reign did cast away in his transgression, have we prepared and sanctified, and, behold, they are before the altar of the LORD.  2 Chronicles 29:16-19

Have you ever noticed how your car runs better after you clean it inside and out?  How much more the temple of God when it reflects the care and attention it should receive.  Break out the cleaning materials of the heart and soul to purify the living temple as well.  God recognizes the care we give to this temple.

Then Hezekiah the king rose early, and gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the LORD.  And they brought seven bullocks, and seven rams, and seven lambs, and seven he goats, for a sin offering for the kingdom, and for the sanctuary, and for Judah. And he commanded the priests the sons of Aaron to offer them on the altar of the LORD.  So they killed the bullocks, and the priests received the blood, and sprinkled it on the altar: likewise, when they had killed the rams, they sprinkled the blood upon the altar: they killed also the lambs, and they sprinkled the blood upon the altar.  And they brought forth the he goats for the sin offering before the king and the congregation; and they laid their hands upon them:  And the priests killed them, and they made reconciliation with their blood upon the altar, to make an atonement for all Israel: for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel.  2 Chronicles 29:20-24

The neglected place of worship now witnessed the neglected services of offering being restored within it.  The Lord of the house observes as well, and his spirit inspires the song of joy.

And he set the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet: for so was the commandment of the LORD by his prophets.  And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.  And Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering upon the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the LORD began also with the trumpets, and with the instruments ordained by David king of Israel.  And all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: and all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.  And when they had made an end of offering, the king and all that were present with him bowed themselves, and worshipped.  Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the LORD with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped.  2 Chronicles 29:25-30

If you can visit a Messianic Christian fellowship, witness the joy that Jews find in their Messiah.  The worship songs and dance are about the living God, and there is life in the music.  For Judah that life was restored by sacrifice, and revived in the joy of worship.

Then Hezekiah answered and said, Now ye have consecrated yourselves unto the LORD, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of the LORD. And the congregation brought in sacrifices and thank offerings; and as many as were of a free heart burnt offerings.  And the number of the burnt offerings, which the congregation brought, was threescore and ten bullocks, an hundred rams, and two hundred lambs: all these were for a burnt offering to the LORD.  And the consecrated things were six hundred oxen and three thousand sheep.  But the priests were too few, so that they could not flay all the burnt offerings: wherefore their brethren the Levites did help them, till the work was ended, and until the other priests had sanctified themselves: for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the priests.  And also the burnt offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace offerings, and the drink offerings for every burnt offering. So the service of the house of the LORD was set in order.  And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly.  2 Chronicles 29:31-36

As many as were of a free heart made burnt offerings.  We need to have a heart free of guilt and sin to freely give a sacrifice of praise.  It appears that Judah was largely ready to worship in spirit and truth by their response.  They overwhelmed the priests with the workload.  It seems the Levites were more prepared to help than the priests, having their hearts prepared for the service.  It is possible for the body of Christ to be so prepared to serve too.  Remember that Joseph and Daniel were not priests, but gave secular service in government.  Even a politician can be righteous…oy vey!


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Godly men pray for their children to discover the relationship with the living God.  It provides strength to endure the trials of life.  This is an entrance exam for a much greater life to follow.  This is the only critical decision we will ever face in this life.  Sometimes it falls to the grandchildren to rediscover the wisdom of their parent’s parents though. 

Jotham was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok.  And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah did: howbeit he entered not into the temple of the LORD. And the people did yet corruptly.  He built the high gate of the house of the LORD, and on the wall of Ophel he built much.  Moreover he built cities in the mountains of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers.  He fought also with the king of the Ammonites, and prevailed against them. And the children of Ammon gave him the same year an hundred talents of silver, and ten thousand measures of wheat, and ten thousand of barley. So much did the children of Ammon pay unto him, both the second year, and the third.  2 Chronicles 27:1-5

What if a king does right and the people continue in sin?  The king prospers, and his nation is strong during this time.

So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God.  Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars, and his ways, lo, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.  He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem.  And Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Ahaz his son reigned in his stead. 2 Chronicles 27:6-9

Jotham is a good king who enjoyed sixteen years of victory.  This is a short story but what more needs to be said?  He died young, but is that a disappointment?  When God is satisfied with your service you may have an early appointment with him.  An appointment with God is never a disappointment.  Jotham passed his entrance exam and was promoted.  He lives.  His son made other choices though.


Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father:  For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim.  Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.  He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.  Wherefore the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter.  2 Chronicles 28:1-5

Another king gets sixteen years to demonstrate the way to his people.  He demonstrates every way that does not work, and God demonstrates how that turns out.  Israel was the example of sin to Ahaz, and even they are stronger than Judah now. 

For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant men; because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers.  And Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, slew Maaseiah the king’s son, and Azrikam the governor of the house, and Elkanah that was next to the king.  And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand, women, sons, and daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria.  2 Chronicles 28:6-8

Two hundred thousand citizens are dragged away as prisoners by their Jewish brethren.  Israel’s rebellion against the heirs of David is complete now, but God has something to say.

But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was Oded: and he went out before the host that came to Samaria, and said unto them, Behold, because the LORD God of your fathers was wroth with Judah, he hath delivered them into your hand, and ye have slain them in a rage that reacheth up unto heaven.  And now ye purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondmen and bondwomen unto you: but are there not with you, even with you, sins against the LORD your God?  Now hear me therefore, and deliver the captives again, which ye have taken captive of your brethren: for the fierce wrath of the LORD is upon you.  2 Chronicles 28:9-11

Israel that sacrificed to Baalim was warned that their sins did not make them better than their Jewish neighbors.  Judah was being punished by God, and Israel was also stepping into the crosshairs of God’s wrath.  Fortunately some of their leaders could heed the warning.

Then certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against them that came from the war,  And said unto them, Ye shall not bring in the captives hither: for whereas we have offended against the LORD already, ye intend to add more to our sins and to our trespass: for our trespass is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel.  So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the congregation.  And the men which were expressed by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all that were naked among them, and arrayed them, and shod them, and gave them to eat and to drink, and anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them upon asses, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brethren: then they returned to Samaria.  2 Chronicles 28:12-15

Israel remembered enough about the Lord to be warned about their idolatry, and repented of their mistreatment of the people of Judah.  They let the people be comforted and returned to their own territory.  King Ahaz is not so sensitive to the danger of his idolatry though.  He is aware of his vulnerability and asks for help from the wrong source.

At that time did king Ahaz send unto the kings of Assyria to help him.  For again the Edomites had come and smitten Judah, and carried away captives.  The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the low country, and of the south of Judah, and had taken Bethshemesh, and Ajalon, and Gederoth, and Shocho with the villages thereof, and Timnah with the villages thereof, Gimzo also and the villages thereof:  and they dwelt there.  For the LORD brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the LORD.  And Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria came unto him, and distressed him, but strengthened him not.  2 Chronicles 28:16-20

So Ahaz asks the king of Syria for help against his many new enemies.  So the Syrians came but they just added to his problems.  He had provoked the Lord again by asking the Syrians to help, and they too became a threat.

For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of the LORD, and out of the house of the king, and of the princes, and gave it unto the king of Assyria: but he helped him not.  And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD: this is that king Ahaz.  For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel.  And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem.  And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incense unto other gods, and provoked to anger the LORD God of his fathers.  2 Chronicles 28:21-25

If withholding the tithe is robbing God, how much more is it to raid the temple treasures to bribe heathen armies to rescue you?  When his Syrian gods fail, he has a tantrum and closes the temple and adds to his idolatry.  Now we have seen two kings rule with two different solutions to the same problem.  Each had sixteen years and found different results.  Ahaz was not buried among the kings.

Now the rest of his acts and of all his ways, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.  And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, even in Jerusalem: but they brought him not into the sepulchres of the kings of Israel: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.  2 Chronicles 28:26-27


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Judah has been blessed with godly kings, but they lack endurance.  I can relate in my Christian experience as I grow older.  I find that my initial zeal is fading as pain and loss seem to steal my joy.  I am tempted to be bitter and angry with others, not reflecting the promises that make my future bright.  We should have assurance after knowing the messiah, but the Old Testament is a reminder to us of the end of unbelief.  King Uzziah will follow his father’s leadership now.

Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah.  He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.  Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.  And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did.  And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.  2 Chronicles 26:1-5

I notice the connection between cause and effect as God honors the faithful king.  Uzziah grows and Judah prospers in this season.  This king managed the economy as well as his faith.

And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines.  And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians that dwelt in Gurbaal, and the Mehunims.  And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly.  Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them.  Also he built towers in the desert, and digged many wells: for he had much cattle, both in the low country, and in the plains: husbandmen also, and vine dressers in the mountains, and in Carmel: for he loved husbandry.  2 Chronicles 26:6-10

Uzziah has understanding of livestock and agriculture as his forefathers did.  David was a shepherd who learned how to care for his people as well.  And like David he managed the military defenses of Judah well.

Moreover Uzziah had an host of fighting men, that went out to war by bands, according to the number of their account by the hand of Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the ruler, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king’s captains.  The whole number of the chief of the fathers of the mighty men of valour were two thousand and six hundred.  And under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, that made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy.  And Uzziah prepared for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones.  And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong.  2 Chronicles 26:11-15

He was helped until he was strong.  Now his help is not there for him.  Has God changed?  Something has changed.

But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.  And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men:  And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God.  Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar.  And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.  2 Chronicles 26:16-20

Uzziah has decided to trespass in the house of God to perform a sacrifice reserved for the priests.  Azariah the high priest and other Levites resisted his trespass.  Uzziah expresses anger with the priests instead of acknowledging the authority of the priesthood and of the Lord.  God still wielded his authority and Uzziah tasted the wrath of the Lord in his infection with leprosy.  He was unclean to be in the temple, and he knew he was punished by God immediately.

And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.  Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write.  So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, He is a leper: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead.  2 Chronicles 26:21-23

Leprosy was an unclean condition; being contagious all were shunned from society and from the temple.  Uzziah was buried with the kings as only one transgression separated him from a righteous life. 

We watch our friends and family avoid prosperity in Christ and wonder how they can miss such an obvious blessing.  Even with Christ some allow the flesh to rule a part of their lives.  Some sin is like the insect life of Middle America.  Chiggers and ticks are more annoying than more painful varmints because they will not stop their attack.  Most poisonous creatures are not aggressive, and strike only in self defense.  The smaller beasts are seeking blood and will not avoid confrontation.  They bite and leave long term memories. 

In the flesh of man, the smaller sins may do the greatest damage, as do the ticks and chiggers.  They are a part of nature, but we need the supernatural to deliver early treatment.  Without treatment lime disease (like leprosy) can cause death. 

Under the law judgment was swift and final.  Under free will we can reject the wisdom of God to be self willed to death.  It’s only natural.  Under grace we can turn to the great physician Yeshua for daily treatment of our minor failures.  It’s superior to natural.