II Chronicles 31
From the Journals of Hezekiah
All of Judah an many of our brothers from Israel had celebrated the Passover. We had not done so during my entire life.
The songs of praise, the celebration to our great God, had such a thrill to our souls we chose to carry on the celebration for a second week.
At the end of the celebration the men felt a strong desire to go to the towns of Judah. They smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. They destroyed the high places and the altars throughout Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh. Everything that dedicated worship to false gods had been destroyed.
When we finished, everyone returned to their own towns and to their own property. There was a different smell in the air. A fresh, sweet scent.
I did the research to find out how to restart worship at the temple the way God had instructed. I assigned the priests and Levites into groups, some had the assignment of offering the burnt offerings, fellowship offerings, others had to minister, to give thanks and to sing praises at the gates of the Lord's dwelling.
Hearing the praise singing is so striking to me. I hadn't grown up hearing this music, and never knew how such praise could touch our hearts. I too felt blessed and chose to contribute from my own possession for the morning and evening burnt offerings and for the burnt offerings on the Sabbaths, New Moons, and appointed feasts like they we'd been instructed to do in the Law of the Lord.
The prop living in Jerusalem hadn't given to the priests in a very long time. This was my father's doing. He taught them to worship false gods. Now that we are worshiping the God of Israel, I have instructed the people living in Jerusalem to give to the priests and Levites. Their money would allow the these men to dedicate their time to the work of God and not have to worry about growing their own food or earning money to support their families.
Do you know what happened! You can't see my happy spirit, but I am laughing with joy as I tell you this report. As soon as I sent the order to the people to give to the priests and Levites, the families gave the first of their grain, new wine, oil and honey, and all that the fields produced.
They brought a great amount, a gift of everything they owned. The men of Israel and Judah who lived in the towns of Judah also brought gifts of their herds and flocks and a gift of the holy things dedicated to the Lord their God. They piled all these gifts in huge heaps.
The gifts started arriving in the third month and finish din the seventh month. I and my officials went to the place. We praised the Lord and blessed the people of Israel for their loving gifts. This truly is how to praise God for all He has done.
I went to the chief priest Zadok and asks him about the gifts. Zadok answered, "Since the people began to bring their gifts to the temple of the Lord, we have had enough to eat and plenty to spare, because the Lord has blessed his people. Look see the great amount left over?"
Who could ask for anything more?
1. What inspired the people?
2. What did the people go do?
3. Hezekiah learned what to tell the Levites and priests. What did he command them to do?
4. What did Hezekiah commend the people to do?
5. What happened when the people did what Hezekiah asked?