II Chronicles 30
From the Journals of Hezekiah
This year, though, we will celebrate Passover.
The city is alive with our brothers who have arrived from Israel, Ephraim, and Manasseh visiting for the Passover.
The priests started the celebration with a sacrifice to the Lord.
There is a rule, though that everyone who joins the celebration must clean themselves as God had taught us to. Many of those who traveled from faraway did not have time to clean themselves before the ceremony started.
To not discourage them, I prayed for them, saying, "May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone who sets his heart on seeking God--the Lord, the God of his fathers--even if he is not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary."
The Israelites who had journeyed to Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with us. This was so amazing. I wish you could have heard the great rejoicing while the Levites and priests sang to the Lord. Each of the seven days we celebrated at the temple and rejoiced to the songs and instruments of praise.
I encouraged the Levites to follow the law during the service of the Lord. They listened and did as the Lord asked, eating their assigned portion of meat and offering fellowship offerings and praises to the Lord, the God of our fathers.
Hah! We had such a wonderful time and our hearts were so full of joy everyone agreed we should continue the festival for another seven days.
I provided thousands of sacrifices, the official did the same. Any priest who hadn't cleaned themselves according to God's law had time to do so. And they all did, willingly. The priests stood to bless the people, and God heard them for their prayers reached heaven, his holy dwelling place.
I have heard that since the days of Solomon, son of David king of Israel, there has been nothing like this celebration praising the Lord in Jerusalem.
In a way I felt sad that the Israelites who lived before us had missed out on something so wonderful. But in another way, I'm glad the Almighty God can at last be honored as He should be.
1. What had Hezekiah never celebrated before?
2. Where all did the people come from to celebrate?
3. Who started the celebration?
4. Why did Hezekiah offer a special prayer for those who travelled?
5. After the seven days of celebration, what did the people decide to do?
6. What made Hezekiah feel sad?