In every true reformation, the doctrine of the atonement must be emphasized. God’s grace will meet us in our deepest difficulties if they are felt and confessed and if we approach Him by the blood-sprinkled way.
II Chronicles 30
1 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.
2 For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month.
3 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.
4 And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation.
5 So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beer-sheba 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.
6 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.
7 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.
8 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.
9 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.
10 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.
11 Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.
12 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.
13 ¶ And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation.
14 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.
15 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.
16 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.
17 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.
18 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
19 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.
20 And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.
21 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.
22 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.
23 And the whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days: and they kept other seven days with gladness.
24 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.
25 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.
26 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.
27 ¶ 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.
II Chronicles 30:1-16 – J. Vernon McGee
II Chronicles 30:17-27 – J. Vernon McGee
2 Chronicles 30:1-12 – A Summons to the Nation
Though one of the most important feasts, the Passover had long been neglected. When a spiritual revival takes place, men naturally begin to observe the old sacred institutions, through which religious feeling can express itself. As the proper month for observing it had gone, rather than miss the whole year, the king and his people resolved to observe their annual festival in the second month, as provided in Numbers 9:10-11. The quickened life of Judah revealed itself in a fervent yearning for national unity, and the invitation to share in celebrating the Passover was distributed from Dan to Beersheba. Many mocked, imputing Hezekiah’s appeal to low motives of ambition and self-aggrandizement. We cannot doubt that Isaiah prompted the king to suggest that if Israel would accept the invitation and join in a common act of penitence and faith, it would probably lead to the rehabilitation of their national life. In putting aside this suggestion, Israel not only flouted the royal proposal, but destroyed one of the last methods of undoing the ruin which had already commenced in the Northern Kingdom. —Through the Bible Day by Day
2 Chronicles 30:13-27 – Whole-hearted Seeking of God
As necessary preliminary to the right observance of the approaching feast, the removal of the altars erected by Ahaz was resolved upon. The feast and its antitype can be observed only as the leaven of evil is put away, I Corinthians 5:7. So great was the zeal of the people, that it shamed the priests and Levites into a new earnestness. There were irregularities in the celebration, as, for instance, the Levites slaughtered the paschal victims for every one that had not passed through the usual process of ceremonial cleansing. But the intention of the crowds was right, and in answer to Hezekiah’s prayer, no penalty was inflicted for these violations of the prescribed ritual. Another proof is thus afforded that the main thing with God is the attitude of the heart, Psalm 69:31.
When spiritual captivities are turned, there is an outburst of singing. Each great revival has had its Gregorian chants, its Luther’s hymns, its Charles Wesley, its Havergal, its Sankey.
The immense numbers of slaughtered beasts were necessitated by the presence of vast multitudes of people, who needed to be supported while at Jerusalem. Only a small portion of the animal was presented on the altar, the remainder being eaten by the offerers. —Through the Bible Day by Day
II Chronicles 30:18-19—The good LORD pardon every one that prepareth his heart to seek God.
A very touching prayer, that opens up deep thoughts as to the progress of the true knowledge of God in Israel, and of the comparative value of heart preparation and ceremonial cleansing. Here were crowds of well-meaning people who had come from all parts of the land in answer to Hezekiah’s invitation. Unaccustomed to temple usage, strangers to the temple rites, they had participated in the festivities of this great Passover without submitting first to the necessary ablutions. Their heart was prepared to seek God, they were proud of the great past, they desired to stand right with the Lord God of their fathers; but they were sadly ignorant and careless. The only thing to be done was to pray that their ignorances and negligences might be forgiven.
It is thus that Jesus pleads in heaven; and there are many that obtain mercy on the ground of His merit, because when they sin they do so ignorantly, and from want of knowledge rather than from want of heart. The devout ritualist who lays an excessive stress on outward forms; the man who has sensuous and distorted views of Christ, but sincerely desires to be accepted through Him; the soul that touches the hem of the garment as though the healing power were independent of the will-power of the Redeemer; the dying malefactor, who, in his last hours, catches at some distorted representation of Christ which is filtered through to him from the chance word of an uninstructed preacher—these are included in the fruitful pleading of the Great High Priest, who has compassion on the ignorant and on those who are out of the way. You may not understand doctrine, creed, or rite; but be sure to seek God. No splendid ceremonial nor rigorous etiquette can intercept the seeking soul. —Our Daily Homily