II Chronicles 31

Vital communion with God on the ground of the shed blood will kindle in us a holy zeal and an indignation against sin and all that is offensive to God.

1 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.

2 ¶ 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.

3 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.

4 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.

5 ¶ 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.

6 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.

7 In the third month they began to lay the foundation of the heaps, and finished them in the seventh month.

8 And when Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed the LORD, and his people Israel.

9 Then Hezekiah questioned with the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps.

10 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.

11 ¶ Then Hezekiah commanded to prepare chambers in the house of the LORD; and they prepared them,

12 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.

13 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.

14 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.

15 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:

16 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;

17 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;

18 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:

19 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.

20 ¶ And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God.

21 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 31:1-10 – Abundant Giving to God

   This Passover left a permanent impression on the nation, and led to the complete overthrow of idolatry. The pure worship of God was now established throughout the land, and the people returned to their homes, in confident expectation that a long period of national prosperity was now in store. Hezekiah therefore turned his attention to provide for the maintenance of the Temple worship and the proper provision of revenues for the priests and Levites. As an example to his people, the king followed in the steps of David and Solomon, providing out of his own purse for the expenses of the altar.
   Following on this good example, a proclamation was made to the nation, with the result that contributions of first-fruits and tithes poured in with great liberality from the children of Israel, as well as Judah. There had been an abundant harvest, as the great heaps testified. It is not often that ministers of religion are in the same happy condition as Azariah was, but they are partly to blame for not instructing their people to give systematically. Everyone should set apart a stated portion of his income for God. —Through the Bible Day by Day

2 Chronicles 31:11-21 – Order and Prosperity

   There are several noticeable expressions in this paragraph. We are told that they brought in the dedicated things faithfully, II Chronicles 31:12; and that the small as well as the great received their share, even as the daily portion of each required, II Chronicles 31:16; also that the priests sanctified themselves in holiness, II Chronicles 31:18, as though touched and quickened by the generous gifts of the people. And in consequence of their entire devotion to the service of the sanctuary, adequate provision was made for their wives and children; while officers were appointed to distribute equal ration to all in the cities of the priests, who, from age or other reasons, were not able to serve in the Temple. 
   The closing expression about Hezekiah, that he began nothing into which he did not put his heart and that God placed the crown of prosperity on him and his work, presents a striking contrast to the tale of disaster in the reign of Ahaz, and is an incentive to all of us to go and do likewise. See Romans 12:11. —Through the Bible Day by Day

II Chronicles 31:21—He did it with all his heart, and prospered.

   The man who does his business with all his heart, is sure to prosper. To put your heart into your work is like genius manipulating common materials, till their worth becomes priceless, just because of what has been put into it.
   The heart stands for the emotions and affections. What the furnace is to the factory or steamship, that the heart is in the economy of our nature. It is a great thing to love our life-work, to have an aim that kindles us whenever we think of it. Those who are so happily circumstanced, cannot be sufficiently thankful. But what of those who are bound to a work which they did not choose and do not like, who find their daily toil irksome and distasteful—is there any help for them? Can they possibly learn to do such work from their hearts? Certainly: because of Him who set it, and for whom it may be done.
   Love performs the most onerous duties with all its heart, if they conduce to the comfort and help of those whom it loves more than itself. Does not a mother or wife perform tasks from which the hireling would shrink? She does them with all her heart, not considering for a moment the loathesomeness and hardness of the demand. So if we look at our life-work as God-appointed; if we realize that He has fixed it for us, who determined the orbits of the stars; if we can hear the voice of Jesus saying, “Do this for Me”—there is no further thought of hardship or distaste. Remember to do all your life-work for Jesus; do all in His name and for His glory; ask Him to fill your. heart with submissive, loyal obedience, and you will find that when you introduce the personal element of Christ-service into the meanest acts, they will glisten like a piece of gold-tapestry. —Our Daily Homily