BIBLE  BAPTIST  CHURCH

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THE GLORIOUS REVIVAL UNDER KING HEZEKIAH


Text: II KINGS 18:1-7


INTRODUCTION:


1.     Evan Roberts was one of the leaders of the Welsh Revival in 1904.  He summed up his message in four parts:

(1)   Confess all known sin.

(2)   Deal with and get rid of anything “doubtful” in your life.

(3)   Be ready to obey the Holy Spirit instantly.

(4)   Confess Christ publicly.

2.     One of the greatest revivals recorded in the Bible occurred about 2,700 years ago under good King Hezekiah, who ruled the southern kingdom of Judah from 715-687 BC.

3.     King Hezekiah was a godly king, considered by many to be the best king Judah ever had (cf. 18:5). His father, King Ahaz, was a wicked man and during his reign Judah slid into terrible sin and apostasy (II Kings 18:4).

4.     It was during this period that Assyria carried away the northern kingdom of Israel into captivity (II Kings 17:6ff).

5.     God raised up King Hezekiah during a dark day in the history of Israel and Judah, and during his reign God sent a glorious revival.  I would like to speak this morning on “THE GLORIOUS REVIVAL UNDER KING HEZEKIAH.”

6.     King Hezekiah was a statesman, a reformer, a warrior, a poet, an engineer, and the leader of a great heaven-sent revival.

7.     The reign of Hezekiah is described for us in II Kings 18-20; II Chron. 29-32; and Isaiah 36-39.

 

I.      KING HEZEKIAH DID THAT WHICH WAS RIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD (II KINGS 18:3).

1.     It should be pointed out that back in those days a king was not only the ruler in the temporal affairs of his nation, but also it was his function to serve as the spiritual leader.

2.     Consequently, the king was obligated to a large extent for the building of character in his subjects.  For sixteen years, King Ahaz, the father of Hezekiah, ruled Judah, and the Bible says he “did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD his God” (II Kings 16:1-4).  

3.     King Ahaz led the people of Judah steadily down the road to ruin.  Not only did he himself follow the path of sin and degradation, but he also took Judah with him.  In 16 years, his evil reign brought both king and people into the depths of wickedness and idolatry (II Chron. 28:19-27).

4.     But yet out of the loins of this ungodly king came the great King Hezekiah.  His godly leadership had the blessing of God upon it right from the start.  His goal was to serve God and to bring Judah back into fellowship with God.

5.     The Bible says King Hezekiah “did that which was right in the sight of the LORD” (II Chron. 29:2; cf. II Kings 18:3).

6.     Let us go to the pages of God’s sacred Word, and see how it is that King Hezekiah “did that which was right in the sight of the LORD.”

·        “He removed the high places…” (II Kings 18:4).

·        These “high places” and “groves” were places where backslidden Israelites worshipped Baal and Ashtereth, and all the false gods of the heathen.  (Covetousness is idolatry - Col. 3:5.)

·        “He brake in pieces” the brass serpent of Moses, which had become an idol (II Kings 18:4; cf. Num. 21:5-9).  Here we see what God thinks about these so-called “relics.”

·        King Hezekiah’s father, King Ahaz was an idolater but King Hezekiah brake the images and idols and turned the people away from idols and back to God.

·        The second commandment says, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image” (Exodus 20:4), and yet there are hundreds of millions of people who claim to be Christian but they worship graven images.

·        Rev. 21:8 says, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

·        In Rome there is this big statue of St. Peter (really Apollo), and thousands of visitors line up every day to bow down before it and kiss it.  Peter is missing one of his toes!  One of his big toes has been literally “kissed off.”

·        King Hezekiah put an end to all of this idolatry and foolishness.

 

II.      KING HEZEKIAH TRUSTED IN THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL (II KINGS 18:5a).

1.     King Hezekiah “clave to the LORD, and departed not from following Him…” (II Kings 18:6).  He stayed close to the Lord.  He stayed on the right track.  He didn’t waver or backslide.

2.     King Hezekiah kept God’s commandments (18:6b).  Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

3.     “And the LORD was with him; and he prospered…” (II Kings 18:7).  Hezekiah put God first and God blessed him.  If you study the Bible, you will see this principle again and again.  And if you study the history of Great Britain and the United States of America, and other nations you will see the same principle.  When the leaders were godly, the people followed their godly leadership and God blessed the country.

4.     Listen to these words from the father of my country, George Washington: “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

5.     How about our second president, John Adams? He warned that without Biblical virtue, our country would become rich but also corrupt, and would be plagued by “effeminacy, intoxication, extravagance, vice, and folly.”  How prophetic!

6.     God blessed the people of Judah because of King Hezekiah’s godly leadership. He built up his nation’s economy as well as their military (II Chron. 32:5-8).

7.     Agriculture and trade expanded by his establishment of warehouses and stock yards at strategic places, and Jerusalem was given an adequate water supply in the event of siege (II Chron. 32:27-30).

8.     When Hezekiah came to power, Judah was virtually a vassal state under Syria.  Hezekiah’s father, King Ahaz, had nearly destroyed the kingdom and brought it to ruin.  Ahaz was too weak and worldly to resist the Assyrians.  But once Hezekiah became king, he worked hard and threw off the Assyrian yoke (II Kings 18:7).

9.     We have looked at many of King Hezekiah’s accomplishments this morning, but now let us consider his greatest accomplishment.

 

III.      KING HEZEKIAH BROUGHT BACK THE TRUE RELIGION

1.     When I speak of “true religion” I mean “heart religion” (cf. II Chron. 29:10; 31:20, 21).

2.     “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom. 10:9; cf. Acts 8:35-37).

3.     King Hezekiah brought the true religion back to Judah.  The people were religious but they were backslidden.  Many of them were not saved.  They were religious but lost.   They had “forsaken” God, and “put out the lamps” (II Chron. 29:6, 7).

4.     They were worldly, and so their worship was defiled.  James 1:27 says “pure religion and undefiled before God” means keeping ourselves “unspotted from the world.”  Are you “unspotted”?

5.     True Christianity is not worldly.  It is not ritualism.  It is not lighting candles and incense.  It is not having a preacher put on colorful robes.

6.     True Christianity is getting your heart right with God.  King Hezekiah got his heart right with God (II Chron. 29:10; cf. II Chron. 7:14; James 4:1-10).

7.     There can be no genuine revival without the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  We need to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18).

8.     The Bible says that one of the first things Hezekiah did after his coronation was to open the doors of the temple (II Chron. 29:3).

9.     The house of the LORD was neglected during the reign of King Ahaz.  As soon as Hezekiah became king he opened the doors and repaired them.  The house of God was important to King Hezekiah.  Is it important to you?

10.King Hezekiah wanted to clean up the house of God (II Chron. 29:3-6, 16). He wanted to get rid of all “the filthiness” (29:5).

11. So the great revival under King Hezekiah began right away, “in the first year of his reign, in the first month” when he “opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them” (II Chron. 29:3). 

12. And he got rid of the filthiness (II Chron. 29:5).

13. Hezekiah’s great reformation (II Chron. 29; II Kings 18) was followed by his restoring the blood sacrifices (II Chron. 29:22-24), and the celebration of Passover (II Chron. 30:1).

14. Please note two important doctrinal words - “reconciliation” and “atonement” (II Chron. 29:24).  This all points to the Lord Jesus Christ and His substitutionary death on the cross (cf. Rom. 5:8-11).

15. King Hezekiah led the people to worship the Lord with music and singing (II Chron. 29:25-30).  “And all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang…And they sang praises with gladness…” (29:28, 30).

16. I have read much about some of the great revivals of the past.  One thing I have noted is that they were always accompanied by great singing.  For example, the Welsh revival was known for its wonderful singing. 

17. The D.L. Moody and Ira Sankey revivals were known for their joyful singing.  It is always this way when God sends revival.

18. I was reading an account by H.A. Ironside.  He was a young boy in Toronto when Moody preached up there.  Ironside said every night after the meeting would end, you could hear the men and women walking down the streets singing the great hymns and gospel songs with great enthusiasm.

19. King Hezekiah knew how to pray.  He prayed and God heard his prayer and answered his prayer (II Chron. 30:18-20).

20. King Hezekiah commanded the people to give their tithes and offerings, and the people did (II Chron. 31:4-12).  Note that when everyone did his part, there was “plenty” left (31:10).

 

CONCLUSION:

1.     We have read many Scriptures this morning and I hope they have been a blessing to your heart.  Please turn with me one more time to II Chron. 29:10.

2.     The “fierce wrath” of God is upon all those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:36). 

3.     The sinner’s only hope is found in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Pastor James J. Barker
email:   jbarker4@optonline.net