THE GOOD KING HEZEKIAH

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    [2 Chronicles:29:1-11], [2 Chronicles:29:25-31]; [2 Chronicles:32:1-23].  

    Lesson No.: 
    87
    Class: 
    Elementary
    Memory Verse: 

    “He  that  doeth  good  is  of  God”  (III John 11).

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    Notes: 

    Remembering God’s Blessings
    God does not want people to forget His blessing to them. When they remember that God protected them when they were in great danger of being killed; that He healed them when they were sick; or fed them when they were hungry and had nothing to eat, it makes them trust God again to help when they need Him. God is pleased when we thank Him for His many blessings, for the many good things he gives us – our food, our clothing, our parents, but most of all for Jesus and the Bible. That is one reason we have testimony meetings – so that we may tell of all the great and good things the Lord has done for us.

    God’s Chosen People
    In this lesson we learn that for many long years the people had not remembered the Word of the Lord about eating the Passover. We remember the nine different plagues that God sent into the land of Egypt (Exodus 7, 8, 9, 10). Each time the king would promise to let the people go, but when the plague was lifted, he would again harden his heart and they had to stay there and work for him. God knew how to make King Pharaoh willing to let the people go. He said he would send one more plague. The last punishment to Egypt was that the death angel should visit the land and the eldest son in every house should die. The only way to escape death on that night was to kill a lamb, roast it, eat it, and put some of the blood on the side doorposts and on the upper doorpost of the house. This was to cause them to think of a time to come when Jesus should die on the cross of Calvary and shed His Blood so that people might be saved from sin. God said that when He saw the blood on the doorposts of the house, He would “pass over” that house – the death angel would not kill the eldest one in the house. That is why they called it the “Passover”.

    The Children of Israel obeyed God that night, and in the little country of Goshen, where they lived, there was not one dead in any of the families. But in the place where the Egyptians lived, there was much sorrow, for in every home the eldest son was found dead that night. Then the wicked king was glad to let the people go out of the land.

    God wanted these people to remember the night Moses had led them out of Egypt – the night that they had placed the blood on the houses and were saved from death. But they forgot to thank God for His great blessing to them. They forgot to eat the Passover meal once every year. They had turned away from God and made idols of wood and stone and were worshiping them.

    Their Church Opened Again
    A good man named Hezekiah became king. He at once began to do right before God. The very first thing he did was to open the doors of the church and have the people make the place clean. The doors had long been closed; the lights were out; and no one had been there to pray in a long time. When the church was again ready for the worship of the Lord, the king and the rulers of the city went there and held a service. They offered sacrifices to God, the musicians played on their instruments, and the singers sang praises to God. All the people bowed down and worshiped the Lord.

    How happy they were to again have a place in which to worship God! Can you imagine how we would feel, if, after a long time without meetings, we could again go to Sunday School and church? We should be very thankful that we live where the laws of our land do not stop us from attending church as often as we wish.

    The Passover Feast
    The next thing we find King Hezekiah doing was sending invitations to all the people in the land to come to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem to the Passover feast. As we said before, this was to be a time of thanksgiving unto the Lord in memory of the day they came out of the land of Egypt. The king asked the people to turn to the Lord, so He could again be pleased with them. But not all the people wanted to do the right thing. Some of them laughed at those who brought the letters or invi-tations from the king. But many came to Jerusalem; and on the fourteenth day of the month, they kept the Passover feast. There was great joy in the city of Jerusalem in those days, and God in Heaven heard the people’s prayers.

    Idols Destroyed
    King Hezekiah destroyed the idols that the people had been worshiping, and even cut down the trees under which the people had worshiped the idols. You remember the serpent of bras that Moses had made in the wilderness for the people to look at and be healed. This had been brought to Jerusalem and was still there. The people were worshiping that snake; but Hezekiah soon made an end of that. He broke it in pieces. God never meant for the people to worship the serpent of brass.

    Tithes and Offerings
    The people brought offerings to the Lord – corn, wine, oil, honey, and their tithing, or money. We learn from the Bible that one tenth of all that we earn belongs to the Lord. As far back as the days of Abraham, people paid tithes unto the Lord. (Read [Genesis:14:20]; [Genesis:28:22]; [Deuteronomy:14:22]; [Malachi:3:8-10].)

    Paying tithes is according to God’s plan. It was Joash, the boy king, who used a chest, or a box, to put the tithe money in. He was only seven years old when he became king, but the Lord gave him the wisdom he needed for the work of the Lord. A few small boxes, or chests, are placed in our churches, for the purpose of receiving freewill offerings and tithes. People are never asked for money in our services.

    A little girl at one time had earned some money of her own. She was figuring up the amount of tithes she should pay. She said to a lady nearby, “If I earn one dollar and pay ten cents tithes, that isn’t very much – I can do that. But if I earn ten dollars and give one dollar to the Lord, then I will have only nine dollars left for myself.” The lady said, “But the Lord does not want any of our money, unless we give it to Him willingly.” The child never forgot that lesson, and always paid her tithes willingly. She learned that what she did for the Lord she must do freely and with all her heart.

    The reason the Lord blessed King Hezekiah was that whatever he did in his work for God, “he did it with all his heart,” and God was pleased. [2 Chronicles:31:21].)

    The Enemy Army
    A wicked king named Sennacherib decided to fight against King Hezekiah and his people. He sent letters telling of his plans. When King Hezekiah received the letter, he went to the Temple, or church, and spread the letter out before the Lord. He prayed with all his heart that God would spare him and his people from the wicked king that was coming into their land. The Lord in Heaven heard his prayer.

    When the enemy army came to fight against God’s people at Jerusalem, King Hezekiah gathered his armies together and told them not to be afraid. He said that the enemy was trusting in their own power, but that the Lord was with His own people, and He would fight for them. The wicked armies did not believe in the God of Heaven and spoke against Him, and also against the king. But God saw and heard all that was happening. He sent an angel from Heaven by night into the camp of the enemy, and destroyed 185,000 of the Assyrians [2 Kings:19:35]).

    Faithful Service
    No doubt the reason that the Lord heard and answered the prayer of this man of God was that he was serving the Lord with all his heart. When we do all that God wants us to do, we may call upon Him whenever we need help, and God is right there to help us. When we are displeasing God and not doing all that we know He wants us to do, it may not be so easy to reach Him with our prayers. The Word tells us that “the eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that do evil” [Psalms:34:15-16]).

    Questions: 

    1. What is meant by the Passover? [Exodus:12:13].
    2. When the Temple was again opened for services, what happened at the first meeting? [2 Chronicles:29:25-30].
    3. Why do you think King Hezekiah was blessed by God? [2 Chronicles:31:21].
    4. What did he do when he received the letter from Sennacherib? [2 Kings:19:14].
    5. Who won the battle? [2 Chronicles:32:21];[2 Chronicles:32:22].