Hezekiah is a bright star in the midst of a series of dark nights that didn’t respond to or cooperate with what light had been given, let alone ample opportunities were given to Judah and previous kings. His twenty nine year reign began with the testimony, “he did what was right in the sight of the Lord”.
A significant characteristic of Hezekiah’s reign was his process of restoration/renovation of the temple area that had been in disarray for a number of years. At the risk of over spiritualizing this chapter, I believe there is a template for seeing our temple or lives being restored and renewed to the work of God.
First we see that Hezekiah “opened the doors of the house of the Lord.” Even though it a literal action by the king, we need to open the doors of our heart to the Lord. Most of us have seen the picture of Christ standing at the door, knocking, desiring entrance; by Warner Sallman. What is unique about the artist’s rendering is there is no door knob on the exterior; the only way to have the door opened is for the one on the other side to open the door. So it is with us individually and corporately; we must be willing to open the door of our hearts to Him.
We not only need to open our hearts to Him, but to people in need of His presence in their lives. Recall the Samaritan, who cared for the man who fell among thieves on the road down from Jerusalem? He brought God’s presence to the man in a very practical way/manner.
The priests had not only shut the doors of the temple, but had also extinguished the lamps, and hadn’t offered praise or sacrifices to the Lord.
After repentance, Hezekiah re-entered into covenant with the Lord; and also to have the priests do what they had been ordained to do and be. It seems as though the Levites were more ready to follow through than were the priests. They cleansed (sanctified) themselves and did a literal cleansing of the temple. The entire process took sixteen days to complete. The priests brought the trash out and the Levites took it to the Brook Kidron.
Hezekiah led the way in offering sacrifices to the Lord; which was more than required under the Lord. These offerings were presented simultaneously with worship and praise as had David. They literally offered the sacrifice of praise.
After having offered up the sacrifices with worship and praise; the priests received the offerings of the people on behalf of the Lord. Not having enough priests, they received assistance from the Levites due to the large amount of sacrifices offered up.
As we #1 open the doors of our heart, #2 cleanse and repent of known sin, #3 offer the sacrifice of praise and #4 bring the offerings; we too will see that the Lord is pleased and we’ll see our spiritual houses in order. Note the offerings were presented by those who had a “willing heart”. Thank God our hearts are willing.