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Trip 589:  Psalm of Hezekiah (712 B.C.); Visit of the Babylonian Embassy (712/711 B.C.)

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min

Reading assignment:   __Isaiah 38:9-20     __2 Chronicles 32:31     __Isaiah 39:1-2               __2 Kings 20:12-13

Focal verse(s):  Isaiah 39:2:  “Hezekiah received the envoys gladly and showed them what was in his storehouses – the silver, the gold, the spices, the fine oil, his entire armory and everything found among his treasures.  There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.”

In another display of the correct attitude we should have toward God when He heals us, Hezekiah wrote a Psalm of thanksgiving to God because the Lord had restored his health. Hezekiah was deeply humbled by his sickness because he knew God had caused it as a punishment for his display of pride.  He looked upon God’s punishment as a benefit which had strengthened his life and brought him closer to God.  The biggest mistake of Hezekiah’s reign was allowing the visiting Babylonian ambassadors to see all of the wealth and treasures inside the temple.  This was another display of pride which would prove very costly.  The Babylonians supposedly had come to congratulate the king on recovering from his illness, but Hezekiah tried to impress them by showing them all of the riches of the temple.  God wants us to be humble and give glory to Him.  Whenever we allow riches, money, position, or popularity to make us proud, God will bring us to our knees to remind us of who gave us all of our blessings!  Daniel 10:12 says, “From the first day that you set your mind to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard…”   If we want God to answer our prayers, we must stay humble before Him!

 
 

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Trip 588:  Sickness and Prayer of Hezekiah (712 B.C.)

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min

Reading assignment:   __2 Chronicles 32:24     __2 Kings 20:1-11     __Isaiah 38:1-8

Focal verse(s):  2 Kings 20:1:  “In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah …went to him and said, ‘This is what the Lord says:  Put your house in order, because you will die; you will not recover’.”

God was not pleased with Hezekiah’s pride and brought a sickness upon him, then sent Isaiah to tell him he was going to die.  Upon hearing the news, Hezekiah immediately began to pray and weep before the Lord, so God healed him and added 15 years to his life.  Additionally, God told Hezekiah that He would not allow the Assyrians to take Jerusalem.  God confirmed this promise by reversing the shadow of the sundial!  God is in the business of prolonging lives of those faithful to Him.  Since He is Lord of all nature, miracles such as the reversing of the shadow on the sundial are simply God controlling His own creation!  Not all sickness is a result of sin in our lives but in this case Hezekiah’s sickness was a direct result of his sin of pride.  His quickness to repent and turn to God is a good lesson to every Christian.  Because we are all sinners by nature, we will all often fail God.  The important thing to remember is that God knows we will fail Him but He is most concerned with the fact that we turn back to Him the moment we realize we have sinned, confessing our sin and asking Him to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 
 

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Trip 587:  Organization and Dedication of Israel’s Worship—Part 2; Sickness of Hezekiah (Approx. 712 B.C.); Cause of Hezekiah’s Sickness

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min

Reading assignment:   __2 Chronicles 31:11-21     __2 Kings 18:13     __2 Chronicles 32:25-30

Focal verse(s):  1 Chronicles 31:21:  “In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked whole-heartedly.  And so he prospered.”

Hezekiah had priests assigned to distribute the gifts that were given as freewill offerings for the temple to the priests working in the towns outside of Jerusalem.  All of these gifts were distributed among the priests and Levites.  Hezekiah was a great and godly king, but he was also human; like all of us, he became proud when so much honor and riches were heaped upon him and he forgot to give the glory to God.  Among his many wonderful accomplishments was the digging of a tunnel through solid rock from the Gihon spring to the city to provide a water supply.  This tunnel was over 1700 feet long and is still a tourist attraction today!  We always must be careful to give God the glory for any accomplishment we have in our lives, because everything comes from the Lord!  One of the few recorded mistakes by Hezekiah during his reign was to forget to give God the glory for all of his blessings and accomplishments.  Be sure to give glory to God today for everything you have accomplished in life.  George Washington issued the following proclamation: ”WHEREAS, It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; WHEREAS, Both the houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me ‘to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness’!  Now, therefore, I do recommend next, to be devoted by the people of the states to the service of that great and glorious being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be, that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country.” *

* Paul Lee Tan, “Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times” (Rockville, Maryland: Assurance Publishers, 1984), page 1458, #6585.

 
 

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Trip 586:  Celebration of Passover—Part 2;  Destruction of Idols (725 B.C.); Organization and Dedication of Israel’s Worship (May-October, 725 B.C.)

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min

Reading assignment:   __2 Chronicles 30:21 through 2 Chronicles 31:10

Focal verse(s):  2 Chronicles 31:1 – ”When all this had ended, the Israelites who were there went out to the towns of Judah, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles.  They destroyed the high places and the altars throughout Judah and Benjamin and in Ephraim and Manasseh.”

A 7 day Feast of Unleavened Bread followed the great Passover feast that Hezekiah held in Jerusalem the first year of his reign.  This was a time of great joy and praise of God in which revival broke out, so the feast was extended another seven days!  Hezekiah was so moved by this outpouring of God’s Spirit upon the people that he personally purchased 1000 bulls and 7000 sheep to add to the bulls, sheep, and goats that the Levites had provided for the feast and sacrifices.   God was very pleased at the revival which had occurred…such a spirit of dedication had not happened among the people since the days of Solomon!  As a result of their renewed commitment to God, the Judeans and Israelites who had attended the Passover feast traveled throughout the land and destroyed all remaining idols and places of pagan worship!  Hezekiah moved quickly after the revival to re-establish proper temple worship procedures and personally invested much of his own money to the work of the Lord.  He gave total support to the priests and Levites and led the people to do the same by giving the first fruits and tithes of all their produce, livestock, and other resources.  The people brought their gifts to the temple for 4 straight months, piling them in such huge mounds that the excess had to be stored.  We see in this passage of scripture what can happen when revival breaks out among God’s people.  The people responded by first destroying all the idols in their lives and sphere of influence.  Next they were moved to give to God far beyond anything they had done in the past.  Thirdly, they had a new obedience to God and a hunger to follow His laws.  These are signs of revival….are any of them evident currently in your life?

 
 

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Trip 585:  Celebration of Passover (April/May, 725 B.C.)

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min

Reading assignment:   __2 Chronicles 30:1-20

Focal verse(s):  2 Chronicles 30: 9:  “‘for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate.  He will not turn His face from you if you return to Him’.”

In order to celebrate the first Passover of his reign, Hezekiah invited all of Israel (those who had not been taken captive by the Assyrians) and Judah to attend a late Passover celebration in the spring in order to give those traveling from distant places time to arrive.  Hezekiah sent word to those citizens in the Northern Kingdom of Israel who had not been taken captive that they should repent of their sins and turn to God, then come to the Passover celebration to celebrate their rededication.  However, only a small number of people came from Israel, showing they were still backslidden and far from repenting.  Thousands of Judeans came to the celebration and the priests and Levites were so moved by the turnout that they personally rededicated themselves to the Lord’s service.  God is always pleased when His people rededicate themselves to serving Him!   2 Chronicles 7:14 says “If my people…humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven…”   Notice the “if…then” clause. Rededicate yourself to doing more for God today and living a life which will be more pleasing to Him!  What can you do for God today that would please Him?  Witness?  Tithe?  Become a prayer warrior at the church?  Ask God to direct you in this.

 
 

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Trip 584:  Restoration of Temple Worship—Part 2

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min

Reading assignment:   __2 Chronicles 29:20-36

Focal verse(s):  2 Chronicles 29:28:  “While the whole assembly worshiped, the singers also sang and the trumpets sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.”

After the temple had been repaired and consecrated, Hezekiah held a huge celebration which included the sacrifice of 28 animals as a sin offering.  A choir and orchestra sang and played music as a burnt offering was made and the Levites played harps, lyres, and cymbals just as the Israelites had done when King David moved the ark to Jerusalem years before.  The priests played trumpets in the same style as when the ark was moved to the temple during Solomon’s reign.  As Psalms of David and Asaph were sung, King Hezekiah and the people laid prostrate (flat on their faces) before the Lord.   Individuals were given the opportunity to make sacrifices and hundreds of animals were then sacrificed as burnt and thank offerings.  All of this, including the temple repairs and celebrations, took place in the very first month of Hezekiah’s reign as king!  Make a praise offering and thank offering to God by giving Him a tithe (the first tenth) of your time, talent, and treasures.   After all, He owns it all and has given you the opportunity to manage it for Him.  Show Him what a great steward you are of God’s resources by giving some of it back to Him!

 
 

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Trip 583:  Isaiah’s Prophecies Concerning Israel; Religious Revival of Hezekiah’s Reign (Approx. 725 B.C.); Restoration of Temple Worship (725 B.C.)

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min

Reading assignment:   __Isaiah 28:1-6     __2 Chronicles 29:3-19

Focal verse(s):  Isaiah 28:5: “In that day the LORD of hosts will become a beautiful crown and a glorious diadem to the remnant of His people;”

Isaiah delivered a prophesy of coming doom for the Northern Kingdom of Israel, picturing the Israelites like a drunkard who spends all his money on wine. Israel was throwing away its blessings and Assyria would come against the 10 tribes of Israel, ravaging the nation’s beauty. Hezekiah was one of the greatest kings in the entire Bible.  He immediately started to repair the temple when he began to reign and removed the bars that his ungodly father Ahaz had put over the temple.  He had the priests and Levites take everything out of the temple that was considered impure and remove it to the Kidron Valley, in obedience to Deuteronomy 12:2-4 (“Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains, on the hills and under every spreading tree, where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods.  Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places. You must not worship the Lord your God in their way.)  Everything remaining inside the temple was consecrated for 8 days, then everything outside of the temple was also consecrated for another 8 days.  Not only did the priests and Levites rebuild and repair the temple, but they also brought back all the sacred objects that Ahaz had taken away to be used in his pagan worship services.  Hezekiah started his reign by diligently serving the Lord and never let up throughout his entire life!  Very few Bible characters (or anyone else) have that kind of a record for serving God!  Make it your primary goal to be faithful to God above all else in your lifetime!  Remember, it’s not how you start a race, but how you finish that counts! Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 as your “starting gun” for today’s spiritual race!

 
 

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