MESSAGE SUMMARIES PART I Shomerim Retreat 2019
Summaries Recorded by Ysabel Tan
Life of Hezekiah: The Trying of Your Faith
Speaker: Pr Ko Lingkang

Message 1 – Faith Initiated: Ready to Worship the Lord
(2 Chronicles 29)

Hezekiah was one of the most famous kings of Judah and the Bible covers his life in detail, perhaps the most among the kings of the divided kingdom. His reign as king was not perfect and he had to face obstacles and trials. He was sandwiched between wicked kings – Ahaz, his father was an idolatrous king and Manasseh, his son, was one of Judah’s most wick-ed kings. Remarkable was the spiritual strength that Hezekiah showed at a young age of 25, who purposed in his heart to cleanse the temple of his fathers’ idolatry and reinstituted true and biblical worship that had been corrupted. Several times, Hezekiah had responded well to his trials, but there were also times when he failed the Lord due to weakness of flesh. Nevertheless, God’s commendation towards Hezekiah was that, ‘he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.’ (2 Chr 29:2)

When Hezekiah started his reign, the wrath of the Lord was upon Judah and Jerusalem, for King Ahaz, his father made Judah to transgress against the Lord in idolatry and the desecration of the temple. However, Hezekiah wanted to start his reign aright and to restore the house of God to a place of worship. He recognised the importance of worship.

Worship towards God must be in spirit and in truth. If a ‘tradition’ is un-biblical, then it must end. Worship is to be true and godly and should be a part of our daily lives. The centre of worship is God, and not us.

Hezekiah saw that worship is acceptable to God, only when believers are sanctified. Their sins and transgressions must be purged for them to come before God. They must have clean hands and pure hearts. The Levites and priests were commanded to sanctify themselves and to cleanse the temple (v4-5). Do we desire to cleanse out all the sins in our lives? The Lord examines every part of our lives and our service is acceptable only when we are walking right with God.

Hezekiah also saw the importance of worshipping in accordance to God’s commandments (v20-29). The offerings were carefully made according to the Levitical laws and strictly obeyed. In church, our worship must be biblical and must conform to Scriptures. This is the regulative principle of worship. Faith in God is obedience to His Word.

A believer worships with a heart of humility, gladness and willingness. Hezekiah took the lead in worshipping the Almighty God, bowing before Him in humility (v29-33). He saw himself not as a king before God, but as a sinner cleansed of his sins. Having been cleansed of their sins, the people could now freely give unto the Lord in the right manner, which they did abundantly, for they recognised the privilege and preciousness of worship. This privilege to worship can only be gained through the atonement of Christ, which is freely given to us. Do we then freely give of our time, resources and energy unto God?

Hezekiah led the people back to the right way of worship, turning the nation of Judah unto the Lord ‘suddenly’ (v36), in a period of 16 days. The people were quick to turn to the Lord, when instructed in the truth. Joy was brought to them and this was the way for Judah to be the national witness that the Lord had intended them to be.

Message 2 – Faith Exhibited: Seeking the Lord with All your Heart
(2 Chronicles 30-31)

The people of Judah had missed the day of the Passover (14th day of the first month), as they were cleansing the temple. However, they wanted to worship the Lord fervently and did not want to wait till the next year. The law allows the Passover to be kept during the second month, if there were special circumstances (Num 9:9-11), and King Hezekiah established a decree to do so. Do we also have the same spirit of eagerness when we worship the Lord and partake of the Lord’s Supper?

Having a burden for all Israel, Hezekiah invited the people throughout Israel to come and keep the Passover at Jerusalem. This was an opportunity for the Israelites from the North to return to the Lord in true worship. Hezekiah gave Israel the Gospel, which is that God would turn away His wrath from them if they return to Him. Our faith is not a secret one and ought to be shared with the people around us. Upon hearing this, some laughed and scorned, rejecting the Gospel that was graciously offered to them. Yet, a remnant humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. Sad to say, this is similar to what we see in our times.

Assembled at Jerusalem, the people were of one heart to do the commandment of the king and worshipped in accordance to God’s Word. Even though they were not ceremonially cleansed, they were prepared to seek God. Hezekiah saw this and prayed for the Lord to pardon them. The Lord accepted it as He saw their hearts. In true revival, the Word of the Lord is taught. For the first time in hundreds of years, the Passover was kept with great gladness, so much so that it was extended and Hezekiah gave unto God from his personal treasury. There was great joy and God heard their worship in heaven.

To ensure that the spiritual reform lasts, the people broke their idols and utterly destroyed all that hindered their spiritual lives. Hezekiah organised the priesthood and restored the giving of offerings and tithes. This would provide for the physical needs of the priests and Levites, allowing them to focus on the teaching of God’s Word and spiritually feeding of the people. The people gave swiftly and abundantly, and the temple was overflowing for months. Do we give our tithes faithfully unto the Lord? Remember that all we have comes from God and we are stewards of these resources. God loveth a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7).

Hezekiah, being fervent in spirit and serving the Lord, led the people in good example to bring about spiritual reform and worship, that is pleasing and acceptable to the Lord.