“The Lord Has Blessed His People” (2 Chronicles 31:4-10)
Hezekiah was one of the few good kings of Judah. After becoming king, he quickly got to work making Israel the “set apart” people God intended them to be from the start. He repaired “the house of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 29:3). He called upon the “priests and the Levites” to “sanctify” themselves and devote themselves entirely to the Lord (29:5). After the people respond to Hezekiah’s call, temple worship is restored too (29:31-36). The Passover feast is also kept (30). The result was a joy unseen in Jerusalem since the time of Solomon (see 30:26). Yet, in addition to the restoration of the feasts Hezekiah restored the duty of contribution to “support the priests and the Levites” (31:4). Notice the text in 2 Chronicles 31:4-10,
“Moreover he commanded the people who dwelt in Jerusalem to contribute support for the priests and the Levites, that they might devote themselves to the Law of the Lord. 5 As soon as the commandment was circulated, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of grain and wine, oil and honey, and of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything. 6 And the children of Israel and Judah, who dwelt in the cities of Judah, brought the tithe of oxen and sheep; also the tithe of holy things which were consecrated to the Lord their God they laid in heaps. 7 In the third month they began laying them in heaps, and they finished in the seventh month. 8 And when Hezekiah and the leaders came and saw the heaps, they blessed the Lord and His people Israel. 9 Then Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps. 10 And Azariah the chief priest, from the house of Zadok, answered him and said, “Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the Lord, we have had enough to eat and have plenty left, for the Lord has blessed His people; and what is left is this great abundance” (NKJV).
Before we will ever contribute to the Lord’s work, we must choose to “sanctify” ourselves. That is, we recognize we are a set apart people with a set apart work who set aside even a financial offering to the Lord for His cause. If this had not been done in Israel, then the contribution for the priests and Levites would never have been offered. If this is not done in us, then we will not set aside a portion of our prosperity for the Lord’s work. Like Hezekiah, Christ our king calls us to “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts” (1 Peter 3:15). We must put the Lord first in our heart and life and make the King’s cause our cause. Contribution does not start with the hand, it begins in the heart!
Like Israel, we are truly “a blessed people.” God can enable us to use those blessings to bring in “great abundance” those resources and offerings which will enable the Lord’s people to do His work so the boundaries of the Lord’s kingdom might bountifully spread. Yet, “a blessed people” will only begin to do good when we make up our minds to use those blessings to provide abundantly to the work God has called us to do. May the Lord grant us hearts open to His direction so His workers may be equipped abundantly!