Summary: What happened when Hezekiah invited all of Judah to church?
Chad H. Ballard
An old farmer went to the city one weekend and attended the big city church.
He came home and his wife asked him how it was.
"Well," said the farmer, "it was good. They did something different, however. They sang praise choruses instead of hymns."
"Praise choruses?" said his wife, "What are those?"
"Oh they’re okay. They’re sort of like hymns, only different," said the farmer.
"Well, what’s the difference?" asked the wife.
The farmer said, "Well it’s like this - If I were to say to you: ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn,’ well that would be a hymn.
If, on the other hand, I were to say to you: ‘Martha, Martha, Martha, Oh, Martha, Martha, MARTHA MARTHA,
The cows, the big cows, the brown cows, the black cows, the white cows, all God’s cows,
The cows are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn,
The cows are in the CORN, CORN, CORN’!!!
‘Oh, Oh, Ooooooooh, yes, it’s true, the whole herd is in the awesome corn, yes, it’s true, the whole herd is in the awesome corn, --- well, it’s true, the whole herd is in the awesome corn!!! Alleluia!
That would be a praise chorus."
You know one of the most divisive things in churches today is this issue of worship style. Some people want drums and guitars and worship songs. Some want to hear pianos and organs and hymns.
But all I really care to hear (and I dare say all that God desires to hear) are His people, praising His name in true heart felt worship.
I like all kinds of music, as long as the message is about Jesus, because my most sincere desire is to worship God.
A woman entered a Haagen-Dazs store on the Kansas City Plaza for an ice-cream cone. After making her selection, she turned and found herself face to face with Paul Newman. He was in town filming the movie Mr. and Mrs. Bridge.
Newman’s blue eyes caused her knees to buckle. She managed to pay for her cone, and then left the shop, heart pounding. When she gained her composure, she realized she didn’t have her cone.
She started back to the store to get it and met Newman at the door. "Are you looking for your ice-cream cone?" he asked. She nodded, unable to speak. "You put it in your purse with your change."
When was the last time the presence of God quickened your pulse?
Well this morning we are going to look at what happened when Hezekiah invited all of Israel to come and to join him in worship.
First we will see:
I. The Call to Worship
A. Of the 21 kings that followed David, there was none greater than Hezekiah. The reign of King Hezekiah brought with it a period of revival in the nation of Judah. Hezekiah was leading a great return to God. But it wasn’t always a pleasant journey.
1. In Kings, we see some pretty difficult situations that Hezekiah had to deal with. He had to remove the high places and break the images that the Jews had began to worship.
a. One of those images was the brass serpent that Moses had made in the wilderness. The people had begun to worship and burn incense to it.
b. There had been a time when the people looked at the serpent in faith, trusting in the promise of God.
c. There had been a time when the serpent had been their physical salvation, saving them from the poisonous snakebites.
d. But now it had become an object of worship, a stumbling block to the people.
e. And may I say that, likewise, today, the church (not the people of God but the building in which we meet) has become an idol to many.
f. There are those who believe that there is something spiritual about being present in this building. There is nothing spiritual about simply attending a service in this place.
g. It is not our attendance, but our worship that draws us into God’s presence. It is our worship that quickens our pulse and creates and excitement among God’s people.
h. So when we come into this place, what makes it special is what we do while we are here.
3. Now in Chronicles, we see the positive things that Hezekiah has done to restore worship in Judah.
a. He had “opened the doors to the house of the Lord and repaired them.” Remember that Ahaz had nailed the doors to the temple shut. But Hezekiah had opened them and commanded that the temple be cleaned.
b. He had told all the priests and the Levites to sanctify themselves. There had to be a return to the holy living, honesty and integrity of their fathers.