Heaps of Blessings
2 Chronicles 28:16 - 2 Chronicles 32:23
The first thing Hezekiah did when he began to reign was to open the doors of the temple.
There is significance in this moment, for it was in his heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel. (2 Chronicles 29:10) But Hezekiah was not satisfied with just making a change in his own life, his capacity to love and to lead was magnified, and he extended that invitation to change to everyone within his reach.
"He sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem." (2 Chronicles 30:1) And some laughed him to scorn, and mocked him. Nevertheless, some humbled themselves, and came.
"And they stood in their place." (2 Chronicles 30:16)
From a simple invitation, extended by a humble man, a very great congregation gathered.
"And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly." (2 Chronicles 29:36)
This story reminds me of the great power that one righteous person can have. It testifies to the power of one in changing the lives of many. I love that it can happen suddenly.
What can we learn about leadership from the story of Hezekiah?
The scriptures tell us he had a gift for speaking to the heart. Encouragingly. Intimately.
He prayed for his people, asking the Lord to pardon everyone one, and to heal them.
"He wrought that which was good and right and truth before the Lord his God." (2 Chronicles 31:20)
But my favorite characteristic of all is found in verse 21 of chapter 31, "In every work that he began...he did it with all his heart."
Because of these characteristics the people wanted to help him. They gathered to him. "And the people rested (or relied upon) the words of Hezekiah king of Judah." (2 Chronicles 32:8)
And the Lord fought their battles (32:8) and guided them on every side (32:22) and blessed them.
Through Hezekiah's leadership the people learned to be encouraged in the laws of the Lord. This allowed great blessings to come to the people.
I love the imagery of this great blessing that is found in chapter 31.
As the people paid their tithes, they laid them in heaps. In the third month they began to lay the foundation of the heaps...(the storehouses)...and they finished them in the seventh month.
Hezekiah came to see the heaps, and when he saw them he blessed the Lord, and his people Israel.
And he questioned concerning the heaps.
I love the answer Hezekiah was given from Azariah, the chief priest.
"Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the Lord, we have had enough to eat, and have left plenty: for the Lord hath blessed his people; and that which is left is this great store." (2 Chronicles 31:10)
I think of these heaps, these storehouses. Filled with the blessings poured out from the Lord. A blessing so big there was not room enough to receive it. That which was left...a great store. Heaps of blessings.
When I read this story I can't help but be reminded of a scripture found in Malachi... "Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? ...In thithes and offerings. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse...and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." (Malachi 3:7-10) Right there in 2 Chronicles we find a tangible second witness of the promise penned in Malachi.
A blessing so great that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
The opening of the doors of the temple, led to the opening of the windows of Heaven.
From covenants and tithes and offerings to heaps of blessings.
Bring ye...and prove me.
The lesson of Hezekiah is clear...
It can happen suddenly.