According to Breaking Israel News:
“Israel Antiquities Authority recently excavated an administrative storage center from the days of King Hezekiah and Manasseh in the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem. Excavation of the site revealed an unusually large structure built of concentric ashlar walls. Of particular interest, 120 jar handles were found bearing seal impressions containing ancient Hebrew script. Many of the handles bare the inscription “LMLK,” belonging to the King with the name of the ancient city, while others feature the names of senior officials or wealthy individuals from the First Temple period. This is one of the largest and most important collections of seal impressions ever uncovered in archaeological excavations in Israel.”
“At the site we excavated, there are signs that governmental activity managed and distributed food supplies not only for a shortage but administered agricultural surplus amassing commodities and wealth. Evidence shows that at this site, taxes were collected in an orderly manner for agricultural products such as wine and olive oil.”
I share this article because the Holy Spirit reminded me of how reading about King Hezekiah led me to learn about the significance of the Hebrew calendar and the principles of the blueprint God established in His word for a nation to experience healing. And today, this discovery is a sign to me that the story of Hezekiah’s reign is a key to helping us through these difficult times.
In 2012, God had me study King Hezekiah’s reign, and how he got a revelation that the kings before him had established a wrong governmental platform for the nation. These iniquitous choices were causing God’s people to crumble under the weight of the enemy invading the land. The Assyrian army had already defeated the House of Israel and part of the House of Judah at the time Hezekiah came into kingship. Hezekiah was raised in an hour that stopped the demise completely…at least bought the House of Judah time and allowed them to prosper under his reign. Unfortunately, subsequent kings didn’t do as Hezekiah did, and the demise of the nation came through the Babylonians approximately 100 years later.
Prior to King Hezekiah’s reign, the kings had forsaken what God wrote in His law and began adopting their “own ways.” They also stopped honoring God’s “holy days” and adopted pagan practices and idolatry. God then raised up an adversary, the king of Assyria to invade the land and displace many of God’s people.
But Hezekiah removed all the things that were outside of God’s laws and understood this was the wrath of God that had come upon them for turning away from the Lord:
“Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from the holy place. For our fathers have tresspassed and done evil in the eyes of the Lord our God; they have forsaken Him, have turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and turned their backs on Him” (2 Chron. 29:5,6).
He sent out messengers to all the tribes to come and celebrate the Passover:
“Then the runners went throughout all Israel and Judah with the letters from the king and his leaders, and spoke according to the command of the king. ‘Children of Israel, RETURN to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel; then He will return to the remnant of you who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria…Now do not be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord; and enter His sanctuary, which He has sanctified forever; and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you. For if you return to the Lord, your brethren and your children will be treated with compassion by those who lead them captive, so that they may come back to this land; for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn His face from you if you return to Him'” (2 Chron. 30:1-9).
Many mocked the invitation, but some did come:
“So the runners passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh as far as Zebulun, but they laughed at them and mocked them. Nevertheless, some from Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. Also the hand of God was on Judah to give them singleness of heart to obey the command of the king and the leaders, at the word of the Lord” (2 Chron. 39:10,11).
And while they chose to follow God’s law and return to God’s covenant calendar, God healed the people:
“And the Lord listened to Hezekiah and healed the people” (2 Chron. 30:20).
There was great joy in Jerusalem, and God also opened His ears to hear the prayers of the priests:
“Then the priests, the Levites, arose and blessed the people, and their voice was HEARD; and their prayer came up to His holy dwelling place to heaven” (2 Chron. 30:27).
Hezekiah did what was good and right and true before God. And God prospered him:
“And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered” (2 Chron. 31:21).
God also gave King Hezekiah victory over the Assyrian king’s army, even though they were outnumbered in men and resources:
“Now because of this: King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and cried out to heaven, Then the Lord sent an angel who cut down every mighty man of valor, leader, and captain in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned shamefaced to his own land. And when he had gone into the temple of his god, some of his own offspring struck him down with the sword there” (2 Chron. 32:20,21).
This year, because of COVID-19, the nations came together to honor Passover. This was a “Hezekiah” moment. When Hezekiah called to restore the honoring of Passover, it was the first time it had been honored like that since the time King Solomon reigned. And it led to a healing of the people.
COVID-19 also forced the churches to close their doors. It has been a “divine pause” that God is trying to wake up the church too. We should be examining how we are doing church. How effective is the church in the nation? What needs to change? How can we get back into the places of influence and authority? These questions demmand answers because the church has lost her influence and positioning of authority in this nation. The “house” that man has built versus the house God wants to be built must be examined. We are in a Hezekiah moment to stop and pause as he did and discover why the nation has grown so weak and yet the enemy gaining power. But God’s word tells us why:
“For so it was the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and they had feared other gods, and had walked in the statutes of the nations who the Lord had cast out from before the children of Israel, which they had made. Also, the children of Israel SECRETLY did against the Lord their God things that were not right, and they built for themselves high places in all their cities, from watchtower to fortified city” ( 2 Kings 17:7-9).
There is nothing new under the sun. This pattern of “turning away” from the Lord and His ways exists today. God is first after the church and things done in “secret” as well as the doctrines that man created. He is trying to get us to follow His blueprint in being the body of Christ under His headship. This “divine pause” is a wake-up call for the church to get into alignment with His truth.
Repentance is required first as we see in the story of Hezekiah. But repentance isn’t just the answer. In the story of Hezekiah, the king shifted and asked the people to TURN from their wicked ways. They then took action to restore what God commanded and removed all idols.
Restoring the “Holy Days” is also one of the keys to bridging the body of Christ back into one voice and heartbeat. We saw the coming together across denominational divides, continental divides, and political divides as we celebrated Passover this year.
Hezekiah shows us that government done rightly will cause ALL to prosper and defeat the enemy. The excavation and discovery of King Hezekiah’s “governmental activity” that handled the distribution of supplies is a sign for us to wake up and learn from Hezekiah in this hour. There were 120 handles found. 120 is the biblical number that symbolizes a divinely appointed time of waiting. It was 120 years that God gave before the flood of judgment came (Gen. 6:1-3). Yet in the New Testament, it was 120 that the Holy Spirit poured out His fire upon, baptizing them with God’s truth and grace (Acts 2). It is God’s time to judge, and it is His time to pour out His Spirit of truth. In this time of shaking, King Hezekiah holds a key to the healing of this nation, and the nations who call upon the Lord.
Praying we all shift through the shaking, learn from the example of Hezekiah, and we enter into the commandment and promises of 2 Chron 7:14:
“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, THEN I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and heal their land.”