THERE WAS GREAT JOY
“And all the congregation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the congregation that came out of Israel, and the strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelt in Judah, rejoiced. So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem.” II Chronicles 30:25, 26
King Hezekiah had initiated major reforms in Judah. He ordered that the temple be cleansed and repaired. He then commanded the priests to offer sacrifices of reconciliation on the altar. The Levites were instructed to lead the congregation in music and song. The king then proclaimed that the Passover be observed. Our text declares unto us that this was a time of “great joy in Jerusalem.” They were rejoicing in the reforms that were being observed under the leadership of the great king. They were rejoicing in the revival of their tradition and worship.
One can only imagine the spirit of jubilation and praise that accompanied these constructive changes in the lives of the Israelites. The same kind of spirit can be expected in our hearts and in our worship, as we are willing to give ourselves to repentance and personal revival. The natural by-products of surrender and dedication to God will be holiness and happiness. The world is so wrong about the fruit of godliness. People have been made to believe that sanctification to God and separation from sin can only lead to unhappiness and a miserable life. This is not true. The happy life is the holy life. When a true Christian is living in compromise and sin, he cannot experience real joy and victory in his heart.
The popular man-centered worship of our generation is seeking to manufacture happiness when there is no turning from sin. This is a counterfeit. When we have unconfessed sin and unresolved conflicts in our lives, we will not know the joy of the Lord. However, when we are willing to cleanse our lives, as Hezekiah did the temple, the joy will begin to return to us. This is not merely a carnal joy from eating and drinking and having fellowship with one another. It is not a joy produced by entertainment and worldly compromise. This is a spiritual joy from knowing our sins have been forgiven and that God is pleased with our direction and commitments. There was great rejoicing among Hezekiah’s people as a result of the spiritual decisions they made.