CAN ONE GODLY MAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN A NATION?

July 19, 2022

CAN ONE GODLY MAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN A NATION?

 

Can one man make a difference in a nation? Although it seems hard to fathom, the answer is a resounding “YES!” and history proves it over and over again.

THE REVIVAL UNDER HEZEKIAH

The books of Kings and Chronicles record the seemingly endless cycle of bad and good kings in Israel’s history. After a particularly long string of wicked rulers that brought the nation to great ruin, one man named Hezekiah is placed on the throne.

Hezekiah was a godly man. We have no account of what made him so. But he immediately began to assess the nation's spiritual condition and systematically do what was necessary to bring the nation back to God. We see the astounding results of one man’s godly leadership.

ONE MAN brought the presence of God back into its rightful place immediately.

He did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done. In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them. (2 Chronicles 29:2-3)

ONE MAN restored the spiritual leaders into service.

He brought in the priests and the Levites and gathered them into the square on the east. Then he said to them, “Listen to me, O Levites. Consecrate yourselves now, and consecrate the house of the Lord, the God of your fathers, and carry the uncleanness out from the holy place. (2 Chronicles 29:4-5)

ONE MAN led the leaders to repent.

Then he said to them, “Listen to me, O Levites. Consecrate yourselves now, and consecrate the house of the Lord, the God of your fathers, and carry the uncleanness out from the holy place. (2 Chronicles 29:5)

ONE MAN properly evaluated why the nation was in ruin, identifying the people’s sin and the corresponding judgment of God.

 “For our fathers have been unfaithful and have done evil in the sight of the Lord our God, and have forsaken Him and turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and have turned their backs. They have also shut the doors of the porch and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. Therefore the wrath of the Lord was against Judah and Jerusalem, and He has made them an object of terror, of horror, and of hissing, as you see with your own eyes. (29:6-8)

ONE MAN restored the covenant relationship with God

Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that His burning anger may turn away from us. My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before Him, to minister to Him, and to be His ministers and burn incense.” (29:10-11)

ONE MAN brought worship back to God’s house.

He then stationed the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with harps and with lyres, according to the command of David and of Gad the king’s seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for the command was from the Lord through His prophets. (29:25)
Then Hezekiah gave the order to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the song to the Lord also began with the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David, king of Israel. (29:27)
Moreover, King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to sing praises to the Lord with the words of David and Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with joy, and bowed down and worshiped. (29:30)

ONE MAN accomplished a lot suddenly.

Thus the service of the house of the Lord was established again. Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over what God had prepared for the people, because the thing came about suddenly. (29:35-36)

ONE MAN restored moments of national, corporate worship calling for national repentance.

For the king and his princes and all the assembly in Jerusalem had decided to celebrate the Passover in the second month. (30:2)
“Now do not stiffen your neck like your fathers, but yield to the Lord and enter His sanctuary which He has consecrated forever, and serve the Lord your God, that His burning anger may turn away from you. For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and your sons will find compassion before those who led them captive and will return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.” (30:8-9)

ONE MAN was used to move a whole nation to aggressive obedience to God.

The sons of Israel present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great joy, and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day after day with loud instruments to the Lord. Then Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who showed good insight in the things of the Lord. So they ate for the appointed seven days, sacrificing peace offerings and giving thanks to the Lord God of their fathers. Then the whole assembly decided to celebrate the feast another seven days, so they celebrated the seven days with joy. (30:21-23)

ONE MAN was instrumental in bringing JOY back to a nation!

So there was great joy in Jerusalem, because there was nothing like this in Jerusalem since the days of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel. (30:26)

ONE MAN restored God’s plan for giving, the tithe of all, to the nation.

As soon as the order spread, the sons of Israel provided in abundance the first fruits of grain, new wine, oil, honey and of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly the tithe of all. (31:5)

Here is the final summation of this one man’s work and the reason that God used him so swiftly and fully.

Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah; and he did what was good, right and true before the Lord his God. Every work which he began in the service of the house of God in law and in commandment, seeking his God, he did with all his heart and prospered. (31:20-21)

Hezekiah’s secret was that he did the right thing, the God-initiated thing, fully and with all his heart. He was courageously, humbly unashamed to fully obey God … and God honored and used his leadership.

ONE MAN

Can one man make a difference in a nation? Can YOU make a difference right where you are? Absolutely. God has proven this repeatedly through human history.

Determine to obey Him fully with all your heart. Ask God to use you, faithfully obey Him, and courageously lead others to join you and see what God will do!

Father, thank You for using one man. Give me the courage, in the sphere you’ve given me, to be the man you want me to be. And may I and my people return and worship you with complete repentance and corresponding joy so that You alone will be glorified!

 





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