A King on His Face

There’s no substitute for leadership. And I’m not talking about the “do as I say” type of leadership but the “do as I do” type. You can teach . . . you can preach . . . you can provide the checklist to be followed, but if a leader doesn’t lead by following his own teaching . . . and heeding his own preaching . . . and getting the list done before asking others to, I’m thinking it’s kind of empty. And Hezekiah’s the kind of leader I’m talking about.

If 2Chronicles 29 doesn’t constitute bona fide revival I’m not sure what does. Hezekiah takes the throne when he is 25 years old. And in the first year of his reign he opens the doors to the house of the LORD. Under the reign of his predecessor, Ahaz, the LORD had been forsaken for the pursuit of the “abominations of the nations” (2Chron. 28:1-3). But Hezekiah was determined to direct his people back to the place where God had said he would dwell among those who sought Him. So Hezekiah opens the doors and cleans house . . . literally.

Hezekiah sends in the Levites to cart out the filth deposited in the Holy Place through neglect. He charges them to relight the lamps . . . to burn again the incense . . . to sacrifice again the offerings . . . so that a people who had “turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD” might again give God their faces and no longer their backs (29:1-11).

And if I’m reading it right, the Levites go to town and in only sixteen days have the temple ready for worship (29:17). And that was only the beginning. Sixteen days of holy momentum leading to all out revival. Ready . . . aim . . . seek the LORD!

But here’s what grabbed me this morning. After rising early, I think on the next day, king Hezekiah gathers the officials of the city and leads them to the house of the LORD. There the offerings for atonement are made ready. And the Levite musicians are stationed in place. And then Hezekiah commands that the burnt offering be offered on the altar. And when the offering begins, the Levites start playing, and the singers start singing, and the whole assembly starts worshiping. And I mean the WHOLE assembly . . . the king included.

Then Hezekiah commanded that the burnt offering be offered on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song to the LORD began also, and the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David king of Israel. The whole assembly worshiped, and the singers sang and the trumpeters sounded. All this continued until the burnt offering was finished. When the offering was finished, the king and all who were present with him bowed themselves and worshiped. (2Chronicles 29:27-29 ESV)

A king on his face. A king on his face before his people. A king on his knees in the presence of his subjects. A king who says not only, “Worship God,” but says through his actions, “Imitate me as I worship God.”

There’s no replacement for real leadership . . . leadership in the trenches . . . leadership in action . . . leadership which leads by example. True in general, true, I believe, in the church. And true in the home. How we need men and women of God who lead by example. Catalysts for revival among their people because God has first worked revival in their own hearts. Sign posts — because of how they live their lives — for their families, their small groups, and their churches . . . directing others to pursue the kingdom and to worship the King.

O that God would continue to raise up such leaders among His people. That God would form within each follower of Christ a heart for such leadership in their realm of influence.

All by His grace . . . all for His glory.

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