When a sports team needs to rebuild after a series of losing seasons, it can be difficult for an owner to know where to begin. Hire a new coaching staff? Draft a younger roster? Hire one or two big-name stars? The success of the Oakland Athletics baseball team’s use of analytics, described in Michael Lewis’s book Moneyball, sparked an interest in statistics and metrics for teams with small budgets.
When it comes to rebuilding a congregation after years of departing members, diminished offerings, and deferred maintenance, the Scriptures consistently offer the same prescription. We see this under the leadership of Zerubbabel the priest (Ezra 3) and in the command to Timothy in Ephesus (1 Tim. 2:1–8). And we find the answer in our reading today, when Hezekiah begins rebuilding Judah. The first step is always to reestablish right worship as the priority.
Hezekiah restored the doors and vestibule of the house of the Lord while also consecrating the Levites to do their work in the house (vv. 3–11). The building itself needed to be treated with care to make sure it was functional, and those charged with leading the people in worship needed to be consecrated and purified. If Hezekiah gave the doors and vestibule attention but did not consecrate the Levites, he would have communicated that the house of the Lord was simply a building—that what happened externally and aesthetically was more important than the holy God who dwells in His house.
The revival of worship was the inspiring result. This time, in contrast to the reign of Jotham, the people followed the leadership of Hezekiah and joined in the sacrifices of repentance and praise (vv. 27–36).
Remember our Stewardship reps today as they faithfully represent Moody around the country. Pray that God would give them favor as they interact with friends of Moody and ask that their witness would always honor God and His purposes.