When we need a personal revival and spiritual restoration in our relationship with the Lord, or if we’ve already experienced it and desire to maintain it, God’s word is chock full of ideas for how to bring it about. In 2 Chronicles 29, we see examples of everything that is involved with or contributes to revival and restoration, and those things are personified in the names of the men who helped bring revival to Judah after the nation got bogged down with the ways of the world.
Revival started with Hezekiah (“Jehovah has made strong”; 2 Chronicles 29:1-3). It is Jehovah’s strength in us that begins revival. After he became king, Hezekiah gathered 14 men from the tribe of Levi (2 Chronicles 29:12-14)–priests, worshipers, and ministers for God’s temple who symbolize what we need in our own temples.
There was Mahath (“grasping”), a figure of how we take hold of the things of God after Jehovah has made us strong. Joel (“Jehovah is God”) also joined in as a reminder that we have one Lord, one faith, and one baptism with Jehovah as God of our revival, the only one we bow and pray to. Kish (“bent (like a bow)”) made a contribution, showing us the readiness we should have for God to use us as his instruments of deliverance (see 2 Kings 13:16-17). Azariah (“Jehovah has helped”) and Joah (“Jehovah is helper”) were part of the revival team to point out how we should continually see how God has helped us in the recent past and continues to help us as he restores us.
Eden (“pleasure”) played his part as well to symbolize the pleasure and joy we experience in our revived relationship with Jehovah. That pleasure encourages us to be like Shimri (“vigilant”), awakening in us the importance of staying vigilant for Christ’s sake so we won’t give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:27). With that vigilance, Jeiel (“God sweeps away”) enters in as God sweeps away our worries and any sin which does easily beset us (Hebrews 12:1).
As all of those elements take place, Zechariah (“Jehovah remembers”) and Mattaniah (“gift of Jehovah”) add to the mix since Jehovah remembers our humble and active responses to him, giving us various gifts to move us forward on his path of revival. That keeps us mindful that Jehiel, “God lives” in us since we are his temple, bringing us into his perfection so we can be like Shimei (“renowned”), well-known and respected in God’s kingdom as our rewards pile up in heaven with a few glimpses of those rewards manifesting here on earth.
It is truly then that we are Shemaiah, “heard by Jehovah”, as his eyes run to and fro throughout the earth to show himself strong on our behalf (2 Chronicles 16:9). And just as our revival began with Jehovah’s strength (“Hezekiah”), it will continue when we proclaim to ourselves “my strength is of God”, which is the meaning of Uzziel, the last man mentioned as part of Hezekiah’s revival team.
While some of these men came together in the temple to help with the sacrifices that were figurative of Christ himself, others of them led in simultaneous praise and worship with musical instruments. Spiritually speaking, the ideas their names represent as shared above should point us to Christ in our revival and they remind us of the type of sacrifices we now give in response to Christ dwelling in us and our dwelling in him (e.g., see Hebrews 13:15-16).