2 Chronicles 30:1-13
1 Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem to keep the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel. 2 For the king and his princes and all the assembly in Jerusalem had taken counsel to keep the Passover in the second month— 3 for they could not keep it at that time because the priests had not consecrated themselves in sufficient number, nor had the people assembled in Jerusalem— 4 and the plan seemed right to the king and all the assembly. 5 So they decreed to make a proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, that the people should come and keep the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem, for they had not kept it as often as prescribed. 6 So couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with letters from the king and his princes, as the king had commanded, saying, “O people of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that he may turn again to the remnant of you who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7 Do not be like your fathers and your brothers, who were faithless to the Lord God of their fathers, so that he made them a desolation, as you see. 8 Do not now be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord and come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever, and serve the Lord your God, that his fierce anger may turn away from you. 9 For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and your children will find compassion with their captors and return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him.”
10 So the couriers went from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun, but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them. 11 However, some men of Asher, of Manasseh, and of Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12 The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the Lord.
13 And many people came together in Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month, a very great assembly.
Hezekiah sent out messengers to Israel and Judah inviting people to the Passover celebration. This summer Jesus sent more than two hundred messengers to the ports of the western Mediterranean Sea inviting North Africans to His Passover. Invitations came through New Testaments, Magdalena and JESUS Film DVDs, Josh McDowell’s More than a Carpenter, and children’s Wonder Books along with words spoken by the participants who were trained to witness with a Muslim.
The messengers went forth with authority. Often local officials stood opposed, but Jesus, “who opens doors that no one can shut” and who sent the messengers with “all authority in heaven and earth,” enabled many to continue to receive the “invitations” to the Passover Lamb.
Many North Africans who were offered the “invitations”, “laughed them to scorn”; often hindering other North Africans from accepting. Yet, as seen by the numbers distributed and the stories of the next column, “some men… humbled themselves” accepting packets. A good number of these indicated receiving Christ into their lives.
The stories that follow include the on-going witness of people impacted by previous years’ outreach. No one knows the date of Jesus’ return. It looks to be soon. Soon or not, when we meet in heaven there will be “a very great assembly” among which will be countless North Africans.
Un-Locked A couple, on their phase 1 lockdown walk, heard Arabic music from a parked car. They offered a packet which was accepted decisively. A man going to an end-of-Ramadan meal, refused the packet. When offered a USB he changed, accepting it with profuse appreciation. A young man was reading