Monday, September 21, 2009

The Cleaning

"In the first year of his reign, in the first month, (Hezekiah) opened the doors of the house of the LORD and repaired them."
(2 Chronicles 19:3)

I absolutely love this guy!  2 Chronicles 29-31 tells about King Hezekiah... a 25-year old king of Judah who had a 29-year reign.  He was one of the "good guys" when it comes to Israel & Judah's kings.  One of his first acts as a king was to open up, clean out, restore and sanctify the Temple in Jerusalem - which had fallen into deep neglect over the years.  After a major cleansing, Hezekiah called all of the people to come and worship together.  And worship they did!  Hours upon hours of singing, prayer & offerings.  "And Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because of what God had done for the peopel; for the thing had come about suddenly" (2 Chr. 29:36).

From here, the king tackled the festival of Passover - which also had been neglected over the years.  This was their time to remember God's saving history in their lives... and was a major step in restoring the people to a right relationship with God.  What's interesting as well is that Hezekiah suggested a humble and contrite attitude by the people of Judah might have an intercessory-effect for their brothers and sisters from the North (Israel) who were in captivity from the Assyrians.  So it had a sacrificial tone to it (30:9).

In the end, there was great joy, community, and fellowship in Judah.  "For since the time of Solomon son of King David of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem" (30:26).  Wow.  What a testimony!  And it all started from a little cleaning...

(I wonder what might need to be cleaned/cleansed in my life and circle of influence today?)

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