Now I intend to make a covenant with the Lord , the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger will turn away from us. – 2Chr. 29:10 NIV
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King Hezekiah was a young man of twenty-five years when he succeeded his father, Ahaz, as king of Judah. He inherited what can best be described as a failed state as many soldiers had been killed, many women and children were already in exile and definitely the economy of the state was no where near healthy – 2Chr. 29:9. His father had shut down the doors to the temple of God and given out the furnishings therein. He had also encouraged the people to be involved in acts of Idolatry by setting up altars at every street corner in Jerusalem and building shrines for other gods in every town in Judah. He had succeeded in bringing the people to their lowest level of spiritual and material standards – 2Chr. 28:24-25.
Hezekiah however, showed his understanding of spiritual dynamics when he refused to see the people that have warred and defeated his people as the target of his reconstruction process. He knew that whatever the case may be, returning to Jehovah must be the priority after admitting the unfaithfulness of his father, because of all the actions that he took and the consequent anger of the Lord that came on the people of Judah and Jerusalem, with them becoming an object of dread, horror and scorn. He knew he had to start his reign by opening the doors of the temple that were shut by his father and bringing the people back to Jehovah. This was not going to be a mere physical activity as he was aware that it has to be deeply spiritual. The physical doors may have been closed, but more significant is the closure of the spiritual doors which will require more than the mere opening of the physical doors by man. He was aware that the right people will need to do the right things for the nation to be restored, so he called on the Priest and the Levites – 2Chr. 29:2-8. It was his reign, but he needed the support of the right people to make it a peaceful one.
He revealed his intention in the scripture that is the foundation of today’s Devotional, to make a covenant with Jehovah, which will not be anything but a promise to return the nation to Him, with the expectation that the anger of Jehovah will be turned away. He definitely understood the spiritual dynamics as he was willing to allow for all defilements to be removed from the sanctuary and his encouragement for the Priests and the Levites, whom he admitted have been chosen by Jehovah to stand, minister and offer sacrifices before Him, to do all to achieve this noble objective. With this carte blanche, they assembled themselves to commence the task of returning the people to Jehovah – 2Chr. 29: 5; 11-16.
Operating under the directives of the Holy Spirit, the Priests and the Levites identified and brought out all the unclean things that they found in the temple and took them to the Kidron Valley. With Kidron meaning hidden or obscured, they by that action took all those items out of the memory of the people to locations where they will not be able to retrieve them again, and they the spent the next sixteen days purifying the temple, after which they purified and returned all the articles that King Ahaz, in his unfaithfulness, had removed – 2Chr. 29:16-19.
They subsequently proceeded with steps that will take the people through the process of penitence. They all had to plead for forgiveness for their individual sins and not a joint effort. King Ahaz may have led them into idolatry, but that will not exonerate them from being culpable – 2Chr. 29:20-24. With the assurance of the success of all these processes, going by the directives received from the Lord through the Prophets Gad and Nathan and following the guidelines provided by David, arrangement was made for spiritual music to accompany the next stage of the purification process where the people brought offerings to the Lord in appreciation of His kindness to them and at the end of which they all knelt down and worshipped Jehovah to conclude the purification exercise – 2Chr. 29:25-30.
It was only with the successful completion of these processes that the service to the Lord could be continued, with the chance that their worship will receive the approval of Jehovah, a restoration which was worth celebrating and which they did celebrate with plenty to eat and drink – 2Chr. 29:31-35.
It may be about the physical temple or the temple that your body is, but what is obvious is that the act of returning to the Lord is a process that is clearly defined. It is simply not sufficient to make verbal pronouncements expressing such desires, but a series of deliberate acts that confirm such thoughts. The process will always start from acknowledging that there is indeed a challenge to identifying the source of the challenge, to being aware that the Almighty God will not allow such challenge to come if he did not approve of it and to seeking to know why He allowed it to happen at all. The response from this spiritual inquisition process should determine your next move because if it is His design for your life, then you are left with no choice than to accept His plan as He always has good thoughts for you that will take you to an expected end – Jer. 29:11. He is also aware that you are capable of successfully navigating that phase of your life so you should just concentrate on yourself with a view to not letting Him down, in His expectation of you – 1Cor. 10:13.
However, should it be made clear that it is because of an act that He is unhappy with, you will need to identify and confess your involvement with the act and admit your wrong doing, with a promise not to repeat such again. Where there is the need, and there is an opportunity for restitution, you will need to do both and seek his forgiveness. That is when the doors of spiritual access to Him will be re-opened and your life can be restored.
When all the individuals in a group also sincerely undergo this process, then access to Him, by such groups, is also re-opened and Grace required for success will also be made available. He is a faithful God and all who worship Him must faithfully do so to enjoy His promised peace and prosperity. May God grant us all the courage to take the necessary steps that will re-open all closed doors into His Grace in Jesus name. Amen.