…“People of Israel, return to the Lord , the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. – 2Chr. 30:6 NIV
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Today’s Devotional focuses on the advise of King Hezekiah to his people to return to Jehovah so that He can also return to them and the actions he took after the access doors to Jehovah had been successfully opened for himself and his people – 2Chr. 29:1-36. In the middle of the euphoria that the new lease of life brought to the people, the king and his cabinet members must have started pondering on how to ensure that the joy was not short-lived and probably with every suggestion being considered, the need to celebrate the Passover was considered to be the priority.
Rather than wait another ten months before celebrating it after all had agreed to the importance of its been celebrated, they chose to do so in the second month, despite the ordinance that stated that the celebration of the Passover was to start on the tenth day of the first month – Exo. 12:1-3. This was because the insufficient number of sanctified Priests that were ready to officiate the celebration at the regular time – 2Chr. 30:3. Since the proposal to celebrate it at that time was acceptable to all, a proclamation was made throughout Israel from Beersheba to Dan. The content of the proclamation is the focus of today’s Devotionals with its details are as follows:
- The king advised his people to return to the Lord , the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, so that He may also return to them who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria – 2Chr. 30:6. They indeed may have participated in the processes that led to their been forgiven but they still needed to take the decision to return to the Lord, else they may find themselves involved again in acts of unfaithfulness. It is one thing to feel sorry for a crime and receive forgiveness, but it is a different ball game to take a decision to distance oneself from locations or activities that can lure one back into such acts in the future.
- He further advised them not be like their parents and their fellow Israelites, who were unfaithful to the Lord , the God of their ancestors, such that He made them an object of horror, as they must have witnessed – 2Chr. 30:7.
- He discouraged them from being stiff-necked, like their ancestors were, rather they should submit to the Lord – 2Chr. 30:8a. Being stiff-necked is another word for being stubborn and one begins to wonder why anyone will decide to remain stubborn in an act that will eventually be regretted.
- He advised them to come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever and serve Jehovah – 2Chr. 30:8b-9. It has to be the one He has sanctified and not just any sanctuary as that is the only way that the fierce anger of the Lord can be turned away. The removal of the anger of the Lord will always result in the receipt of mercy and compassion, not only by the one that returned, but even to family members and all the members of the household of such a person.
Most Christians, after receiving forgiveness and beginning to enjoy the benefits of being restored, do not see the need to further grow their relationship with Jehovah by reading and meditating on the scriptures, so as to get more familiar with His ordinances, yet this remains the only way to avoid those acts that led to the strain in their relationship with Him and the ensuing separation. There is always a lot to benefit from being in good stead with the Almighty God, but like all relationships, it will only be made available as trust is regained. The one that has just been re-united with Him will need to take deliberate steps to know and walk in His statutes, to regain this trust. The implication of not getting to know Him better is that such will operate in ignorance, and will be deprived of the full benefit of the re-union or worse still, experience a fresh breakdown in the relationship, as such will soon contravene his instructions.
Christians need to understand that the relationship with Jehovah is like a moving wheel that will require constant lubrication, and the lubricant being is His Words. Strict observance of all His laws, instructions and ordinances, will go a long way to strengthening the foundation of the relationship with Him. The one who intends to be faithful to Him but is not aware of his ordinances more so operate in them will likely live an unfaithful life as it is almost impossible to operate in a knowledge that one does not have. Beyond the unlimited joy that is in observing his instructions, there is the huge blessing that accompanies such act, which will always make the Christian stand out and become an overcomer in the world.
The Christian who has taken the decision to return to the Lord must consolidate such a re-union by reading, meditating and observing all His laws as stated in the scriptures. That is when such can build the mutual trust required to successfully walk with Him, and help to further move such away from acts of unfaithfulness.
The Israelites, after celebrating the Passover and receiving the blessing for such acts became more assured about their relationship with Him and this became manifest in the ease with which they voluntarily decided to pull down whatever remaining links they had with idols – 2Chr. 31:1. Your Christian life will definitely be on firmer and better grounds if you choose to observe all that he has commanded. Read and meditate on the scriptures with a view to finding out what will enhance that re-union. Implement them and you will be assured of a future of greater benefits from your relationship with Him. May you be the beneficiary of great benefits in your relationship with Him in Jesus name. Amen.