Read 2 Chronicles 29
Sanctification and Restoration
When Hezekiah took the throne at the age of twenty-five, the temple in Judah was in disrepair due to a lack of use. The king said, “For our fathers have trespassed and done evil in the eyes of the Lord our God; they have forsaken Him, have turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and turned their backs on Him. They have also shut up the doors of the vestibule, put out the lamps, and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel” (2 Chronicles 29:6-7). He commanded the priests and the Levites, “Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from the holy place” (2 Chronicles 29:5).
Do we ever need to get rid of some rubbish from our lives? If we are to live holy lives before our God and walk in righteousness, does it not follow that we should avoid the trash that sin produces? The old temple was neglected; do we ever neglect the temple of God today? We must continually evaluate our spiritual lives. Look at the activities on our calendar—do they conflict with our service to God? Is there some rubbish that needs to be carried out?
There are some very important things to notice in this chapter. Hezekiah said, “Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that His fierce wrath may turn away from us. My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him, and that you should minister to Him and burn incense” (2 Chronicles 29:10-11).
The king first made a personal commitment. It would be very difficult to encourage others to serve if he was not himself committed to the task. Good leaders lead by example, not by compulsion.
Second, notice to whom the service was to be offered. Hezekiah reminded them that the service was to the Lord—not to the king, and not to self. Do we ever forget this? When we gather on Sunday, while we do benefit from assembling together, the main purpose is to worship God and remember His Son’s death.
Finally, notice the response of the people. “So the assembly brought in sacrifices and thank offerings, and as many as were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings” (2 Chronicles 29:31). A grateful “willing heart” is so very important when we worship God. Is your heart right?