Lectionary reading for 3/9/2021: Psalm 84; 2 Chronicles 29:1-11, 16-19; Hebrews 9:23-28
Selected passage for reflection: 2 Chronicles 29:1-11, 16-19 (NIV)
2 Chronicles 29:1-11, 16-19
1 Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done.
3 In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the temple of the Lord and repaired them. 4 He brought in the priests and the Levites, assembled them in the square on the east side 5 and said: “Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the Lord, the God of your ancestors. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary. 6 Our parents were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the Lord’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him. 7 They also shut the doors of the portico and put out the lamps. They did not burn incense or present any burnt offerings at the sanctuary to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore, the anger of the Lord has fallen on Judah and Jerusalem; he has made them an object of dread and horror and scorn, as you can see with your own eyes. 9 This is why our fathers have fallen by the sword and why our sons and daughters and our wives are in captivity. 10 Now I intend to make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger will turn away from us. 11 My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before him and serve him, to minister before him and to burn incense.”
16 The priests went into the sanctuary of the Lord to purify it. They brought out to the courtyard of the Lord’s temple everything unclean that they found in the temple of the Lord. The Levites took it and carried it out to the Kidron Valley. 17 They began the consecration on the first day of the first month, and by the eighth day of the month they reached the portico of the Lord. For eight more days they consecrated the temple of the Lord itself, finishing on the sixteenth day of the first month.
18 Then they went in to King Hezekiah and reported: “We have purified the entire temple of the Lord, the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the table for setting out the consecrated bread, with all its articles. 19 We have prepared and consecrated all the articles that King Ahaz removed in his unfaithfulness while he was king. They are now in front of the Lord’s altar.”
I’ve seen so often on television, where families have handed down family rings, houses, even businesses as a tradition! I began to think over the years, maybe my family just watched another channel. I too wanted something of value to inherit. My grandmother did share her cornbread recipe with me, and that’s priceless! However, I haven’t been the recipient of any family heirlooms or property. At least, not yet!
In today’s text, King Hezekiah inherited the kingdom of Jerusalem. If you read more about the very interesting lineage of kings in Jerusalem, you will find that there were so. many. awful. Kings! King Hezekiah was one of the greats.
One thing that isn’t mentioned, that stands out to me, is that the king’s father and predecessor is noted for being a dreadful king (2 Chronicles 28). He refused to follow God. How then did King Hezekiah know what it looked like to obey God? How did he know what it took to be a great king? He had seen firsthand what happens when the people of God reject their God. King Hezekiah decided that he would do what was right in the sight of the Lord.
I wonder how many of us come from families that have rejected God. How many of us ourselves have refused to follow God? How many of us have been counted out because of our family history? Are you living out your family’s generational curses? Does the shame of your past or present keep you from doing what’s right in the sight of the Lord?
In the first month of his reign, King Hezekiah took to repairing the relationship between God and the children of Israel. In the first month, he and the people he had around him, got started on the consecration of the Temple. It took them 16 days to remove all the defiling junk that had accumulated; 16 days to rid the Temple of all the things that had no business being there in the first place.
What can you rid yourself of in 16 days? And who do you have around to help and support you?
King Hezekiah gathered the right individuals and decided to follow God. Like King Hezekiah, we too can make the decision to flip the script and be led by God. We don’t have to be like our parents. We don’t have to continue on the path we have found ourselves on.
It’s not too late to choose God.
What can you get rid of in the next 16 days?
How many relationships can you mend?
How many workouts can you do?
How many steps can you take?
How many families can you bless?
How many compliments can you give?
How many people can you give your cart to at Aldi?
How many children can you pray for?
How many people can you reach out to?
Thank you for grace. Thank you for another chance, and another chance, and another chance to choose you. I pray that you would surround us with individuals who will support and encourage us as we follow you. Help us to not avoid the people who will be able to help us get rid of the junk that has no place in our lives. I pray for courage and patience.
About the Author
Brandi S. Sanders is an outgoing and proud wife, mom, daughter, sister, and auntie who currently resides in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. Brandi serves as the Manager of Global Personnel for Serve Globally (a mission priority of the Evangelical Covenant Church). Many people are familiar with Brandi’s singing gifts – she has been singing for as long as she can remember! Brandi is currently exploring other gifts and finding new hobbies. Near the end of 2020, she joined a virtual workout group and now appreciates being super sweaty at the end of a good workout. One last thing – Brandi is the granddaughter of the late Hezekiah Knowles.