Today’s reading – 2 Kings 18 and 2 Chronicles 29-31 plus Psalm 31
Anybody want a do over?
Most of the people that came from Ephraim, West Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun had not made themselves clean, but they ignored God’s Law and ate the Passover lambs anyway. Hezekiah found out what they had done and prayed, “LORD God, these people are unclean according to the laws of holiness. But they are worshiping you, just as their ancestors did. So, please be kind and forgive them.” The LORD answered Hezekiah’s prayer and did not punish them. 2 Chronicle 30 18-20
This story from King Hezekiah’s reign has to make you chuckle!
The King sets out to a good thing. He wants to cleanse the temple. The people had long ignored God’s rules and the temple by all accounts was ceremonially unclean.
The process is followed and a great celebration ensues when the temple is re-opened.
Problem is that in the process of celebrating all that is GOD – some of the people celebrating in the temple were in fact unclean.
In other words, the temple was unclean as it was before.
Time to groan or to laugh . . . your choice.
Hezekiah chooses the later and calls upon God to forgive them for they are not there to defile the temple, but rather to worship God.
If only we could learn to respond the same way when people enter our churches and do not conform to “our ways” in their worship.
Perhaps we could end all the “worship wars” about form by learning to grasp as Hezekiah did that we are all seeking the same thing – Worship of God as our gift to HIM.
Tomorrow’s Reading – Hosea Chapters 1-7