July 31

2 Chronicles 29:1-36

The next four chapters will cover the reign of King Hezekiah who was one of the godliest kings of Judah. We even read that King Hezekiah, “…did what was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father David had done.” That says a lot.

We’ve covered the fact that Chronicles is written from a priestly perspective, so it’s no surprise that we have such detail in the restoration of the Temple, the Priesthood, and Temple worship. The Lord moved Hezekiah who encouraged the priests and people to sanctify themselves to God. It always begins by getting rid of the trash in our lives.

2 Chronicles 29:5 (NKJV) “Hear me, Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from the holy place.”

Hezekiah was well aware of that fact that the nation had turned their backs on the LORD, had done evil, and closed the doors of fellowship with God…all this was the reason they were suffering so.  Hezekiah began with the priests and challenged them to sanctify themselves, to do the work of the ministry, and make themselves available to help the people in their worship of God. It was in King Hezekiah’s heart to make a covenant with the LORD, that His wrath would be lifted.  We read some specifics in:

2 Chronicles 29:11 (NKJV) “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.”

Many times the problem of spiritual leaders/Levites is not that they’re openly disobedient, it’s that they’re casually negligent…it’s not that they reject God, it’s that they neglect God. King Hezekiah challenges them NOT to be negligent, to sanctify themselves and be ready to serve. We need to be proactive in a passionate pursuit of God, especially as leaders, let’s seek the Lord wholeheartedly.

We read the names of the men who responded and rose to the occasion (2 Chronicles 29:12-14). They were able to get the Temple “together” in eight days. They let the King know, who then “rose early” (this is a sign of excitement and urgency) and began to offer sacrifices to cleanse the Temple ceremonially as well as cleanse the people nationally.

Hezekiah also stationed the Levites who were musicians in place, and made sure that they were praising God at the same time the other Levites and priests were offerings up their sacrifices.  This is part of the reason Hezekiah was compared to King David, there was an emphasis on worship. I cannot over-state the importance of praise and worship in the lives of God’s people. I pray that worship is your life, and that you enjoy the blessing of music specifically geared to glorify God and encourage you in your relationship with Him!

After these things were set, King Hezekiah encouraged all the people (the assembly) to bring their offerings to God, to join in praise and worship.

2 Chronicles 29:30b, 31b  (NKJV) “So they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshiped…so the assembly brought in sacrifices and thank offerings, and as many as were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings..”

The burnt offering was when they took the sacrifice and burned it ALL to God. None went to the priest and none went to the person offering the sacrifice. It all went to God. It symbolizes how we need to make that commitment to give ALL of our lives completely, wholeheartedly, and unreservedly to God.

Romans 14:1-23

Romans 14 highlights the fact that we all have personal convictions, we’re all growing at different rates, and we’re to therefore be extremely careful in judging others. As a matter of fact, we aren’t called to meddle with the personal convictions of other believers. Now that doesn’t mean we can never judge within the church – at times we can and actually are called to do so – if the issue is clear in Scripture (please see John 7:24; 1 Corinthians 5:12) but even that is to be done in love.

So don’t judge a person’s diet, don’t judge a person’s day they choose to esteem (or not) – as believers we all live and die for the Lord personally and individually. We ultimately belong to God, and we will inevitably be judged by Him. Paul mentions that fact in:

Romans 14:12 (NKJV) “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.”

It’s freeing to know that God is my Judge, but it’s also a very sobering thought, for so many reasons.

Sandy Adams said, “Preparing my heart to meet the Master is a full-time job. It leaves little time for me to judge the heart of my brother.”

This whole realm of personal convictions forbids me to judge such things and commands me to love such people. If I know my brother doesn’t eat meat that was offered to idols, I shouldn’t offer it to him, or eat it right in front of him – that’s not love. Paul even says that such behavior can “destroy” (Romans 14:5, 20) my brother. That’s heavy!

What a great principal given in:

Romans 14:19 (NKJV) “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.”

Warren Wiersbe summarized it like this, “Our desire must not be to get everybody to agree with us; our desire must be to pursue peace, not cause others to stumble, and help others to mature in Christ.”

In closing, let me touch on the fact that underlying this entire chapter is something hard to understand; Paul says that all things are pure. Jesus said something similar in: 

Matthew 15:11 (NKJV) “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

Paul points to wine in Romans 14:21 and some might see this as a license for liquor. Here’s the thing…at the end of the day the Bible doesn’t straight-out prohibit wine – it does prohibit getting drunk (Ephesians 5:18). But let’s be honest and wise to realize that wine, beer, hard liquor, mixed drinks and the like have made many people stumble and have ruined countless lives. Most men cannot handle alcohol, so I believe that in the context of today’s culture, this chapter doesn’t teach us that it’s okay to drink wine, I believe it actually teaches the exact opposite. I believe if we choose to walk in love, we will choose not to drink alcohol, because of the simple fact that we never, ever, ever want to give even the slightest reason for our brother or sister to stumble. What might happen if my son saw me drinking? God forbid.

But…and this is hard to say, if I saw you have a glass of wine or a beer and you weren’t drunk, I might be grieved at your witness, and ask you to step down from ministry, but I couldn’t judge you to the point of saying you’re not saved. That’s between you and the Lord.

As for me…I’d much rather get high on God and be under the influence of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).

Psalm 24:1-10

Another one of those epic questions:

Psalm 24:3 (NKJV) “Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place?”

Us? In the Holy place? How? As we place our faith in Jesus Christ our life will change, and the proof will be in the pudding. Our belief will affect our behavior.

Not perfect, but proper. We’ll have fellowship with God because we’ll become that person with clean hands. That person with a clean heart. People with no idols in our souls. People who speaks truth with our lips. People who seek God’s face.

Do you believe? Do you behave? This brings assurance to our soul. This brings the King of Glory (mentioned 5 times in this chapter) into our lives. What a glorious life that will be!

Proverbs 20:12

Proverbs 20:12 (NKJV) “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both.”

Wow! Have you ever contemplated the fact that we’re so fearfully and wonderfully made? (Psalm 139:14)

There is no human microphone anywhere near the ear. And as far as cameras go – not one can touch the way the eye operates.

Did you know that the 3 bones in our ears can all fit neatly on a penny? The complete area of the central ear is not large, but the internal ear is about the size of a pencil eraser and has more than 20,000 hairs. Next time you hear something…thank God for giving you that gift, take it in with gratitude.

Here’s a few fun facts about the eye:

The human eye weighs approximately 28 grams and can distinguish 500 shades of gray. Sailors once thought that wearing a gold earring would improve their eyesight. People generally read 25% slower on a computer screen versus paper. Only 1/6th of your eyeball is exposed to the outside world. The average person blinks about 12 times per minute. That’s more than 10,000 times a day! If you lined up all of the eyelashes shed in your life time, it would add up to about 98 ft. Your eyes are composed of roughly 2 million working parts!

Evolution? It happened accidentally? I think not. God made the hearing ear, and the seeing eye…both, so amazing! Thank You Lord!

If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.

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