Renewal of All Things

2 Chronicles 29:10 “Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that His burning anger may turn away from us.”

Observation: The story of Hezekiah’s becoming king of Judah is one of those sudden turning points of Scripture. His father Ahaz had been an abominable king for sixteen years. He reinforced and encouraged Baal worship, even to the point of cutting up temple implements to use for worship of false gods. But when twenty-five-year old Hezekiah became king, things changed immediately. He had the temple cleansed and priests reconsecrated. Sacrifice was reestablished in the temple and throughout the land. In short, everything was made “new,” restored spiritually to how things had been when Solomon was king, even to the point of an astonishing incident. Because the priests hadn’t been consecrated in time to celebrate the Passover in the first month, all Israel and Judah had a national celebration in the second month. But 2 Chronicles 30:18–20 shows how delighted God was with their heart. Hezekiah prayed, “May the good Lord pardon everyone who prepares his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though not according to the purification rules of the sanctuary. So the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people.”

Application: This is so encouraging! The breadth of renewal, the scope of restoration to God, is simply amazing, reaching into every sin-darkened corner of the land. How many times have I been discouraged by pervasive sin in my family or in my own life? I have been so overwhelmed at seeing how well rooted sin has become and believed all was lost, that nothing could ever root out entrenched habits, hard hearts, and sin.

But look what God did through the power of just one heart fully set on Him! Everyone touched by Hezekiah’s authority was transformed because he determined to follow God. I am so heartened by this example: as a parent yearning for children to have hearts set to passionately pursue Him, as an employer praying for submission to the King of kings among those I work with, as a husband yearning for perfect intimacy and oneness with his wife, as an individual seeking victory over dark habits that have led to ground being surrendered to the enemy.

God can restore all things! He can wipe the slate clean and give me the desires of my heart, His desires. Hezekiah pursued God with his whole heart, and everyone rejoiced at God’s response because, as 2 Chronicles 29:36 says, “the thing came about suddenly!”

Prayer: Lord, my part is not to strive nor lecture, not to correct or admonish; rather, my part is to worship You in spirit and in truth, to fall on my face acknowledging You as King and Lord of my life. Forgive me, Lord, for trying to “fix” broken lives around me. As Your presence overwhelms me I know it will splash onto those around me, bringing renewal, refreshing, and cleansing.

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