They assembled their brothers and consecrated themselves. Then they went in to purify the Lord’s temple, just as the king had ordered, in accordance with the word of the Lord. The priests then entered the Lord’s temple to purify it; they brought out to the courtyard of the Lord’s temple every ceremonially unclean thing they discovered inside. The Levites took them out to the Kidron Valley. On the first day of the first month they began consecrating; by the eighth day of the month they reached the porch of the Lord’s temple. For eight more days they consecrated the Lord’s temple. On the sixteenth day of the first month they were finished.
II Chronicles 29:15-17
As I read the 3 chapters in II Chronicles, there were two main things that stood out to me. None of them are wildly profound, but they’re things that I felt really highlighted the nature of God amidst the more difficult to grasp (at least for me) portions of Israel’s history.
The first thing was simply the amount of time and energy devoted to cleansing God’s temple. If I am seriously devoted to following God, then I will be just as zealous about keeping my own life in line with God’s heart. If we follow the analogy of our bodies as temples that Paul uses, this is especially true. I’m also reminded of what is quoted from the prophets in reference to the Messiah, “Zeal for your house consumes me”. God is really serious about the space in which he manifests his presence.
The majority of the many people from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun were ceremonially unclean, yet they ate the Passover in violation of what is prescribed in the law. For Hezekiah prayed for them, saying: “May the Lord, who is good, forgive everyone who has determined to follow God, the Lord God of his ancestors, even if he is not ceremonially clean according to the standards of the temple.” The Lord responded favorably to Hezekiah and forgave the people.
II Chronicles 30:18-20
Hezekiah’s boldness in observing the Passover outside of the laws prescribed by God himself is pretty impressive. It shows a lot about who God is, it shows the importance of where people’s hearts are at above all, and it shows how well Hezekiah knew God’s character.
May I be zealous in my care for God’s temple, may I pray God’s blessing over others, and may I know God as well as Hezekiah did, and his father David before him.