Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
2 Chronicles 29:1-11, 16-19 (NRSV)
Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old; he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the sight of the LORD, just as his ancestor David had done.
In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the LORD and repaired them. He brought in the priests and the Levites and assembled them in the square on the east. He said to them, “Listen to me, Levites! Sanctify yourselves, and sanctify the house of the LORD, the God of your ancestors, and carry out the filth from the holy place. For our ancestors have been unfaithful and have done what was evil in the sight of the LORD our God; they have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the dwelling of the LORD, and turned their backs. They also shut the doors of the vestibule and put out the lamps, and have not offered incense or made burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. Therefore the wrath of the LORD came upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he has made them an object of horror, of astonishment, and of hissing, as you see with your own eyes. Our fathers have fallen by the sword and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the LORD, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger may turn away from us. My sons, do not now be negligent, for the LORD has chosen you to stand in his presence to minister to him, and to be his ministers and make offerings to him.”
The priests went into the inner part of the house of the LORD to cleanse it, and they brought out all the unclean things that they found in the temple of the LORD into the court of the house of the LORD; and the Levites took them and carried them out to the Wadi Kidron. They began to sanctify on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the vestibule of the LORD; then for eight days they sanctified the house of the LORD, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished. Then they went inside to King Hezekiah and said, “We have cleansed all the house of the LORD, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the table for the rows of bread and all its utensils. All the utensils that King Ahaz repudiated during his reign when he was faithless, we have made ready and sanctified; see, they are in front of the altar of the LORD.”
The people of Israel had been unfaithful to God and done what was evil. They had misused the Temple, defiling it as well as the items it contained. When Hezekiah became king, he ordered the priests and Levites to “clean house”—literally and figuratively. They were to remove the filth, dirt and defiled items.
Before they began this cleansing, though, the priests and Levites were to consecrate themselves. The dictionary of the Quest Study Bible defines consecrate as to set aside or dedicate for God’s use. They could not clean God’s house if their own lives were not dedicated to God. As a Christian, we are to be set apart for the work of God. What work of God’s have you done lately?
You have heard the phrase, “Talk is cheap.” Hezekiah didn’t just talk about what needed to be done, he took action. Too often we talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. We show up on Sunday only to return home to our worldly ways. Today consecrate ourselves to the work the Lord has put in front of us.
Dear Lord, help me to walk the path that you have set before me. Give me the discernment to know the path you would have me take and the strength to follow it. Consecrate me for your service. Amen.
Go with God.