January 5, 2021
The weather was wet and cold, which made for a perfect opportunity to have an afternoon Bible study after church service. Several of our group gathered around the fellowship hall table to enjoy the partaking of the spiritual food. We opened our Bibles to 2Chronicles chapter 29 to gain insights from the work of reformation which King Hezekiah began immediately after he became king of Judah. Each one of us sitting around the table took a turn to read a verse, allowing for comments and questions in between each turn. As we made our way through the chapter, we quickly discerned Hezekiah’s youthful zeal for the Lord. At the age of 25, “he opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them” (2Chronicles 29:3).
It is important to take note that Judah had followed the steps of Israel in transgressing against the Lord by serving false gods. False worship became so prevalent that the worship of the true God in the temple ceased altogether. We are told by Hezekiah that the previous generations had “shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place unto the God of Israel” (2Chronicles 29:7). These same things have been repeated in our times among Christians and denominations which have backslidden and turned their hearts away from God and embraced the world. Churches have become social clubs where the denunciation of sin is considered unsavory, and the confession of sin a bore.
We clearly saw the connection, and relevance, of the story of king Hezekiah restoring the worship of the True God with that of our times. It gave us a deep longing for a thorough reformation among us as a movement, but firstly as individuals. The command was given to the Levites prior to starting the cleansing and repairing of the temple and its services, “sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place (2 Chronicles 29:5). The Levites were to sanctify themselves first, which means that the work of true reformation must always begin on a personal level before it can be carried out abroad. We discussed what it meant to sanctify ourselves. It was clear to all of us that none of us could make ourselves holy. Understanding that sanctify means to “set apart,” gave us the insight that this work of sanctifying ourselves to the Lord was the work of setting our selves apart, or consecrating ourselves to the Lord. This requires an examination of the heart, for we cannot be set apart and yet be together with that which is contrary with the Lord. And here lies the key to every successful reformation: the setting aside of sin in order to be consecrated wholly to the Lord.
Our study closed with longings for a deep and thorough reformation. Our conclusion was that a determined battle against sin must be waged in our hearts, for time is short and we cannot afford to trifle with it. Christ is there to give us the victory if we only give it all to Him.