2 Chronicles 29: 1-3
Hezekiah was a young man and a good example (1). The two things need not be mutually exclusive! He was an example to people older and younger than him, as well as to those who were his contemporaries. Let us pray hard and work expectantly for the cultivation of such young lives in Christ’s church.
The second verse shows his zeal to do right. He didn’t just do what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but he did this just as his father David had done. He did what he did with fervent, large-hearted devotion. He wasn’t just coldly correct but warmly obedient. The ‘pan’ of his goodness had great ‘heat’ beneath it, and it boiled over. (By the way, the key thing in life is to do right in God’s eyes. There are things Christians believe, attitudes and standards we hold and ways we live, that may seem ‘wrong’ in the eyes of many people. But we are living for ‘an audience of one’; for God Himself. It is His approval we seek. In GOD’s opinion he was a good king… The Message. In the final analysis, His is the only opinion that truly matters.)
Hezekiah, as a young man, sought first God’s Kingdom and righteousness. He wasted no time in getting down to business (3) In The Message it reads like this: In the first month of the first year of his reign, Hezekiah, having repaired the doors of the Temple of GOD, threw them open to the public. The ‘church’ of his day had been closed down, but Hezekiah went to work with a will and got it repaired in no time at all. The so-called ‘Seeker-sensitive’ churches are, I believe, much misunderstood and misrepresented. As I see it, they have a large concern for the ‘doors’ of the church. They don’t want to shut people out unnecessarily. They understand that there is an ‘offence’ in the gospel itself, and they in no way want to compromise this. But what they are saying is, ‘Let’s remove all the unnecessary barriers to people hearing the gospel in the first place.’ There are ways in which we have traditionally ‘done’ church (and continue to do it) that might cause needless offence, or just get in the way. For the sake of ‘lost’ people, surely we need to dismantle these things? Let’s ensure that the doors of ‘the temple’ are wide open so that those who want to get close to God are able to do so. (As we will see, the state of affairs in Judah at this time was such that people couldn’t approach God in His temple.)
Paul teaches in his first letter to the Corinthian church that you and I are temples of God (Christian people that is). Your body is His sanctuary; so is mine. Here’s a challenge then: as temples of God, where do we need to be more ‘open’ to people so that they can come close to the God who is everywhere, but who also dwells in our hearts? Are we living relatively closed, self-contained lives? This should not be. Like with our Lord Jesus, we should be open to friendship with people who are far from God. I like to say, ‘If you build a bridge of friendship with someone who doesn’t yet know Christ, you are building something that Jesus can walk across from your life to theirs.’
So, where do I need to be more ‘open to the public’, and also, what needs repairing in this temple that is my life; a life given over to God to fill with His glorious presence?
Finally, I am reminded that Jesus is the door. It is only through Him that we may enter into God’s presence and find our true life and home. Jesus Himself is that door standing open in heaven (Revelation 4:1).
Prayer: Lord God, help me to live a life of complete openness to you and to others.