with Denise Pass
BIBLE READING PLAN
How to Clean House
We all know the American motivation for cleaning up, right? Company’s coming. But shoving things in the closet will come back to haunt us later. It’s the deep clean that happens when we finally set aside time to do so that truly gets the job done. But when the job is daunting, we tend to avoid it. Everybody ought to know how to clean house. But I’m not talking about literal house cleaning. There is a spiritual cleansing that is necessary, too. Don’t be afraid to “clean house” in your life and church, friend. We tend to want to set it and forget it, right? But the problem is we are not static. The natural tendency is to grow complacent and to drift by degrees.
Bible Reading of the Day: 2 Chronicles 31-36
We are finishing the book of 2 Chronicles today and what an end! Hezekiah is cleaning house and getting things done.
2 Chronicles 31:2-4
“2 Hezekiah reestablished the divisions of the priests and Levites for the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, for ministry, for giving thanks, and for praise in the gates of the camp of the Lord, each division corresponding to his service among the priests and Levites. 3 The king contributed from his own possessions for the regular morning and evening burnt offerings, the burnt offerings of the Sabbaths, of the New Moons, and of the appointed feasts, as written in the law of the Lord. 4 He told the people who lived in Jerusalem to give a contribution for the priests and Levites so that they could devote their energy to the law of the Lord.”
Hezekiah did not just go with the status quo. He was a leader who was willing to go against the tide and set a right standard. And he also applied this standard to himself. There is nothing better than a leader who lives out what he expects of others.
How to Clean House—Inspire Others By Living What You Believe
Sometimes pastors and churches can catch flack for asking church members to contribute, though. People can say all the church wants is money. This is not so. A few corrupt tele-evangelists does not mean that God’s church is greedy. Ministry costs and laborers are worthy of compensation so they can be devoted to God’s work. Notice in verse 4, that the leaders in the church could devote their energy to the law of the Lord because of the generosity of God’s people.
It is contagious when others around us serve and are faithful. Well, sometimes when we are doing major house cleaning, people hide at our house to get out of chores. But there is positive energy that comes from people serving and giving faithfully. The leaders exemplified it and the people followed.
Cleaning House—The People’s Contribution
2 Chronicles 31:6-10
“6 As for the Israelites and Judahites who lived in the cities of Judah, they also brought a tenth of the herds and flocks, and a tenth of the dedicated things that were consecrated to the Lord their God. They gathered them into large piles. 7 In the third month they began building up the piles, and they finished in the seventh month. 8 When Hezekiah and his officials came and viewed the piles, they blessed the Lord and his people Israel.
9 Hezekiah asked the priests and Levites about the piles. 10 The chief priest Azariah, of the household of Zadok, answered him, “Since they began bringing the offering to the Lord’s temple, we have been eating and are satisfied and there is plenty leftover because the Lord has blessed his people; this abundance is what is left over.”
Our faithfulness in giving affects ministry. And when leaders are diligent to do things God’s way, the church and leadership are blessed. I love Hezekiah’s heart. He feared and loved God and was diligent to do what God said.
How to Clean House—Being Diligent
2 Chronicles 31:20-21
“20 Hezekiah did this throughout all Judah. He did what was good and upright and true before the Lord his God. 21 He was diligent in every deed that he began in the service of God’s temple, in the instruction and the commands, in order to seek his God, and he prospered.”
This is such a wonderful moment. I can even hear the orchestral music in the background. But as much as I love Hezekiah’s heart, he also made mistakes. Showing the Assyrians all his riches was not a good idea. And led to an attack from King Sennacherib.
2 Chronicles 32:1
“After Hezekiah’s faithful deeds, King Sennacherib of Assyria came and entered Judah. He laid siege to the fortified cities and intended to break into them.”
Good times, right? Just when everything is going well, a big threat comes. But look at Hezekiah’s response, which is the Scripture of the day.
Scripture of the Day: 2 Chronicles 32:6-8
“6 He set military commanders over the people and gathered the people in the square of the city gate. Then he encouraged them, saying, 7 “Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged before the king of Assyria or before the large army that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. 8 He has only human strength, but we have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” So the people relied on the words of King Hezekiah of Judah.”
King Hezekiah truly lived out his faith. He relied on God. Despite Sennacherib’s insults, mocking and undermining of his faith, Hezekiah dug in deeper and cried out to God. And God answered.
How to Clean House—Passing the Torch Down
2 Chronicles 32:18
“18 Then they called out loudly in Hebrew to the people of Jerusalem, who were on the wall, to frighten and discourage them in order that he might capture the city. 19 They spoke against the God of Jerusalem like they had spoken against the gods of the peoples of the earth, which were made by human hands.
20 King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz prayed about this and cried out to heaven, 21 and the Lord sent an angel who annihilated every valiant warrior, leader, and commander in the camp of the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria returned in disgrace to his land. He went to the temple of his god, and there some of his own children struck him down with the sword.”
Hezekiah walked closely with the LORD. Through illness, battles, through all of life, but his son, Manasseh didn’t. God used Assyria again to bring Manasseh to repentance. Josiah became king after him and found the book of the Law and also cleaned house as Hezekiah did. The question is, will we live our life faithfully so those who come behind us will do the same? Do we need to clean house today, friends?
- God is faithful to speak. May we be faithful to listen and apply His word to our lives.
- Cleaning house is a continual effort in our lives.
𝗝𝗼𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝘁 12 𝗽𝗺 𝗘𝗧.
Day #302: 2 Chronicles 31-36—How to Clean House
𝒱𝑒𝓇𝓈𝑒 𝑜𝒻 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒟𝒶𝓎: 2 Chronicles 32:6-8
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