During King Hezekiah’s reign, the king launched a campaign for the country to get right with the Lord. For them, it has been a long while before they were able to hold the feasts and holy days before the Lord. Israel, much like our present country had turned it’s back on the Lord and even filled the temple with idolatry. But King Hezekiah had a heart to return unto the Lord and sent out proclamations from city to city calling for people everywhere to humble themselves, turn away from their idolatry, and return to serve God. The King wanted to invite his nation to Jerusalem to worship the Lord in a special Passover. Most of the people when they read or heard of the invite laughed and mocked, and probably a few doors got slammed in the servant’s faces.
There were not enough priests available to hold the ceremonies. People had long stopped tithing and there wasn’t enough money to sponsor full time priests. But there was a remnant of people came, and those that participated humbled themselves before God and had a heart to return to Him. The Levites whom were not active priests helped in the ceremonies, sacrifices, and work in the temple. At the beginning of all this, the people, the temple courts and the order of things was a complete mess. Nothing in their ceremonial efforts to get right with God seemed lined up with how Moses prescribed these precedings according to the Law. But here’s where the Word of God, and grace once again blows my mind….
“ For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good LORD pardon everyone that prepareth his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according the purification of the sanctuary. And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.” -2 Chronicles 30:18-20
Many folks think that to get close to God means that one has to first straighten out everything first in their life that isn’t right. But here we have a wonderful example of God’s grace and what He is willing to do for us nobody’s that can’t get anything right. God pardons those who have the heart and humility to seek Him… and this is a truth that speaks on many levels. In order for someone to be saved, they must first repent and humble themselves. If a backslider wishes to return to God’s fellowship, they must humble themselves first and be reconciled. No matter where you are at in your relationship with God or lack thereof humility always precedes access to God. You dont’ have to get clean to get close to God, you get close to God, and He’ll make you clean! The Lord is more than willing to overlook our mess when our intentions are to get right with Him.