|Friday, September 21, 2018|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
He (Hezekiah) said to them, "Listen to me, you Levites! Purify yourselves, and purify the Temple of the LORD, the God of your ancestors. Remove all the defiled things from the sanctuary' 2 Chr 29: 5
don't know what you are hearing Jesus saying to the church more than what Hezekiah said to the Levites. Purify yourself!
I see a similarity in the nature of Levites and the Church. Firstly, Levi was "set apart" following the golden calf incident ( Exod 32:26-29 ). They were blessed and chosen because their actions signified their loyalty to the covenant. The church (Ecclesia) were the "set apart", the "called out people" from the world to God's bidding as his covenant people .
Secondly, In Deuteronomy, with a view to entering the land, the Levites were given an additional duty since their tabernacle transport obligations would be diminished. It was now the important duty of the Levites and the levitical priests, who would live throughout the land, to instruct the people in the law ( Deut 33:10 ).The Church, particularly the leaders we are told by Paul have a similar responsibility to instruct the people , "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;" Eph 4:11-14
Because of brevity of the nature of this article I will not bother about why Hezekiah was demanding for purification of the Levites and the temple , I will concentrate on what the Levites need to clean out and what needs to be cleaned out in the temple which is the equivalent of what the Ministers and the church need to do. Purify ourselves and the church.
From 2 Chronicles 29 These are some of the things Hezekiah urged the Levites to purify themselves of 'remove the defiled things' which I think we the ministers and the church need to pay attention to afresh .
1.vs 6. Spirit of Unfaithfulness. Where are you unfaithful to God, to your family, spouse, your employer, your generations you need to change today. Jesus is saying purify yourself of all unfaithfulness.
2. Vs 6.Evil in the sight of the Lord. There are many things we do today as ministers that are okay in the sight of the church, our family and even the society, but not in the sight of the Lord, for example when the church is ordaining LGBT community as priests, it is evil in the sight of the Lord. Messages that neither edify man or glorify God. Bringing comedians to the altar of God, false prophecy, false ecumenism, hyper grace, verbose prosperity, adultery and all manner of corruption at the altar.
3. Vs. 6. They abandoned the LORD and his dwelling place. What does it mean to abandon the Lord? It is to disdain the things of God. Instead of spending time in God's presence we spend it on social media. Church members have totally abandoned the place of individual altars and corporate altars. Prayer meetings are the least attended. Even while there we pray amiss, praying selfish and self-centered prayers. Canadians and many nations of the western world are finding reasons to abandon the Church. I read on the Internet recently about some people comparing technological advancement of some nations that do not embrace Christ as to the technological backwardness of nations that embrace Christ, I think what they are missing out is that spiritual things are different from technological things. Is America not a Christian nation? Is it not developed technologically? Christianity is not synonymous with technological backwardness of any nation. Nations or individuals that abandon God does so at their peril! Where are the strong empires of yesteryears that abandon God?
4. Vs. 6.They turned their back on Him (God). The ministers and the church of God must purify themselves from turning their back on God. Saul turned his back on God. Samson turned his back on God. To turn your back on God is to disobey God. Ignore God's instructions at your peril. What is God's instruction, live holy lives. Live lives of integrity. Live life's that are pleasing to God as priests and the laity. Love God with all your heart, soul and spirit. Love your neighbour as yourself. Read Isaiah 1:3
5. V7. They shut out the doors to the Temple's entry room. The ministers of our time must purify ourselves of shutting down of temples entry room. Stop doing things that make unbelievers not willing to come to church. How can unbelievers come to church when pastors are telling members to eat grass, bow down at there feet, carry them on chairs, give them petrol to drink, use occultic means to woo people, extort money through all manner of gimmicks and tricks, carry out fake miracles, sleep with church members? We are the Levites we must not close the church door rather we must open it wide for unbelievers to come in. Do what attracts people to the church. Preach the true and full gospel of Christ. Do charitable activities, take care of the poor, the destitute, orphans and live holy lives.
6. V7. They snuffed out the lamps. That is a huge one. Hezekiah told the Levites purify yourselves of snuffing out the lamp in the temple! Telling them your job is to keep the lamps burning! Jesus said severally while here that we are the light of the world. We as ministers are to be shining examples of all good things. Where churches are planted ungodly lifestyles must disappear! We are to trim the lamp sustain the lamp. We are to make the society better. Be the conscience of the society. We are not to suppress the truth wherever we are rather be vanguards of the truth. Are you a minister or church member plucking your community to darkness, participating in unholy , ungodly , unwholesome , unedifying activities , purify yourself is what the Holy Spirit is saying today. Stop snuffing out the lamp!
7. V7. "They stopped burning incense and presenting burnt offerings at the sanctuary of the God of Israel." Simply means they stopped praying, worshiping God. In Scripture incense is often associated with prayer. David prayed, "May my prayer be set before you like incense." Psalm 141:12. Hezekiah was saying the church of today must purify themselves of prayerlessness. Let us not stop praying. No matter the challenges don't stop praying. When Zechariah was barren for many years he kept burning incense, one day an angel showed up and said - Your prayers are answered your wife shall bear a son..,,, when you keep the incense burning the long delayed expected answer will suddenly come . That husband will show up. That wife will show up. That house will be built. You will have that baby. That mortgage will be paid. You will pass that examination. That promotion will come. That hearing for your immigration papers will be successful. That business will begin to boom. Only purge yourself of not burning incense, not praying. We serve the God that respects the altar. But you have to value the altar to give what the altar needs- incense! Call on me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things Jer 33:3
Conclusion: The secret of the success of Hezekiah's life was in the opening remark of this chapter "He did what was pleasing in the LORD's sight, just as his ancestor David had done" Jesus is saying to you today purify yourself of that ungodly ambition, that suicidal thought, those evil thoughts and evil concupiscence, that anger, all those things that defile you and defile His church. May it be said in your life that you did what is pleasing to the Lord by purifying yourself of what is unpleasing to the Lord.