If you here expectantly waiting step two because you think you’ve complete step one, I suggest you go back and read it again. I cannot see how anyone could in a 24 hour period identify all the idols in their life, much less destroy them. Nevertheless we’ll go forward learning so that when we’ve finally abandoned our many idols we will be ready to take part in the cleansing of the temple.
Young King Hezekiah, during his first year on the throne, opened the doors of Solomon’s Temple and discovered it had been defiled and needed cleansing. It had become a literal garbage pit. The king called the priests together and told them to cleanse themselves “and carry out the rubbish from the holy place” (2 Chronicles 29:5). Hezekiah was calling for national religious reform because of what his father and Judah’s forefathers had done. They had worshipped idols. So the priests…
“…gathered their brethren, sanctified themselves, and went according to the commandment of the king, at the words of the LORD, to cleanse the house of the LORD.” (2 Chronicles 29:15)
King Hezekiah knew that if God’s wrath would be turned away from Judah, they would have to renew the “covenant with the Lord God of Israel” (2 Chronicles 29:10). This had become Hezekiah’s heart desire. Hezekiah knew that their forefathers had coveted idols and defiled the temple, but this godly young man also knew that God would defeat evil. So did the psalmist:
“The LORD is King forever and ever; the nations have perished out of His land. LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may oppress no more.” (Psalm 10:16-18)
Judah prospered greatly under the reign of King Hezekiah because he was a righteous leader. But it only takes one generation to abandon God and return to idolatry, as did Hezekiah’s son Manasseh. And his son Amon continued his father’s wickedness. Upon Amon’s death, his son Josiah became king and he destroyed all the idols of his father and grandfather, repaired the temple, and renewed the covenant with God.
As you read the history of the divided kingdom you see a pattern of rebellion and then repentance and restoration. In between those two extremes you see God’s judgment come to His people. God has a covenant with Israel; He does not have one with America. He does however, have a new covenant with Israel, through His Son—Jesus Messiah—of which also the Gentiles (non-Jews) can become. That is what Jesus meant when He said:
“Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:27c-28)
It is through the covenant that we are restored to God through Christ. But to renew our covenant, we must first abandon our idols. The last two generations in America, not unlike what Josiah faced, has defiled the temple and abandoned God’s Word. The next generation, those 40 years of age and under, are inheriting our mess. They have opened the doors of the temple and found rubbish strewn everywhere. How can they cleanse the temple? We’ll have to pick that up on Monday.
As for now, pray for me that I will not only identify all the idols in my life , but that I will also destroy them once and for all. I will be praying for you. I encourage you to read 2 Chronicles 29-36 this weekend to fully understand what idolatry does to a nation.
May the Lord bless you this weekend and please remember to go to church on Sunday.
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Copyright © 2011 David Jeffers