Seeking God, "even though not according to the cleanness of holiness"

Vaclav's picture

In 2 Chronicles 30, Hezekiah summons the people of Israel and Judah, to come and celebrate the Passover together. It has been a long time since the people obeyed the LORD in keeping this ordinance. Passover was to be kept perpetually as a reminder of God's deliverance of Israel form the slavery in Egypt.

As a result of Israel and Judah's forgetfulness of the LORD, the priests, the Levites and the people were a bit rusty in what and how of the celebration. Though some of the Levites showed good skill in serving the Lord. In 2 Chronicles 30:9 God gave the people a promise,"For if you return to the LORD, your brothers and your children will find compassion with their captors and return to this land. For the LORD your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him".

All were commanded and invited by the king to come and celebrate. Many came, but some mocked and didn't come. Come! Just as you are! God will provide all things needed for you to celebrate, and be in his presence. Free party, full of feasting, celebrating God's deliverance of Israel.

Not all have come. And what are some of the reasons for not everyone coming back to seek the LORD?

Is it pride and independence? - I'm okay, I can get along without him, just as I have for a long time now.

Or is it fear? - will he accept me just as I am, even though I haven't sought him, but have been selfish for so long?

Well, here is the word for the doubting and fearful in verses 18b-19 -

"For Hezekiah had prayed for them [who "had not cleansed themselves"], saying, May the good LORD pardon everyone who sets his heart to seek God, the LORD, the God of his fathers, even though not according to the sanctuary's rules of cleanness (Hebrew - not according to the cleanness of holiness)." What a good and gracious God. God takes notice not of his people's achievement, but of their aspirations after the LORD.

But what of the proud and selfish, who don't care anymore what happens to them and to their fellow believers?

Well, God will deal with those. In Ecclesiastes 9:4 we read,"But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion".
Even though we have lived like dogs, returning to our vomits of sin, we're still alive, and have hope, if we return to seek the Lord. But a dead lion? one that continues in pride, selfishness and independence of God, and rejecting God's command and invitation to come back, he is dead while he lives, as Paul says. And ultimately death will be the result, now and forever.

But God still pleads even with a one proud as a lion, one that is almost dead. "Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near...for he will abundantly pardon". (Isaiah 55:6-7)

Therefore, let us be like Hezekiah seeking the Lord, and calling God's people back to seek him with all their hearts, while praying for them as they come, fearful and doubting; and not forgetting the proud that are still alive, but praying for God to break their hard hearts, that they may come as well - for the command and invitation to come back to God, is given to all, with a celebration following.


Hardened Believers.

Will God judge Christians who become hardened in sin, and who fail to seek him as you so beautifully show us here? Judge ultimately I mean, not merely chastise.

"God is not mocked" - everyone will reap what they sow

Vaclav's picture

Those who persist to the end in their stubborn unbelief and rejection of the truth as it is in Jesus, will be condemned. In the end it will be revealed that they weren't even true believers. Plainly, their evil works follow them.

"The sins of some men are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of other appear later." (1 Timothy 5:24)

We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, but as Calvin says that, saving faith is never alone; works follow it, or come from faith.

I think Jesus' words are applicable even here, "Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.", the true and the false believers alike. (Matthew 7:20)