Jump Start # 2562
2 Chronicles 29:16 “So the priests went in to the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and every unclean thing which they found in the temple of the Lord they brought out to the court of the house of the Lord. Then the Levites received it to carry out to the Kidron valley.”
It’s spring time. While many of us are homebound thoughts turn to cleaning up the place. It’s time to pitch clothes that we do not wear, get rid of toys that the kids no longer play with and give the ole’ place a real spit bath and shine. My grandparents lived in a small house. About every spring, my grandma would move the furniture around in the living room. It gave it a new look.
Our verse today comes from the days of Hezekiah. In the midst of his reforms and returns to the ways of God, the temple needed some cleaning. It wasn’t just dust and sweeping that needed to be done. Radical reforms and restoration was needed. Kings before Hezekiah had allowed idolatry to run the land and ruin the people. There were things in the temple that were offensive to true worship of God.
So, as our verse illustrates, things were removed. They were taken to the Kidron and burned there. And, what we find here is the true aspects of restoration. Most of us have heard of the Restoration Movement in America in the early 1800’s. That spirit and that movement, removed many of the practices that were common in churches in that day.
The keys to restoration begin with an understanding of how things ought to be. This is true whether one is restoring an old car, a piece of furniture, an understanding of what the founding fathers intended or New Testament Christianity. When one is content and satisfied with the way things are, and one has no understanding of what things ought to look like, then restoration will never take place. It begins with going back to the original. What was the original practice? What did things look like originally?
The restoration and reforms of Hezekiah began because they found the law of God. They read that law and understood that what they were doing was not following the law. So many are forward looking that they do not care about looking backward. So many have no understanding of what the original was supposed to look like. Without that basis, the little balloon that they are holding on to will fly farther and farther away from the true aspect of what was intended.
Knowing what things ought to look like, Hezekiah then began the reforms. They couldn’t move onward until they stripped away all the old things that did not belong. Cleaning out the temple was essential. Throwing away all the items that did not belong in there was critical. Purging of the junk allowed the nation to get back to where things ought to be.
You see that with restoring old furniture. One must strip all the old paint and varnish before they can begin to get things looking like it did originally.
The restoration principles are true for a church. They are also true of our individual hearts. All of this takes time. It’s hard work. There are many things that must be tossed. And, as we try to be the people of God, we find that our hearts need to be restored. There are things that need to be tossed. They do not belong in our hearts and as long as they remain we can never be the people that God wants us to be.
We must toss worry. Worry crowds out faith and worry chips away at our trust in the Lord. The more we worry, the less we believe. Worry invites fear. Worry encourages doubt. Worry is negative and worry sees problems rather than solutions. The temple of our hearts cannot hold the idols of worry.
We must toss anger, regrets, and hurts. These keep us from the powerful fellowship possible in Christ. These will make us think the worst of each other. And, as these are tossed, they need to be replaced with forgiveness, grace and mercy. God gives us a second chance. We need to do the same for others. It’s hard to worship God when anger, regrets and hurts are all that we see.
We must toss materialism and selfishness. Being a disciple of Jesus begins with denying ourselves. Thinking too much of self is just another idol that keeps us from worshipping the Lord in purity and holiness. Our society is in love with self. Self doesn’t belong in our hearts. Remove it. Toss it. Then, you’ll become a servant of the Lord. Then you’ll be able to put the Lord first in all things.
Things are so nice once they are clean. Nothing beats clean sheets, a clean car, a clean house and a clean heart. The Psalmist said the one who may ascend to the hill of the Lord was one with clean hands and a pure heart. James tells us to cleanse your hands.
Restoration…spring cleaning…this is a good time to get rid of the things that are keeping you from God.