Thursday, January 7, 2016

Obedience is the cost of joyful worship.

Then Hezekiah said, “You have now consecrated yourselves to the Lord. Come near; bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of the Lord.” And the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all who were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings.
2 Chronicles 29:31

The reign of King Hezekiah was a great time to be alive in Jerusalem. Hezekiah reformed the nation. He re-opened the temple that had been neglected and boarded up. He re-consecrated the priests and Levites to their proper duties. He invited the nation to commit to renewed worship of the Lord. It was a happy time.

Reading chapters 29-31 is like sitting in on a really big, joyous "God party". It's a lot of hard work, but when God rewards Judah for her obedience, it is a joy to behold. The nation celebrates. It is the kind of worship that I think human hearts long to experience. And I think that's why I get drawn into the text here. I want to worship God with this kind of joyous abandon to obeying, serving and loving God.

One final note: the joy came with hard work and sacrifice. They rehabbed the temple that was in massive disrepair. They re-committed the priests, Levites, singers, and all the temple personnel. The people brought offerings of money and sacrificed their livestock on the altar. Obedience cost them in time, labor, and their possessions, but joy came in that abandonment to obedient worship.

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