“May the LORD, who is good, pardon everyone who sets their heart on seeking God …”
2 Chronicles 30:18–19
For the first time in over two hundred years, all the tribes of Israel and Judah were invited, by the godly king Hezekiah, to come to the temple in Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover as one people.
The nation had long been divided. The northern kingdom had suffered much from the invasions of ruthless Assyria. Children had been stripped away from their parents and hauled off as slaves. Many parents had been killed. Whole towns of people had been deported to live elsewhere in the empire. Some people had been so humbled by all this trouble that they welcomed the invitation to seek God once more.
Sometimes hardship humbles us to the point of seeking God’s face. But there was a problem. It had been so long that most of the pilgrims from the north had forgotten the rules for celebrating the Passover. They had not purified themselves according to the standards of the law. In our day this would be like seeking after God with a lot of unconfessed sin in our lives.
Still, these people had come a long way, seeking the sheer mercy of God in their troubled, harassed lives. Hezekiah knew that. So he offered a simple plea for them: “May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone who sets their heart on seeking God … even if they are not clean …” God was merciful then, and still is today.
Lord, I never feel entirely clean. Yet I do seek you with all my heart. Show me your favor so that I too may sing and celebrate your goodness. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
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