THE INTENTIONALITY SECRET
Lord, my will is to serve You.
Read 2 CHRONICLES 29:1–11,35b,36
Hezekiah Purifies the Temple
29 Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done.
3 In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the temple of the Lord and repaired them. 4 He brought in the priests and the Levites, assembled them in the square on the east side 5 and said: “Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the Lord, the God of your ancestors. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary. 6 Our parents were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the Lord’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him. 7 They also shut the doors of the portico and put out the lamps. They did not burn incense or present any burnt offerings at the sanctuary to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore, the anger of the Lord has fallen on Judah and Jerusalem; he has made them an object of dread and horror and scorn, as you can see with your own eyes. 9 This is why our fathers have fallen by the sword and why our sons and daughters and our wives are in captivity. 10 Now I intend to make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger will turn away from us. 11 My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before him and serve him, to minister before him and to burn incense.”
35 There were burnt offerings in abundance, together with the fat of the fellowship offerings and the drink offerings that accompanied the burnt offerings.
So the service of the temple of the Lord was reestablished.
36 Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced at what God had brought about for his people, because it was done so quickly.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
What is/was on your calendar today? What are/were your top priorities? Commit these to God in prayer.
I was tired from a busy day recently, so I decided to relax by scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed to see pictures of friends and family, especially our grandchildren—but after an hour and a half I found myself watching blooper videos and boxers’ greatest knockouts. What a waste of time! That’s why I’m struck by the phrase, “In the first month of the first year” (3). King Hezekiah makes up his mind ahead of time to serve the Lord. He knows exactly what he wants to accomplish: purify the temple and renew proper worship of God in Judah.
It’s important that we take time to rest, as King David and Jesus emphasized, but in this media-saturated world it may be more important than ever to be smart about how we rest. We also need to be intentional about living for God, another thing that’s difficult to do when we spend too much time with our screens. Hezekiah comes to power at age twenty-five, so he has had plenty of time to evaluate the idolatrous habits of his father, Ahaz, and choose a different course.
Today, following Jesus is especially difficult for those raised in non-Christian homes, but rising to the honorable but often lonely challenge of being the spiritual pivot point in your family can set in motion a positive ripple effect for generations. Hezekiah’s secret was his intentionality. Out of the starting block he declared, “I intend to make a covenant with the Lord” (10). Perhaps it would avail us to do the same with regard to how we rest and how we live. The evening after my little Facebook binge I decided to write in my journal and pray before getting into bed. It was a restorative night.
Is there an area of your life about which you could or should make a covenant with the Lord? Jot it down and ask for God’s help.
Lord, teach me the value of intentionality and priorities in life, and do not allow me to stray into the arena of triviality.
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