At this point in history, God’s people lived in a sinful state no matter which nation they were in. Injustice, idolatry, pride, greed, immoral self-indulgence and arrogance ruled the day. And then there was the sin that all of this behavior could be rationalized as they went through the religious motions even though their hearts were far from God. Did they think that God is blind? Do we? The prophets continued to warn the people and they experienced God’s holy anger. Some people repented and were rescued, and praise was offered to God for His deliverance.
The reforming King Hezekiah offered hope, and spiritual renewal began to take place, as the Temple was again used to honor God. Invitations to celebrate the Passover were extended beyond Jerusalem to all of Israel. Then the priests and the Levites stood to bless the people, and God heard their voice, and their prayer came into His holy dwelling place in heaven. Oh, what joy there is when individuals and whole nations return to the Lord! Back then some people lived as if they could handle life just fine on their own. They were wrong. All people at all times have needs that cannot be fully satisfied apart from God.
We need right relationships, not rationalization. Let’s not be deceived and kept from life that is full and abundant and dependent upon God. When we realize God is the One who can, and will, meet our needs and we humbly turn to Him, joy and deep peace like never before can be ours.
P.S. The depth of our knowledge of God can grow. We do not need to be stagnant in our relationship with Him. Russell’s teaching called Essentials for Responsible Christian Growth shows how simple faith has deep implications. I’m so blessed to be able to see the joy-filled outcomes. We grow, often through hard situations, as God cares about our spiritual renewal.