“Hezekiah began to reign… In the first year, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them. He brought in the priests… and said, ‘Hear me, Levites! Now consecrate yourselves, and consecrate the house of the Lord, and carry out the filth from the Holy Place. For our fathers have been unfaithful and have done what was evil in the sight of the Lord our God. They have forsaken him and turned away their faces from the habitation of the Lord and turned their backs. They also shut the doors of the vestibule and put out the lamps and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings… My sons, do not now be negligent, for the Lord has chosen you to stand in his presence, to minister to him and to be his ministers and make offerings to him…’
“The priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and they brought out all the uncleanness that they found… and carried it out… Then they… said [to Hezekiah], ‘We have cleansed all the house of the Lord, the altar and all its utensils… All that King Ahaz discarded when he was faithless, we have made ready and consecrated, and behold, they are before the altar of the Lord.’
“Then Hezekiah the king rose early and gathered the officials and went up to the house of the Lord… [He] commanded that the burnt offering be offered on the altar. And when the offering began, the song to the Lord began also, and the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David king of Israel. The whole assembly worshiped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded… When the offering was finished, the king and all who were present with him bowed themselves and worshiped. And Hezekiah the king and the officials commanded the Levites to sing praises to the Lord… They sang praises with gladness, and they bowed down and worshiped.” 2 Chronicles 29:1a,3-7,11,16,18-20,27-30
For Hezekiah, doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord began with the temple of the Lord. In the first year, his first priority was to reopen the house of the Lord. He immediately set to repair all that had been neglected and reestablish proper sacrifice and worship to exalt his true King.
Tending the temple is an ongoing discipline. Hinges get rusty and stiff with lack of use, and utensils get misplaced. Apathy and laziness in our spiritual life yield nothing good or lofty, and breed only more self-interest, introspection, and ultimate misery. We have to let in light to see uncleanness, and exert effort to remove it and to prepare for and maintain pure, orderly worship. (Psalm 51:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
It takes care to tend to spiritual temples. What causes us to shut off our hearts to the Lord’s beckoning hand? What preferences and habits make us stiff-necked toward His grace and Word? Has specific rebellion rebuffed His fidelity? When we determine instead to open ourselves to His light, repair our relationship by genuine repentance and recommitment, and reinstate true Christ-centered worship, we will know gladness in fresh, astounding ways. Our vision and passions will be purified, our living renewed with eternal purpose, and He will receive the praise. (30:8-9,12,23-27)
Lord, may I daily open wide the door of my heart for Thee. Enter, reside, and rule to Your good ends and glory.