23
Aug
11

Returning to God Is Always An Option

In 2 Chronicles, King Hezekiah is making a brave attempt to turn all of the people back to God.  This is not unlike our mission as Christians today.  But in the same way, his plea is ridiculed by many, and accepted by only a few.

At the king’s command, couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the king and from his officials, which read:

“People of Israel, return to the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria.  Do not be like your fathers and brothers, who were unfaithful to the LORD, the God of their fathers, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see.  Do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were; submit to the LORD. Come to the sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the LORD your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you.  If you return to the LORD, then your brothers and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will come back to this land, for the LORD your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.”

The couriers went from town to town in Ephraim and Manasseh, as far as Zebulun, but the people scorned and ridiculed them.  Nevertheless, some men of Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem.  Also in Judah the hand of God was on the people to give them unity of mind to carry out what the king and his officials had ordered, following the word of the LORD.  — 2 Chronicles 30:6-12

We should not be surprised when our own pleas to others to respect, serve and love the Lord are rejected.  History shows that this has been happening for a long time.  Nevertheless, we should expect to see a few follow the direction that the Lord sets, and we should be encouraged.  “For the road is narrow…”

Throughout the books of Samuel, the Kings, and the Chronicles, we see a constant pattern of God’s people alternately drawing away from Him and then returning.  The message behind these accounts might best be summed up by verse 9 above – “He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.”

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