Whenever we see or visit a place of worship it fills our heart and soul with peace and adoration. The place of worship is a holy place. Exodus 3:5, 5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Here we see the Lord instructing Moses to remove his sandals as he was standing on holy grounds. Hence we must remember that the place where there is Lord’s presence, it is a holy place. Lord created man in His own form and breathed life into him. 1 Corinthians 3:16, 16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?
In the Old Testament, 2 Chronicles 28:22-23, 22 In his time of trouble King Ahaz became even more unfaithful to the Lord. 23 He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus, who had defeated him; for he thought, “Since the gods of the kings of Aram have helped them, I will sacrifice to them so they will help me.” But they were his downfall and the downfall of all Israel. King Ahaz closed places of worship, destroyed the things used for worship and created altars for sacrifice in every corner of Jerusalem. He abandoned the living God. He sinned against God. As a punishment for his evil acts he was not buried like other kings. 2 Chronicles 28:27, 27 Ahaz rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of Jerusalem, but he was not placed in the tombs of the kings of Israel. And Hezekiah his son succeeded him as king.
After him, Hezekiah became king. He did everything that was right and pleased the Lord. He called in all the priests and opened the doors of the temple and had them repaired. Keeping in mind the things that King Hezekiah did in his times let us ponder on few things:
The body of a child of God is the Lord’s temple. If it is so then isn’t it very important that we keep our soul and body pure. We clean and mop our houses or the place we live in daily. But we do not spare time to look inside of us.
1.The temple was repaired: The doors of the temple were opened. Let us open our closed hearts to receive the Lord. There needs no explanation to tell about the conditions of a place that has been kept closed for long. The place would be dilapidated and full of insects, and other crawling creatures. Thus, each one of us should repair our insides and repair what is broken or needs to be mended.
Elijah first repairs the altar for sacrifice at Mount Carmel that had been torn down. Let us also look deep inside ourselves and see what in our souls and mind needs to be repaired to be fit for the Lord to reside. Like broken family life, Sibling relationship, Neighbors, Colleagues and others in general. Renovate all the relationships that need repair.
2.Purify and cleanse the place: 2 Chronicles 29:5, Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the Lord, the God of your ancestors. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary.
Jeremiah 4:14, ….wash the evil from your heart and be saved. How long will you harbor wicked thoughts?
After repairing the place one need to purify and clean the place of all impurities. Remove low life creatures like evil thoughts and desires from your soul and mind. Put all the waste and rubbish like evil habits into a bin never to be used again. The Lord Himself has said it’s not what you eat that defiles you but the thoughts and desires that defile your soul. Lord Jesus has compared them to a tomb that is pristine but contains rotten body inside.
Matthew 23:25-26, 25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
Matthew 23: 27-27, 27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
Judas is a good example to this. He was spending every living moment with the Lord but his mind was on the money bag they kept. Even though he got several chances to reform he did not repent or ask for forgiveness. We all remember his end. How pitiful????
3. Destroy all that is impure: 2 Chronicles 29:16, 16 The priests went into the sanctuary of the Lord to purify it. They brought out to the courtyard of the Lord’s temple everything unclean that they found in the temple of the Lord. The Levites took it and carried it out to the Kidron Valley. Remember here that we should not wrap all that is unclean i.e. thoughts and desires and keep them aside such that they can come back again. Instead throw them away into a pit, never to return. Keep repeating this over and over again for the process to be complete. The Holy Spirit does not reside in unclean souls. Eg: Samson. He sinned with Delilah against God, and the Holy Spirit left him. If we want our bodies to be the Lord’s temple and for the Holy Spirit to reside in us, then we should live a pure life.
Dear children of God, after repairs and cleaning our bodies and souls, let us hand ourselves into the hands of the Lord. Acts 19:19, 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. After everything has been cleaned, if we do not keep evil thoughts and desires away from us, they have all the chances to re-enter our minds on the sly. Once we have handed our bodies to the Lord, may it not be defiled by anyone or anything.
Romans 12:1-2, Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.