2 Chronicles 30:20 (ESV): 20 And the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people.
King Hezekiah determined from the very first moment of his reign over Judah to serve God. He began by cleansing the Temple and restoring worship there.
Then, Hezekiah determined to celebrate the Passover. He sent couriers not only throughout Judah, but also Israel calling the people to celebrate this festival.
There were some logistical problems. Not enough priests had consecrated themselves, so they had to change the date. But the king and the assembly thought God would overlook this change, seeing their heart to celebrate the Passover once again, a festival that had often been neglected.
The time came and a large group gathered in Jerusalem, but the Levites had to slaughter the Passover lamb for those who were not ceremonially clean. Many had not taken care to follow the proper regulations.
But Hezekiah prayed for the people and God forgave and healed them, as the highlighted verse notes.
The people celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days, and then kept the feast for another week.
The spiritual impact was astonishing. The people then went back through all the cities of Judah and destroyed the various idols and altars to false gods.
Hezekiah appointed divisions of priests and Levites to oversee worship at the Temple. The people began to bring in tithes and offerings until there was a large amount of contributions left, much more than was needed by those attending the worship of God.
God prospered Hezekiah, because the king sought to follow God fully.
In this scripture we see the heart of worship. Yes, the people worshipped at the wrong time. Many of the people were not properly prepared to worship. But most important was that people wanted to worship God again.
God did not deny the people fellowship and communion with him because they got the day wrong nor even though they were not ceremonially clean. God’s heart rejoiced that his people recognized their need for him and wanted to reconnect with him.
And as a result, the people’s hearts were changed. They determined they would serve God once again.
Heavenly Father, help me to understand the heart of worship. Thank you for your grace that accepts and changes me, even though I am unworthy of you. Amen.