Pastor's Pondering


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Sometimes God is OK When We Don't Do it Right

by Duane Mabee on October 27, 2021

I came across a story in 2 Chronicles 30 that challenges me.  The crux of the story is that sometimes God is OK with us when we don’t do everything right, even though He highly values obedience.


At times, we can stifle spiritual growth by rigidly demanding adherence to a specific standard.  Over the years, I’ve discovered that those who correct everything make great roadblocks to growth and progress.  I could go on about that, but back to what I learned from 2 Chronicles.


King Hezekiah passionately sought to restore the worship of the LORD.  He cleansed the Temple, removed his father’s idols, and reestablished worship according to the Law of Moses.  In the process, He discovered that the nation had not celebrated the Passover for a long time, though God required it.  So, he called the nation together – both Judah and Israel – to observe the Passover. 


Unfortunately, they couldn’t do things exactly the right way.  They missed the prescribed date, so they celebrated in the second month rather than the first as God clearly required.  There were not enough consecrated priests, so the Levites performed sacrificial tasks that only priests were allowed to do.  Many of the people who came were ceremonially unclean and should not have participated but did.  Certainly, with everything they did wrong God would rain down judgment, but He didn’t. 


Hezekiah interceded for the people, “May the good LORD pardon everyone who sets his heart to seek God, the LORD, the God of his fathers, even though not according to the sanctuary’s rules of cleanness,” (vv. 18-19 ESV).  God was pleased with their imperfect obedience because their hearts were right, and they were seeking Him.  Verse 20 says, “the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people,” (ESV).  God received the prayers of the people, v. 27. 


Religious legalists would have looked at what happened and cried “Unholy!  Ungodly!  It must stop!”  They would have brought a halt to all the spiritual growth and progress.  But God lavished His grace on His people, even though they did so many things wrong, and a spiritual revival broke out in of Israel.


So, what am I saying?  Is it right to intentionally disobey God?  No.  Is it OK to be careless in following His commands?  Absolutely not.  Check out the story of Uzzah in 1 Chron. 13.  But, when our hearts are right and we are actively seeking God, the grace of God is bigger than our mistakes.  God our Father receives our impure worship.  He cherishes it and He cherishes us.  Maybe, at times, we should be more concerned about the state of people’s hearts as they seek God then about whether they correctly cross every theological “T”, (or is it “t”?).