Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lessons from the Battlefield, part 10: Law Versus Grace

2 Chronicles 30:1-4, 34-46         

Passover was to be celebrated in the first month.  Numbers 9 outlined the consequences of failure to obey.  If a person was unclean because of contact with a dead person or was on a distant journey at the time of Passover, he could celebrate Passover in the second month, 14th day.  According to the law, if the man simply neglected to observe the Passover, that person was to be cut off from his people and bear his own sin.  

The law was abundantly clear, and there was to be no exception.  

For sixteen years, Hezekiah’s father had been king and for much, if not all, of that time, the temple doors had been closed.  None of the holy days, including Passover, were observed.  Hezekiah, however, opened the temple and instructed the priests to cleanse the temple and consecrate themselves.  He was committed to reinstitutingthe Passover observance.  

As diligent as the workers were, they still could not be ready by the appointed time, so Hezekiah scheduled Passover for a later date.  Hezekiah understood that what God desired most of all was obedience and relationship.  Because the people were both repentant and eagerly desiring to obey, God provided ample grace to cover the fact that their actions were not quite on time.  

Aren’t we glad that we serve a God of second chances and abundant grace?  Is there something God has put on your heart to do?  Have you delayed?  Our God of grace and love is still offering yet another chance to obey.