Standing before God - 2 Chronicles 29:1-11, Psalm 134 Barrie Robinson
Standing before God
2 Chronicles 29: 1-11
Hezekiah came to the throne and recognized immediately the dire condition of his country and his people. When he went to the temple, had the doors repaired and saw the filthy (spiritual if also physical) state of the place, he realised something drastic needed to be done, so he gathered all the priests and Levites together in the temple court and addressed them as above.
These priests and Levites had responsibility for the care of the temple and the worship there, but had been prevented from carrying out these duties by Hezekiah’s father Ahaz.
It is written in the books of Numbers and Deuteronomy that the priests, along with their fellow Levites are called to stand in the presence of the LORD and minister
· In his name
· To the congregation of Israel, and
· To the LORD himself.
Here again in 2 Chronicles, Hezekiah is urging them, and in particular the priests with the words,
“My sons, do not be negligent: for the LORD has chosen you to minister to him, and to be ministers and performers of offerings to him.”
Our Psalm I chose for today also speaks of this, as the ‘servants of the LORD’ — Levitical chorus singers — are called upon by the lay worshippers to bless the LORD, as they stand in the house of the LORD morning and night, according to his calling.
How does this relate to us?
Well as protestants we are not strangers to the concept of ‘the priesthood of all believers.’ We don’t need to be made into priests, on the day that we believed in Christ, we at that point became priests. What today’s reading tells us is that our primary duty as priests to the LORD is to stand in his presence and minister to him.
But how do we minister to the LORD, and bless him?
The Bible tells us at least from Deuteronomy 6:5 onwards that we are to Love the LORD our God with all our heart, that is, our will and mental faculties, with all our soul, that is, our emotions, and with all our strength, that is, our physical capacity. John tells us that we love him because he first loved us.
As we stand in his presence, it is the perfect opportunity to receive love from, and to give love to our Heavenly Father and our Lord and Saviour. Some people suggest we should do this by praying in tongues, but on tis occasion there is no shortage of English words we can use to bring our love to them.
We can even use the words of hymns and songs:
“Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly”
“There is none like you: no-one else can touch my heart like you do I can search for all eternity long And find there is none like you.”
The Song of Songs also presents some interesting possibilities, having been written for the express purpose, as a love song. But that’s a whole other subject we haven’t time for today.
But our own personal love-words, I’m sure are more precious to our Father and to our Saviour than all of these.
Can you remember the first time you ever said to your spouse, “I love you”? I can, and it was much later than it should have been. It seemed quite strange, because I’d never done that before, but the more I said it, the more it meant. So it takes practice.
Why don’t we each resolve, if we haven’t done this already, to tell God our Father, to tell Jesus our Saviour, to tell the Holy Spirit our comforter and advocate at least once each day, “I love you” and see where it leads?