2 Chronicles 30:18-19
For a majority of the people, many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover otherwise than as prescribed. For Hezekiah had prayed for them, saying, “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.”
Hezekiah was the thirteenth king of Judah. According to the Old Testament, he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. Hezekiah cleansed and restored the temple of the Lord and returned Judah to the laws and traditions as set down by Moses. This included the celebration of the Passover.
Many people came from tribes outside of Judah to celebrate the Passover. They had not consecrated or cleansed themselves per the laws of Moses. Hezekiah understood what was truly important about this feast. It was a milestone for all the tribes of Israel to be returning to their laws and traditions and once again celebrate the Passover. He knew it wasn’t about following processes and procedures. It wasn’t about having all your I’s dotted and T’s crossed.
What was important was, in the words of Hezekiah, “…who sets his heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his fathers…”. Without setting your heart to seek God all the laws, traditions, rituals, celebrations and sacrifices are meaningless. They are just vanity, an attempt to show off for your neighbors and friends. They are for the benefit of no one but your vanity.
Perhaps Hezekiah knew what would become of Israel and those who pronounced and enforced the law in the time of Christ. For in Matthew 23 Christ lets those who are in charge of the law know just how hypocritical they are. This hypocrisy is the result of those who have no longer set their heart to seek God. They have, through pride, covetousness and vanity set themselves as gods.
I have read a number of debates on the subject of the laws of Moses and whether or not they apply to Christians since Christ was the fulfillment of the law. I really don’t know the answer or if the answer really matters.
Hezekiah prayed for those who set their heart to seek God. To me that is the first and most important law.
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.
That law says to me, seek God and set him in your heart every day. And if you do that your sin, which is inevitable, will be forgiven. That was what Hezekiah prayed for and that is what Christ died for. All else is vanity and striving after wind.
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