Thus says the Lord:
“Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool;
what is the house that you would build for me,
and what is the place of my rest?
All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things came to be,
declares the Lord.
But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at my word
Through the words of Isaiah, God is reminding us about what matters most in our lives, and that is having God in your heart.
This is one of the issues I have with the large corporate churches. They tell us that their lavish buildings and furnishings are for the glory of God. They tell us that the amount of money that flows through the organization is for doing the work of the Lord. I’m not quite sure what their excuse is for the lavish life style they lead. Perhaps they feel it is their just reward, the universe balancing out for them, rewarding them for being such a good person. I don’t begrudge anyone for making any amount of money, no matter how obscene it might seem, but just be honest about it. Continue reading
2 Chronicles 25:14-16
After Amaziah came from striking down the Edomites, he brought the gods of the men of Seir and set them up as his gods and worshiped them, making offerings to them. Therefore the Lord was angry with Amaziah and sent to him a prophet, who said to him, “Why have you sought the gods of a people who did not deliver their own people from your hand?” But as he was speaking, the king said to him, “Have we made you a royal counselor? Stop! Why should you be struck down?” So the prophet stopped, but said, “I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel.”
Amaziah became king of Judah after his father Joash was assassinated by his own servants. Joash laid severely wounded in his bed and his servants finished him off. This was in retribution for Joash commanding the stoning of Zechariah, who was a prominent priest who help Joash restore the temple of the Lord.
Joash became powerful and full of himself. One day the princes came to Joash to pay homage and with them they brought their false gods. Joash being convinced of his own greatness abandoned God and turned to the false Gods. Zechariah came to Joash and called him out on his idolatry, but Joash’s response was to have Zechariah killed. Joash’s pride caused him to make a bad decision, which finally caught up to him as he lay wounded in bed.
Amaziah, Joash’s son, succeeds his father as king of Judah. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
2 Chronicles 34:12-13
And the men did the work faithfully. Over them were set Jahath and Obadiah the Levites, of the sons of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to have oversight. The Levites, all who were skillful with instruments of music, were over the burden-bearers and directed all who did work in every kind of service, and some of the Levites were scribes and officials and gatekeepers.
Many passages in the Old Testament reference the importance of music, especially in a spiritual way. There are verses in Samuel about the musicians accompanying the prophets and playing music as the prophets prophesied. There are verses speaking about Saul, when given to his fits of psychosis and whatever else afflicted him, how he would have the musicians play to soothe his troubled mind.
King David assigned great importance to music. He had a department of music in his government right along with his department of defense, department of the gatekeepers, department of the treasury, etc., etc. Continue reading