2 Chronicles 29:6, "For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned their backs."
The word "trespassed" in the verse translates to an act of treachery; an act of faithlessness. The people were faithless; they didn't believe. They were unbelieving of the law which God had given them to live by. They fell victim to the world and all manner of pagan worship.
This truth certainly applies to God's people today. Let's consider history. God had chosen Israel as His people. He allowed them to go into bondage to Egypt so He could free them in such a miraculous way that it would reflect His glory as their Redeemer. We know that the Exodus is a picture of salvation; the blood applied; the passover. God then gave them His law. What was the law? It showed the people the holiness of God. Think about that. God demanded strict adherence to the law, even though the people could never keep it completely. Still, God provided a means of atonement through sacrifices, all of which testify of His holy nature.
The nation of Israel, in the time of King Hezekiah, had trespassed. They no longer believed it was necessary to keep God's commands. They had forgotten their history. They had forgotten about how He had saved them. They had lost their faith in God's way.
We see what happens when God's people forget what God has done for them. They become faithless. But God's nature never changes. We see the same message back in Genesis as God dealt with Cain's offering:
Genesis 4:7, "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him."
God told Cain that if he did well, if he did things by faith or the way God desired things to be done, then he could have victory over sin. But if Cain were to be faithless, believing in his own ways, surely sin lieth at the door.
Now let's look back at our passage in 2 Chronicles 29:6. What does Hezekiah say about those who came before him? They trespassed (they were faithless.) And what was the result? They did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord. Why? They were like Cain. They weren't depending on God and His commands; they were living on their own, without faith, forgetful of what God had done and what He required. They had shut up the house of the Lord. They had stopped sacrificing. There were no burning lamp stands, no bread for the shewtable, no incense burning to the Lord. Sin lieth at their door.
Thankfully, Hezekiah gives us a great example of what must be done to correct faithlessness. He cleaned house. Look at verses 17 and 18 of this chapter (2 Chronicles 29):
"Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of the LORD: so they sanctified the house of the LORD in eight days; and in the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end. Then they went in to Hezekiah the king, and said, We have cleansed all the house of the LORD, and the altar of burnt offering, with all the vessels thereof, and the shewbread table, with all the vessels thereof."
What a great example for us. God's house is now the temple of each born again believer. The metaphoric, yet literal, truth found in these passages helps me stay focused on keeping my house in order. May we never forget what God has done for us and may we continually stay faithful.
Written by David Williamson