When Ahaz was king of Judah, he destroyed some parts of the temple, and encouraged the people to worship idols. In 2 Chronicles 28, we’re told that ‘he did not do what the Lord said was right…He made metal idols to worship Baal’ (vv.1-2 NCV). We’re also told that: ‘In every town in Judah, Ahaz made places for burning sacrifices to worship other gods’ (v.25 NCV). But when his son Hezekiah became king, he did things God’s way. He set about repairing the temple. He told the priests to ‘Make holy the Temple of the Lord’ Over time, the priests removed everything unclean from the temple (you can read the full story in 2 Chronicles 28 and 29). Sometimes we can end up living like people in Ahaz’s reign. We begin to worship idols like money, popularity, appearance, career success – basically anything that takes us away from putting God first. Kings that had gone before Hezekiah had ‘let the fire go out in the [temple] lamps’ (2 Chronicles 29:7 NCV). The Bible tells us that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (take a look at 1 Corinthians 16:9) and we can often let the fire go out in us too. We can lose our passion for serving God, and we can shut God’s light out when we keep hidden secrets and habits that we don’t want anyone else to know about. But we can ask God to help us ‘remove from the temple everything that makes it impure’. He can bring light back into parts of our heart that we’ve kept hidden. He can show us where things like bitterness, fear, and envy need to be removed from our hearts. He can help us clear out the old to make room for the new.
Ask God to come and help you clean out your heart before 2019 begins. Ask Him to show you where you have let bitterness, disappointment, fear, and anything else take over part of your heart.