2 Chronicles 28-31, Psalm 79
The philosophy of the world is to seek reasons for why we turned out the way we have. Modern psychology and therapy often tries to draw answers from childhood and gives answers by blaming our current state on the backs of our parents or others from our past. This is not God's way. All of us better understand that one day we will stand before a Holy, all-knowing God, by ourselves. There will be no one else to point at to explain away our lives. Our pastor, Lloyd Pulley had a poor example in his father and his mother died at an early age. He was raised by his godly grandmother. He went through a rebellious phase before coming to Christ being led by an unnamed Christian member of his college wrestling team. If this did not happen, Pastor Lloyd would not have the ability to stand before God and give the excuse that he did not have the right example for a father to follow. Pastor and Evangelist, Greg Laurie, often describes his upbringing by a mother who I believe was married seven times and was raised in a godless manner. Yet this would not have been an excuse when he came one day before a Holy God. I was raised by wonderful, loving parents, who provided me with a stable upbringing, but a relationship with God was never emphasized. I would have no excuse to point at my parents and say to God, "But you don't understand, they never raised me to believe in you." Though shows like "Jerry Springer" and "The View" would make us believe that we are judged by majority decision and a jury of our peers, this is not the case when we die. We will be judged by a single judge, God, and the only other person who has the ability to speak on our behalf is Jesus, if at some point in our life we decided to accept His free offer of salvation and invite Him into the legal proceedings. When Jesus is present as our defense attorney, no excuses will be necessary, since He and He alone will have paid fully for our debt and we will be declared innocent by His blood. Without Him, that person will be naked and alone and every excuse will sound just as flawed as it truly is.
King Hezekiah would have had all the excuses in the world to explain his godlessness by pointing to the terrible example left behind by his father, King Ahaz. But this was not the case. Instead we read in 2 Chronicles 29:2, "And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done." Rather than follow the poor example of his father, he chose to follow God. Notice his instructions in 29:5-6, " "Hear me, Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from the holy place. For our fathers have trespassed and done evil in the eyes of the Lord our God; they have forsaken Him, have turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and turned their backs on Him." He instructed the Levites to turn from the example of their fathers and turn their hearts in repentance to God. Notice King Hezekiah's statements in 29:10-11, "Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that His fierce wrath may turn away from us. My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him, and that you should minister to Him and burn incense." There is the offer to break free from the bad legacy left behind from their parents and make a decision to follow God. Notice another offer extended by King Hezekiah in 30:7-10, "And do not be like your fathers and your brethren, who trespassed against the Lord God of their fathers, so that He gave them up to desolation, as you see. Now do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord; and enter His sanctuary, which He has sanctified forever, and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you...for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn His face from you if you return to Him."
In essence, anyone in Hezekiah's day would be without excuse, since the bad examples of their fathers were being negated by the free offer of a return to God by King Hezekiah. Likewise, everyone of us will be without excuse. No matter what our circumstances, for our infinitely fair and just God will make sure everyone has the opportunity for salvation. So, we can waste our times and justify our miserable lives, our miserable attitudes, our miserable jobs by continually pointing our fingers of blame on anyone and everyone. We can also feel justified by the majority of miserable individuals who acknowledge and affirm our position. Or we can all bend our knees before a Holy and Awesome God and acknowledge that we sinners deserve nothing, not even the breath that is in our lungs. It is never too late. We as believers have the responsibility of serving as God's ambassadors like King Hezekiah and offer everyone in our midst the same offer of repentance and salvation that the King offered. It costs us and them nothing, but offers them freedom from blame and bondage.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: