Are you so invested in your purpose that the call of God is an interruption? Hezekiah called people to return to worship from wherever they were. If we humble ourselves and be interrupted to return to God, we will find the rich compassion and grace of the Lord…
1 Hezekiah sent word to all Israel and Judah and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, inviting them to come to the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel. 2 The king and his officials and the whole assembly in Jerusalem decided to celebrate the Passover in the second month. 3 They had not been able to celebrate it at the regular time because not enough priests had consecrated themselves and the people had not assembled in Jerusalem. 4 The plan seemed right both to the king and to the whole assembly. 5 They decided to send a proclamation throughout Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, calling the people to come to Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel. It had not been celebrated in large numbers according to what was written.
6 At the king’s command, couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the king and from his officials, which read:
“People of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7 Do not be like your parents and your fellow Israelites, who were unfaithful to the Lord, the God of their ancestors, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see. 8 Do not be stiff-necked, as your ancestors were; submit to the Lord. Come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the Lord your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you. 9 If you return to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.”
10 The couriers went from town to town in Ephraim and Manasseh, as far as Zebulun, but people scorned and ridiculed them. 11 Nevertheless, some from Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem. 12 Also in Judah the hand of God was on the people to give them unity of mind to carry out what the king and his officials had ordered, following the word of the Lord.
After restoring the temple and worship to Jerusalem, Hezekiah determined to restore the celebration of Passover to all of Judah and Israel. And so, he sent word from Dan to Beersheba, which mark the outside edges of the promised land of God, to invite all of God’s people, regardless of their unity or political allegiances and current devotion to God, to draw back together to worship the Lord for his salvation of their people from Egypt.
Now is the time to worship.
From wherever you are.
As you are.
Together with all others.
Regardless of everything.
Hezekiah pulled at their heartstrings and pushed at their buttons. Don’t be like your forefathers, who were unfaithful to the Lord. Don’t stiffen your neck. Instead, yield to the Lord. Yield. Submit. Surrender. In worship. I take it from my readings that this was not a season of yielding to anyone or anything unless there was military force requiring submission. Yielding to God is voluntary. And humbling.
In fact, the return to Passover requires humility as a precursor to coming to worship. Many across the land of God laughed, scorned, and mocked (vs 10), while some men humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. What is your response to God’s call? Do you laugh? Mock? Are the followers of Jesus just Bible-thumpers to you? Holy rollers?
Are you so invested in your purpose in life that the call of God is an interruption?
Well, humble yourself and be interrupted, because if you return to God (vs 9), you will find compassion and grace. Yes, you deserve much more harsh treatment that this from God, whom you have rejected. Yet he will show grace and not turn his face from you because he desires to have you back in the fold.
Will you come? Will you come back? Humble yourself and return to worship today…