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Return to God's Mercy

For if you return to the LORD, your brothers and your children will find compassion with their captors and return to this land. For the LORD your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him. 2 Chronicles 30:9

Recently I read 2 Chronicles, and I'm reminded of God's mercy and desire for our readiness of heart, not our outward perfection. Hezekiah was calling the Israelites to return to Jerusalem for the Passover, even though the timing was wrong and many weren't up to speed on their consecration rituals.

Hezekiah called them to "yield yourselves to the Lord and come to his sanctuary." Some mocked and laughed, but others "humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem." They tore down altars and helped prepare a great Passover celebration.

2 Chronicles 30:17-20 continues:

For there were many in the assembly who had not consecrated themselves. Therefore the Levites had to slaughter the Passover lamb for everyone who was not clean, to consecrate it to the LORD.

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.”

And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people.

The chapter tells us they kept the feast with "great gladness" and "singing with all their might to the Lord." They were so happy to be reunited, they added another seven days to the celebration!

God welcomes his children home into fellowship with him. If we are ashamed for being away from Him too long (His Word, His church, in prayer), we can return to Him with confidence, knowing His mercy awaits. We don't need to get all of our ducks in a row, perfectly prepped for worship.

Just return - and see His great mercy.



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