The Lesser Known Story of Hezekiah’s Passover (Week 29, Part 3/6) 2 Kings 17-25 | July 11- July 17 – powered by Happy Scribe
One of the things I love about the Old Testament is that there are so many lesser known stories.
There’s the wise woman who negotiated with Joab.
There’s Abigail’s, Christlike example, jeremiah’s confrontation with Zeta Kaiah, and so much more. Today I wanted talk about a lesser known story from Second Chronicles, and maybe that’s why it’s lesser known. We often skip Chronicles, but it has some powerful accounts that are not told elsewhere in the Bible.
This is the story of Hezekiah’s Passover, roughly 700 years before the birth of Christ. Hezekiah was the King of Judah and wanted to celebrate the Passover with all the tribes of Israel. He wrote to the dispersed Israelites, inviting them to all come to Jerusalem for a special Passover. Remember that at this time, most of the tribes of Israel lived in a separate country further in the north. Many Israelites scoffed Hezekiah’s invitation and didn’t come.
But others did gather to Jerusalem for a special Passover. But there was a problem. Some of the people from the other tribes weren’t as familiar with the specific Passover protocol as were the people of Judah. Specifically, the Chronicler states many of Ephraim and Manassa, Isakar and Zebulon had not cleansed themselves. They did eat the Passover.
Otherwise that it was written. In other words, these individuals made some procedural errors in partaking of the Passover. Now we’re reading the Old Testament. What do you think is going to happen when people do the Passover wrong? Maybe they’re going to get zapped.
Hezekiah could have seen their mistakes and gotten angry and taken some harsh actions, but that’s not what happened. Instead, Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, the good Lord pardon everyone that prepares his heart to seek God, though we be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. Even though there were some mistakes, hezekiah may have reasoned, they’re trying to do the right thing. Let’s just overlook this. God listened to Hezekiah’s prayer and pardon the people.
I love the phrase, the good Lord pardon everyone that prepares his heart to seek God. Adopting this attitude is a Christ or pattern that brings peace. Sometimes it’s easy to judge others or criticize those who do things differently than we do. What might it look like in our lives if we had the attitude of the Good Lord, pardon everyone? I know of a community that had that attitude.
A woman named Karen joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints at the age of 22 and was promptly called to serve in the primary. Karen didn’t know anything about teaching the gospel to children, but she loved kids, so she invited her primary students to come to her house and play some games to build camaraderie. When Karen was growing up, her favorite game to play with her family was poker. She was shocked to learn that none of her primary students knew how to play, so she taught them. Imagine the surprise of some of the mothers when they found out what their children had been doing at their primary activity.
This could have been a situation in which Karen felt judged and inferior and harbored negative feelings towards the Church. However, the mothers were sensitive to Karen’s situation and loved her more for her efforts. There was no need to judge, only beloved. How would you feel? How would I feel if we all had the same Christ like spirit?
The good Lord pardon everyone that prepares his heart to seek God.