“If your life is constantly embroiled in chaos, it’s time to evaluate your part or the equation”~TB
In life, stormy weather does occur and bad days are par for the course. However, God did not call us to lead lives of constant chaos, nor is the devil permitted to hang over our heads like a perpetual thunder cloud. If you find yourself at odd with people, the world, and life in generally, it’s time to have an honest discussion with God about the reality of the life you lead.
Whether we like to admit it or not, chaos can be fun. It provides a good story to tell, sympathy, and something to do if you’re life seems boring. The problem is, continued chaos reeks havoc on the way humans operate. Every human being seeks routine, in one way or another. As we’re all creatures of comfort to some degree, when we fall off the rails of Biblical normalcy, unresolved issues can lead us to a life of chaos and disarray. If left unchecked, the cycle of chaos may become your routine as you learn to build a life around that dysfunction.
If you find yourself enjoying the FUN in dysfunction, it’s high time you consult with the Lord about your life. Ask him to reveal the blind spots in your line of sight so you can see the chaos for what it truly is. Only when you see the brokenness that is swallowing you whole then can you change the patterns that had gotten hold of you. But first, that starts by surrendering to God so that you can begin to heal.
Are you ready to ditch the Fun in dysfunction?
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1The Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, will take away from Jerusalem and Judah everything they depend on: every bit of bread and every drop of water,
2all their heroes and soldiers, judges and prophets, fortune-tellers and elders,
3army officers and high officials, advisers, skilled sorcerers, and astrologers.
4I will make boys their leaders, and toddlers their rulers.
5People will oppress each other— man against man, neighbor against neighbor. Young people will insult their elders, and vulgar people will sneer at the honorable.
6In those days a man will say to his brother, “Since you have a coat, you be our leader! Take charge of this heap of ruins!”
7But he will reply, “No! I can’t help. I don’t have any extra food or clothes. Don’t put me in charge!”
8For Jerusalem will stumble, and Judah will fall, because they speak out against the LORD and refuse to obey him. They provoke him to his face.
9The very look on their faces gives them away. They display their sin like the people of Sodom and don’t even try to hide it. They are doomed! They have brought destruction upon themselves.
10Tell the godly that all will be well for them. They will enjoy the rich reward they have earned!
11But the wicked are doomed, for they will get exactly what they deserve.
12Childish leaders oppress my people, and women rule over them. O my people, your leaders mislead you; they send you down the wrong road.
13The LORD takes his place in court and presents his case against his people.
14The LORD comes forward to pronounce judgment on the elders and rulers of his people: “You have ruined Israel, my vineyard. Your houses are filled with things stolen from the poor.
15How dare you crush my people, grinding the faces of the poor into the dust?” demands the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
16The LORD says, “Beautiful Zion is haughty: craning her elegant neck, flirting with her eyes, walking with dainty steps, tinkling her ankle bracelets.
17So the Lord will send scabs on her head; the LORD will make beautiful Zion bald.”
18On that day of judgment the Lord will strip away everything that makes her beautiful: ornaments, headbands, crescent necklaces,
19earrings, bracelets, and veils;
20scarves, ankle bracelets, sashes, perfumes, and charms;
22party clothes, gowns, capes, and purses;
23mirrors, fine linen garments, head ornaments, and shawls.
24Instead of smelling of sweet perfume, she will stink. She will wear a rope for a sash, and her elegant hair will fall out. She will wear rough burlap instead of rich robes. Shame will replace her beauty.
25The men of the city will be killed with the sword, and her warriors will die in battle.
26The gates of Zion will weep and mourn. The city will be like a ravaged woman, huddled on the ground.
“Focus in today’s tasks as tomorrow will have their own”~TB
It is a waste of time to spend today paralyzed worrying about the unknowns of tomorrow. By not tilling the soil today, you are jeopardizing your harvest of the future. Don’t be the maker of your own futility as there are other obstacles that will surely keep you busy. Quit worrying and focus on what God has asked you to do.
To focus, hone in on God‘s word and live your life according to his principles. That way you are keeping your eyes on what is that above, avoiding the pitfalls are trying to control something you have no jurisdiction over. Trust in His perfect timing by dwelling in his perfect peace so that your focus is on the right thing.
What are you focusing on?
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1These are the visions that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. He saw these visions during the years when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah.
2Listen, O heavens! Pay attention, earth! This is what the LORD says: “The children I raised and cared for have rebelled against me.
3Even an ox knows its owner, and a donkey recognizes its master’s care— but Israel doesn’t know its master. My people don’t recognize my care for them.”
4Oh, what a sinful nation they are— loaded down with a burden of guilt. They are evil people, corrupt children who have rejected the LORD . They have despised the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.
5Why do you continue to invite punishment? Must you rebel forever? Your head is injured, and your heart is sick.
6You are battered from head to foot— covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds— without any soothing ointments or bandages.
7Your country lies in ruins, and your towns are burned. Foreigners plunder your fields before your eyes and destroy everything they see.
8Beautiful Jerusalem stands abandoned like a watchman’s shelter in a vineyard, like a lean-to in a cucumber field after the harvest, like a helpless city under siege.
9If the LORD of Heaven’s Armies had not spared a few of us, we would have been wiped out like Sodom, destroyed like Gomorrah.
10Listen to the LORD, you leaders of “Sodom.” Listen to the law of our God, people of “Gomorrah.”
11“What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?” says the LORD . “I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fattened cattle. I get no pleasure from the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
12When you come to worship me, who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony?
13Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts; the incense of your offerings disgusts me! As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath and your special days for fasting— they are all sinful and false. I want no more of your pious meetings.
14I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals. They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them!
15When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look. Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims.
16Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways.
17Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.
18“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD . “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.
19If you will only obey me, you will have plenty to eat.
20But if you turn away and refuse to listen, you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies. I, the LORD, have spoken!”
21See how Jerusalem, once so faithful, has become a prostitute. Once the home of justice and righteousness, she is now filled with murderers.
22Once like pure silver, you have become like worthless slag. Once so pure, you are now like watered-down wine.
23Your leaders are rebels, the companions of thieves. All of them love bribes and demand payoffs, but they refuse to defend the cause of orphans or fight for the rights of widows.
24Therefore, the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the Mighty One of Israel, says, “I will take revenge on my enemies and pay back my foes!
25I will raise my fist against you. I will melt you down and skim off your slag. I will remove all your impurities.
26Then I will give you good judges again and wise counselors like you used to have. Then Jerusalem will again be called the Home of Justice and the Faithful City.”
27Zion will be restored by justice; those who repent will be revived by righteousness.
28But rebels and sinners will be completely destroyed, and those who desert the LORD will be consumed.
29You will be ashamed of your idol worship in groves of sacred oaks. You will blush because you worshiped in gardens dedicated to idols.
30You will be like a great tree with withered leaves, like a garden without water.
31The strongest among you will disappear like straw; their evil deeds will be the spark that sets it on fire. They and their evil works will burn up together, and no one will be able to put out the fire.
“Walk with God through the fire and you will surely not burn.”~TB
In this broken world, things will never go according to plan. Trials and tribulations will always occur. Friends, how you handle those tests is of the utmost importance. If you try and fight the fire in your own accord, you will burn. This is because man has a 2-dimensional way of thinking. People judge by what they see, and to the human eye, things are not always what they appear to be. Leaning on your own understanding will cause you to be like a leaf in the wind– unrooted and all over the place. There are protection and guidance, but you must learn to walk with Him.
God is there in the midst of your inferno. The more consistent you are in studying the Word and applying its wisdom, the easier it is to see Him in the midst of your situation. Like a flame-retardant cloak, God’s presence allows you to pass through your suffering unscathed. Enjoy the peace and calm that can be found in His word. When you put your Faith in God and not what is in front of you, watch how the moment changes. Even in the bleakest of circumstances, there is hope and protection. Seek out His grace to successfully walk through the fire.
Is your lack of faith causing you to burn?
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1LORD, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp.
2Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3O Israel, put your hope in the LORD — now and always.
“When you’re focused on the right things, it’s amazing to see how God works.”~TB
God has given you a unique purpose that only you can fulfill. He will gently call you, and if you listen and answer, He will reveal His plans for you. Living a purposed-fill life in Christ can be challenging yet exciting. Walking with God requires you to put down the unclean things that once held your attention. At first, it will seem like a hard sacrifice. In time, however, you will come to realize that the things He is trying to give to you are more precious than anything you will find on this earth. Stay focused and on task.
If you’re not careful, the world will distract you, turning your focus from your personal Biblical development to a secular superficial lifestyle. While God wants balance and peace for you, if you are asleep at the wheel and not staying in the Word, the opposition will sneak in to try and get you off of your path. Be vigilant as getting off track is subtle and almost seemingly harmless. But after a time, you will see the chaos that distractions cause. Stay focused to run and finish your personal race.
Are you focused on your purpose or are you purposefully distracted?
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1I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there?
2My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth!
3He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.
4Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.
5The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade.
6The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night.
7The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life.
8The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.
“Don’t fixate on your problems, because you may miss God’s solutions and blessing to the resolve it.”~TB
Smoke and Mirrors
The devil will use your setbacks to transfix you on the problems you face. When you are only focused on the problems, you are not paying attention to the Biblically simple solutions that will propel you to the next chapter in your life. Don’t miss your blessing by obsessing over the challenges. Objects are smaller than they appear.
God made you as you are, which means you have the tools to overcome any obstacle. One of the biggest misconceptions about walking with Christ is that all of your fleshly afflictions vanish and life becomes perfect. No, as you mature in Christ, you recognize that your flesh is fickle, so you simply step aside from the traps to avoid them. Not every thought and feeling is valid or useful so let go of the ones that cause you to stumble.
When you finally understand that you must depend on God in every second of every day, you let go of your man-made solutions which probably got you into your troubles in the first place. Let go of your legalistic pride, and accept the wisdom of God, which will gently nudge you to practice patience, forgiveness, and humility. Sure, you may not “win” every human argument, but winning with God is better than any victory the world could ever give you.
Are you fixating on your right ways or are you leaning on God’s solutions?
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1When the Israelites escaped from Egypt— when the family of Jacob left that foreign land—
2the land of Judah became God’s sanctuary, and Israel became his kingdom.
3The Red Sea saw them coming and hurried out of their way! The water of the Jordan River turned away.
4The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs!
5What’s wrong, Red Sea, that made you hurry out of their way? What happened, Jordan River, that you turned away?
6Why, mountains, did you skip like rams? Why, hills, like lambs?
7Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob.
8He turned the rock into a pool of water; yes, a spring of water flowed from solid rock.
“Use God’s viewpoint as an opportunity of faith to love, learn, grow, and go about the business of sharing, caring, building, and giving your best work to advance your future.”~Jon Barnes
Spring out of bed, from your prayer closet of faith, knowing that the day will be full of wonderful opportunities to serve, shine, and make a difference in your own family, community, and job.Your body, mind, and soul should be a reflection of the Spirit of God that is in you to do excellent work.
Winterize your home, ideas, and actions to improve your mindset, purpose, and personal energy-saving strategies for sustained success, health, wealth, and growth.The rotations from the seasons are a visual, artistic landscape of fresh ideas that God gives us in following and managing our time, language, actions, and love.Exercise your faith in this manner and enjoy the views.
Fall into summer with the best body, mind, and level of energy because you managed to shed the leaves of fat from your body each year.Holding onto crumbled up old bags of leaves, as stored up fat around your stomach is not the design for your body shape.Work out each day and naturally thin out the waste that you are carrying all year long.
Are you keeping a new visualization of yourself in God to adapt to the changing seasons of life or are you holding onto all of the fat that is holding your mental, physical, and spiritual health hostage?
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1 Declare me innocent, O God! Defend me against these ungodly people. Rescue me from these unjust liars. 2 For you are God, my only safe haven. Why have you tossed me aside? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies? 3 Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live. 4 There I will go to the altar of God, to God—the source of all my joy. I will praise you with my harp, O God, my God!
5 Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!
“I suggest you don’t take my word for anything, but check in with God and His Standards to understand what you are doing, what you should do, and what you should not do for your life, family, and others.”~ Jon Barnes
God’s faithfulness to us is the greatest but we are not so faithful, which is why God gives us grace and mercy to repent and re–calibrate on a daily basis.However, it is wise to use God’s Lord’s Prayer to focus your attention, meditation, and action plan to remember your spiritual mission statement, boundaries, and landmarks.
Your true intentions are perceived and known by God before you even think about or discover your own thoughts.Who you are and what you will do is already know by your Heavenly Father.My suggestion is to come clean, stay clean, and keep cleaning up your actions of faith, as you grow in Grace, Love, and Mercy. Do not let distractions become a stumbling block.
I perceive that my job is to judge myself, look in the mirror, and manage my own life to exemplify God’s lifestyle.I can only enjoy looking at the fruit of others, which is not my fruit to eat.I will enjoy and eat the fruit of my own ways, habits, thoughts, works, and faith in God.We must all grow and eat our own fruit, which will be tested and tasted by God to see if you are fit for the kingdom.According to scriptures, many will go to hell and few will go to heaven.
Are you one of the few who will be prepared for entering Heaven, based on God’s Holy Commandments and path of Jesus Christ or are you following the devil’s suggestions of choice?
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Job Wants to Argue His Case with God
13 “Look, I have seen all this with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears, and now I understand. 2 I know as much as you do. You are no better than I am. 3 As for me, I would speak directly to the Almighty. I want to argue my case with God himself. 4 As for you, you smear me with lies. As physicians, you are worthless quacks. 5 If only you could be silent! That’s the wisest thing you could do. 6 Listen to my charge; pay attention to my arguments.
7 “Are you defending God with lies? Do you make your dishonest arguments for his sake? 8 Will you slant your testimony in his favor? Will you argue God’s case for him? 9 What will happen when he finds out what you are doing? Can you fool him as easily as you fool people? 10 No, you will be in trouble with him if you secretly slant your testimony in his favor. 11 Doesn’t his majesty terrify you? Doesn’t your fear of him overwhelm you? 12 Your platitudes are as valuable as ashes. Your defense is as fragile as a clay pot.
13 “Be silent now and leave me alone. Let me speak, and I will face the consequences. 14 Why should I put myself in mortal danger[a] and take my life in my own hands? 15 God might kill me, but I have no other hope.[b] I am going to argue my case with him. 16 But this is what will save me—I am not godless. If I were, I could not stand before him.
17 “Listen closely to what I am about to say. Hear me out. 18 I have prepared my case; I will be proved innocent. 19 Who can argue with me over this? And if you prove me wrong, I will remain silent and die.
Job Asks How He Has Sinned
20 “O God, grant me these two things, and then I will be able to face you. 21 Remove your heavy hand from me, and don’t terrify me with your awesome presence. 22 Now summon me, and I will answer! Or let me speak to you, and you reply. 23 Tell me, what have I done wrong? Show me my rebellion and my sin. 24 Why do you turn away from me? Why do you treat me as your enemy? 25 Would you terrify a leaf blown by the wind? Would you chase dry straw?
26 “You write bitter accusations against me and bring up all the sins of my youth. 27 You put my feet in stocks. You examine all my paths. You trace all my footprints. 28 I waste away like rotting wood, like a moth-eaten coat.
“Doing more work for God with the resources that you have, while being obedient, is eternal contentment for the Soul, Spirit, and Love of God with great respect and reverence.”~ Jon Barnes
It is music to my ears when God smiles at what I’m thinking, doing, saying, eating, wearing, and working on.I don’t need a title, pat on the back, or recognition, but when it comes, I’ll be thankful just the same.People will also call you out and thank you for the amazing work that you do, just as others will lie on you and ignore your great work.Count it all as joy and keep singing your music to God. He can Hear You before you make a sound!
Making a difference in the lives of people, family, and yourself is a challenge, yet God makes it seem effortless when you follow His Flight Plan.The Angels of Air Traffic Control will assist you in takeoffs and landings with all of your travels.God’s Heavenly Planes do not Crash, Delay, Stall or Run out of Fuel.Keep your Flight Plan to make your life more enjoyable and easier and shine with God’s Speed that is Effortless.
When I began to use my own money and time for my own ministry of help, my life started to make some sense.It took me a long time to figure this out, writing books, making CDs, and sharing them in many ways.My motives became more effortless and fruitful with giving, sharing, and caring along with the balance of buying, selling, and making because God is the center of my focus.
Are you using God’s model for ministry from the Bible with wisdom, simplicity, and honor or is your bank account the center of your attention?
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11 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:
2 “Are all these words to go unanswered? Is this talker to be vindicated? 3 Will your idle talk reduce others to silence? Will no one rebuke you when you mock? 4 You say to God, ‘My beliefs are flawless and I am pure in your sight.’ 5 Oh, how I wish that God would speak, that he would open his lips against you 6 and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom, for true wisdom has two sides. Know this: God has even forgotten some of your sin.
7 “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? 8 They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know? 9 Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.
10 “If he comes along and confines you in prison and convenes a court, who can oppose him? 11 Surely he recognizes deceivers; and when he sees evil, does he not take note? 12 But the witless can no more become wise than a wild donkey’s colt can be born human.[a]
13 “Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him, 14 if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, 15 then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear. 16 You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. 17 Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. 18 You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. 19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor. 20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail, and escape will elude them; their hope will become a dying gasp.”
“You are a product of what you believe, think, say, and do for God!” ~ Jon Barnes
You “R” also a product of what you don’t believe, think, say, and do for God as well.Since the measure of a person is based on the level of work and faith that is put into their actions, stay awake in your work.Pay close attention to the quality, honesty, and motivational components of your daily plan with God because, the dividends you get will blossom all year round, into the future of eternity, if you don’t quit.
There is a clear picture that you paint for yourself when you do you.Being who you are in God paints a beautiful portrait of love that is real and superior to your natural looks and affections.Your true looks and value are accurately measured from this viewpoint. Keep God’s viewpoint as your standard and avoid becoming arrogant and full of pride.
You don’t have time to keep making the same mistakes of vanity, envy, lust, and wicked ideas packaged in new ways.I have fun focusing on the now, which is how God teaches me new things each day.You can correct your own mistakes a lot easier when you acknowledge the truth with God and not by yourself.Enjoy yourself in God and you will never be alone, without purpose, a plan, and a place.
Do you enjoy your purpose or are you still clueless in Christ?
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7 So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther’s banquet,2 and as they were drinking wine on the second day, the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”
3 Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request.4 For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.[a]”
5 King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, “Who is he? Where is he—the man who has dared to do such a thing?”
6 Esther said, “An adversary and enemy! This vile Haman!”
Then Haman was terrified before the king and queen.7 The king got up in a rage,left his wine and went out into the palace garden. But Haman, realizing that the king had already decided his fate, stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life.
8 Just as the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was reclining.
The king exclaimed, “Will he even molest the queen while she is with me in the house?”
As soon as the word left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face.9 Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, said, “A pole reaching to a height of fifty cubits[b] stands by Haman’s house. He had it set up for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king.”
The king said, “Impale him on it!”10 So they impaled Haman on the pole he had set up for Mordecai. Then the king’s fury subsided.
“When your heart is focused on doing the right things, it becomes difficult to betray God, yourself, and others in your work ethics, studies, and daily practices in life, because you are not a hypocrite.” ~ Jon Barnes
Create a flexible schedule to complete your heart’s desires and forget not the fundamentals God has taught you from the Bible. Continue to grow in mastering, practicing, and teaching all that you know and don’t hold back the good things you are suppose to be doing and giving to others. Don’t copy the ways of the wicked.
Your focus and mastery of God’s Love and laws will allow you to take fun trips and sabbaticals to learn new things, help others, and provide leadership in many ways. As you travel, you will discover that many things are different, but the fundamental love from God remains the same. Take the time to see this phenomenon yourself, as you follow God’s footsteps.
Your time is the only real money that you have that is equal in value to everyone else you will ever own. It is your job to value it from God with your respect, honesty, integrity, quality, and purpose. When you cheat others with your double minded standard of business, lack of honesty, and wastefulness, your heart cuts into pieces and bleeds out for the devil. Stop lying to yourself and restore your heart with God’s help and become spiritually productive.
Is your sole purpose committed to God by allowing Him to restore your soul in right standing with perfect love?
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2 Chronicles 29
Hezekiah Rules in Judah
29 Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became the king of Judah, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah.2 He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his ancestor David had done.
Hezekiah Reopens the Temple
3 In the very first month of the first year of his reign, Hezekiah reopened the doors of the Temple of the Lord and repaired them.4 He summoned the priests and Levites to meet him at the courtyard east of the Temple.5 He said to them, “Listen to me, you Levites! Purify yourselves, and purify the Temple of the Lord, the God of your ancestors. Remove all the defiled things from the sanctuary.6 Our ancestors were unfaithful and did what was evil in the sight of the Lord our God. They abandoned the Lord and his dwelling place; they turned their backs on him.7 They also shut the doors to the Temple’s entry room, and they snuffed out the lamps. They stopped burning incense and presenting burnt offerings at the sanctuary of the God of Israel.
8 “That is why the Lord’s anger has fallen upon Judah and Jerusalem. He has made them an object of dread, horror, and ridicule, as you can see with your own eyes.9 Because of this, our fathers have been killed in battle, and our sons and daughters and wives have been captured.10 But now I will make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger will turn away from us.11 My sons, do not neglect your duties any longer! The Lord has chosen you to stand in his presence, to minister to him, and to lead the people in worship and present offerings to him.”
12 Then these Levites got right to work:
From the clan of Kohath: Mahath son of Amasai and Joel son of Azariah. From the clan of Merari: Kish son of Abdi and Azariah son of Jehallelel. From the clan of Gershon: Joah son of Zimmah and Eden son of Joah. 13 From the family of Elizaphan: Shimri and Jeiel. From the family of Asaph: Zechariah and Mattaniah. 14 From the family of Heman: Jehiel and Shimei. From the family of Jeduthun: Shemaiah and Uzziel.
15 These men called together their fellow Levites, and they all purified themselves. Then they began to cleanse the Temple of the Lord, just as the king had commanded. They were careful to follow all the Lord’s instructions in their work.16 The priests went into the sanctuary of the Temple of the Lord to cleanse it, and they took out to the Temple courtyard all the defiled things they found. From there the Levites carted it all out to the Kidron Valley.
17 They began the work in early spring, on the first day of the new year,[a] and in eight days they had reached the entry room of the Lord’s Temple. Then they purified the Temple of the Lord itself, which took another eight days. So the entire task was completed in sixteen days.
The Temple Rededication
18 Then the Levites went to King Hezekiah and gave him this report: “We have cleansed the entire Temple of the Lord, the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the table of the Bread of the Presence with all its utensils.19 We have also recovered all the items discarded by King Ahaz when he was unfaithful and closed the Temple. They are now in front of the altar of the Lord, purified and ready for use.”
20 Early the next morning King Hezekiah gathered the city officials and went to the Temple of the Lord.21 They brought seven bulls, seven rams, and seven male lambs as a burnt offering, together with seven male goats as a sin offering for the kingdom, for the Temple, and for Judah. The king commanded the priests, who were descendants of Aaron, to sacrifice the animals on the altar of the Lord.
22 So they killed the bulls, and the priests took the blood and sprinkled it on the altar. Next they killed the rams and sprinkled their blood on the altar. And finally, they did the same with the male lambs.23 The male goats for the sin offering were then brought before the king and the assembly of people, who laid their hands on them.24 The priests then killed the goats as a sin offering and sprinkled their blood on the altar to make atonement for the sins of all Israel. The king had specifically commanded that this burnt offering and sin offering should be made for all Israel.
25 King Hezekiah then stationed the Levites at the Temple of the Lord with cymbals, lyres, and harps. He obeyed all the commands that the Lord had given to King David through Gad, the king’s seer, and the prophet Nathan.26 The Levites then took their positions around the Temple with the instruments of David, and the priests took their positions with the trumpets.
27 Then Hezekiah ordered that the burnt offering be placed on the altar. As the burnt offering was presented, songs of praise to the Lord were begun, accompanied by the trumpets and other instruments of David, the former king of Israel.28 The entire assembly worshiped the Lord as the singers sang and the trumpets blew, until all the burnt offerings were finished.29 Then the king and everyone with him bowed down in worship.30 King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to praise the Lord with the psalms written by David and by Asaph the seer. So they offered joyous praise and bowed down in worship.
31 Then Hezekiah declared, “Now that you have consecrated yourselves to the Lord, bring your sacrifices and thanksgiving offerings to the Temple of the Lord.” So the people brought their sacrifices and thanksgiving offerings, and all whose hearts were willing brought burnt offerings, too.32 The people brought to the Lord70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 male lambs for burnt offerings.33 They also brought 600 cattle and 3,000 sheep and goats as sacred offerings.
34 But there were too few priests to prepare all the burnt offerings. So their relatives the Levites helped them until the work was finished and more priests had been purified, for the Levites had been more conscientious about purifying themselves than the priests had been.35 There was an abundance of burnt offerings, along with the usual liquid offerings, and a great deal of fat from the many peace offerings.
So the Temple of the Lord was restored to service.36 And Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because of what God had done for the people, for everything had been accomplished so quickly.