Most people, at some point in their life, have been given a second chance. Some ignored it; some earnestly grasped it and others held on tightly for a little while, but then let it go. This article is about the “let-it-goers”.
The Bible text is 2 Chronicles 30; the giver of the second chance is Judah’s King Hezekiah; the wasters of their second chance are 2 of the northern tribes of Israel, Asher and Zebulun.
The northern tribes of Israel had been living in idolatry for 200 years when Hezekiah became the King of Judah. That’s when he did the craziest thing anyone could imagine. After getting the Temple sanctified and purified from the filth and evil of his father and after ordering a fabulous worship celebration, Hezekiah then sent out an blanket invitation to the upcoming Passover worship celebration to ALL OF ISRAEL. That’s right, to every person in the northern Kingdom who Judah usually just fought wars against.
To everyone’s surprise Israelites from the tribes of Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun came to the Temple in Jerusalem to worship Jehovah. What an incredible worship feast it was. Israelites from the north and the south worshiped together in joyful praise to their LORD God. Everyone was so inspired that: “Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah and broke in pieces the pillars and cut down the Asherim and broke down the high places and the altars throughout all Judah and Benjamin, and in Ephraim and Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all.” 2 Chronicles 31:1 Not only worshiping together but north and south destroying idols and high places all over Judah and into Ephraim and Manasseh in northern Israel. What a site that was to behold.
That’s when: “Then all the people of Israel returned to their cities, every man to his possession.” They had their second chance in Jerusalem; they could have stayed, but they didn’t. Instead they returned to the land of idolatry because it is where their possessions and lands were.
Little did they know that they would lose all of their possessions and land in about 3 years anyway when: “The king of Assyria deported Israel to Assyria and settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in towns of the Medes. This happened because they had not obeyed the Lord their God, but had violated his covenant—all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded. They neither listened to the commands nor carried them out.” 2 Kgs 18:11-12
Had they stayed in Judah, they would have had a new life of freedom and worship and would not have been enslaved by Assyria. That enslavement was the price tag of letting go of their second chance.
How have you handled your second chance or second chances? Did you hold on tight and are you still holding on tight? If so, praise the LORD!
Did you grab it, but then let it slip away? If so, you’re in luck. You have just run head first into another second chance; a second chance to surrender to Jesus and live a new life of freedom and worship, of service, of salvation. Yes, it will cost you everything. However, remember that you can either lose everything to Jesus and receive even more in return or you can lose everything the father of lies who will enslave you in chains and give you nothing in return but misery. Learn from Asher and Zebulun. If they had known what was around the corner of their life, they would have held on tight. You now know. So what are going to do?
Mike Sublett is a pastor at Hi-Land Christian Church, 1615 N. Banks St., Pampa, Texas 79065. Email him at email@example.com.
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