Ahaz, king of Judah (735-719 BC), had turned away from God in depraved and evil ways. He defiled and robbed the Lord’s temple, worshiped idols and false gods, and went so far in his idolatry that…
Ahaz gathered together the furnishings from the temple of God and cut them in pieces. He shut the doors of the LORD’s temple and set up altars at every street corner in Jerusalem. – 2 Chronicles 28:24
Through his vile actions and grotesque idolatry, Ahaz made every attempt to deny God His rightful rule in the hearts of His people. Yet, the power Ahaz wielded was unable to keep his own son and successor to the throne of Judah, King Hezekiah, from turning his heart fully to the Lord Almighty.
Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. He held fast to the LORD and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the LORD had given Moses. – 2 Kings 18:5-6
As king, Hezekiah was passionate and persistent in trusting and bringing honor to the Lord. He had all the idols, symbols and altars to the pagan gods torn down and destroyed throughout the land of Judah. And as one of his very first acts as king, Hezekiah made sure that the Lord would be worshiped, once again, at the temple in Jerusalem.
In the first month of the first year of his reign [715 BC], he opened the doors of the temple of the LORD and repaired them. – 2 Chronicles 29:3
In our own lives, we need to ask: What is the condition of the doors of our hearts when it comes to worshiping, living for, trusting and loving the One True God?
Have we, in any way, allowed others to block us, to shut the doors of our hearts and keep us from worshiping the Lord?
Have we allowed others to shut us away from trusting the Lord?
Have we allowed the actions and words of others to hurt us, disappoint us or frustrate us so much that we have shut our own hearts down and shut them away from the Lord because of the pain, anger, judgment and self-pity we’re still holding?
Have we, in any way, allowed our own sin, pride, stubbornness, laziness or other priorities to shut the doors of our hearts to worshiping, living for, trusting and loving our Lord?
Let’s ask the Lord to open the doors of our hearts – no matter what or who may have shut them – so we may worship Him as the One True God, the Eternal and Sovereign King over all creation. So we may live for our God, as His children and ambassadors, offering Christ’s love, mercy, forgiveness, hope and courage to all those around us. So we may trust our God more fully in every way, in every circumstance, every day of our lives. Let’s ask the Lord to open the doors of our hearts so we may love our God as He deserves – “with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and with all our strength” (Mark 12:30).
Open the doors of our hearts, Lord, open the doors of your holy temple within us, and let no one and nothing keep us shut away from worshiping, living for, trusting and loving You!