Return Unto Me

August 12, 2012

Since before the beginning of time as we know it, the evil one has tried to tear down the Throne of Almighty GOD and he has tried to steal the praise that only belongs to The LORD.  The devil has tried to tear down that which The LORD is building.  In times before it was the literal temple where worship of GOD and fellowship between GOD and man occurred, and today it is to destroy the temple which is in we who have been born again.  Today we will be looking at some examples of what we can do to prevent the devil and his evil forces from destroying what GOD has placed in us by HIS Holy Spirit.  I pray each one of you will be blessed. 

Handout: Return Unto Me

To begin this lesson I want us to understand a bit of history of The Kings of Israel.  In reading in the books of Kings 1 and 2 as well as Chronicles 1 and 2 we find records of the kings in Biblical days and it tells whether or not each particular king obeyed The GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Down through time there were kings who obeyed The LORD and sought GOD with all their hearts.  Two of the most famously known was David, and Solomon.  There were many as well who did evil in the sight of GOD.  They would build alters unto false gods and practice pagan worship and rituals, this angered GOD and as we begin we will look at three different kings.
The first king we will look at is Uzziah found in 2 Chronicles 26.  Now The Word of GOD tells us that Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king and The Bible says that Uzziah did what was right in the sight of The LORD.  Here is something wonderful and interesting that I want to bring out and I want you to keep this in mind as we go through the lesson.  Here is what The Bible says about Uzziah.

2 Chronicles 26:5 “And he sought GOD in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of GOD: and as long as he sought The LORD, GOD made him to prosper.”
This was the case with all the kings of Israel and Judah and it is the case with us as well.  Now that doesn’t mean that we will all be rich and famous and never have any trouble, but if we will seek The LORD with all our hearts and obey HIS voice, He will make us to prosper and HE will guide us through any trouble that will arise and HE will make us strong in HIM!  Praise The LORD! 

Later we find that GOD made Uzziah very powerful and he let it go to his head and became very proud and he went into the temple of The LORD to burn incense upon the alter of incense.  He was not supposed to do this, it was the job of the priest to do this so when the priest confronted King Uzziah he became VERY angry and GOD struck him with leprosy and The Word of GOD says that he was cut off from The house of The LORD and basically from the people because he was a leper from that day on. 

Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
The next king was Jotham and he was 25 when he began to reign and he did what was right in the sight of THE LORD, and THE LORD was with him.  However things were about to change, because after Jotham came Ahaz and he did not please The LORD.

2 Chronicles 28: 1-6 “Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord, as his father David had done. 2 For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made molded images for the Baals. 3 He burned incense in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and burned his children in the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel. 4 And he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.

5 Therefore the Lord his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria. They defeated him, and carried away a great multitude of them as captives, and brought them to Damascus. Then he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who defeated him with a great slaughter. 6 For Pekah the son of Remaliah killed one hundred and twenty thousand in Judah in one day, all valiant men, because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers.”
(Skip on down to verse 19)

19 For theLord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had encouraged moral decline in Judah and had been continually unfaithful to the Lord. 20 Also Tiglath-Pileser[b] king of Assyria came to him and distressed him, and did not assist him.21 For Ahaz took part of the treasures from the house of the Lord, from the house of the king, and from the leaders, and he gave it to the king of Assyria; but he did not help him.

22 Now in the time of his distress King Ahaz became increasingly unfaithful to The Lord. This is that King Ahaz. 23 For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus which had defeated him, saying, “Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me.” But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel. 24 So Ahaz gathered the articles of the house of God, cut in pieces the articles of the house of God, shut up the doors of the house of the Lord, and made for himself altars in every corner of Jerusalem.25 And in every single city of Judah he made high places to burn incense to other gods, and provoked to anger the Lord God of his fathers.

So Ahaz totally went against what GOD would have him to do, and when trouble came it seems as if he got angry and just let the devil have complete control over him and he shut down the temple trying to stop the worship of GOD totally and made alters for false gods in every single city!  What a foolish thing to do, and GOD was provoked to anger. 
What about you?  Are you seeking GOD and obeying HIM, or are you proud, bitter, or angry and just doing whatever seems right to you?  You don’t have to live this way…
Next came Hezekiah and this record really blessed my heart and I pray it will bless you too! 

2 Chronicles 29 
“Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. 2 And he didwhat was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.
3 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of theLord and repaired them. 4 Then he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them in the East Square, 5 and said to them: “Hear me, Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from The Holy Place. 6 For our fathers have trespassed and done evil in the eyes of the Lord our God; they have forsaken Him, have turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and turned their backs on Him. 7 They have also shut up the doors of the vestibule, put out the lamps, and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore the wrath of the Lord fell upon Judah and Jerusalem, and He has given them up to trouble, to desolation, and to jeering, as you see with your eyes. 9 For indeed, because of this our fathers have fallen by the sword; and our sons, our daughters, and our wives are in captivity.

10 “Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that His fierce wrath may turn away from us. 11 My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him, and that you should minister to Him and burn incense.”
12 Then these Levites arose: Mahath the son of Amasai and Joel the son of Azariah, of the sons of the Kohathites; of the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi and Azariah the son of Jehallelel; of the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah and Eden the son of Joah; 13 of the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeiel; of the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14 of the sons of Heman, Jehiel and Shimei; and of the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel.
15 And they gathered their brethren, sanctified themselves, and went according to the commandment of the king, at the words of the Lord, to cleanse the house of the Lord.16 Then the priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and brought out all the debris that they found in the temple of the Lord to the court of the house of the Lord. And the Levites took it out and carried it to the Brook Kidron.
17 Now they began to sanctify on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the vestibule of the Lord. So they sanctified the house of the Lordin eight days, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished.
18 Then they went in to King Hezekiah and said, “We have cleansed all the house of theLord, the altar of burnt offerings with all its articles, and the table of the showbread with all its articles. 19 Moreover all the articles which King Ahaz in his reign had cast aside in his transgression we have prepared and sanctified; and there they are, before the altar of theLord.”

Hezekiah Restores Temple Worship

20 Then King Hezekiah rose early, gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the Lord. 21 And they brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats for a sin offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary, and for Judah. Then he commanded the priests, the sons of Aaron, to offer them on the altar of the Lord. 22 So they killed the bulls, and the priests received the blood and sprinkled it on the altar. Likewise they killed the rams and sprinkled the blood on the altar. They also killed the lambs and sprinkled the blood on the altar. 23 Then they brought out the male goats for the sin offering before the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands on them. 24 And the priests killed them; and they presented their blood on the altar as a sin offering to make an atonement for all Israel, for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offeringbe made for all Israel.
25 And he stationed the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with stringed instruments, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, of Gad the king’s seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for thus was the commandment of the Lord by His prophets. 26 The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27 Then Hezekiah commanded them to offer the burnt offering on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord also began, with the trumpets and with the instruments of David king of Israel. 28 So all the assembly worshiped, the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. 29 And when they had finished offering, the king and all who were present with him bowed and worshiped. 30 Moreover King Hezekiah and the leaders commanded the Levites to sing praise to the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshiped.
31 Then Hezekiah answered and said, “Now that you have consecrated yourselves to theLord, come near, and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of the Lord.” So the assembly brought in sacrifices and thank offerings, and as many as were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings. 32 And the number of the burnt offerings which the assembly brought was seventy bulls, one hundred rams, and two hundred lambs; all these were for a burnt offering to the Lord. 33 The consecrated things were six hundred bulls and three thousand sheep. 34 But the priests were too few, so that they could not skin all the burnt offerings; therefore their brethren the Levites helped them until the work was ended and until the other priests had sanctified themselves, for the Levites were more diligent in sanctifying themselves than the priests. 35 Also the burnt offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace offerings and with the drink offerings for every burnt offering.
So the service of the house of the Lord was set in order. 36 Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced that God had prepared the people, since the events took place so suddenly.”

Ahaz closed down the temple and stopped worship to The GOD of Israel and I’m sure the devil thought he had won but GOD raised up another king and this king…King Hezekiah meant business and he was on business for THE KING OF KINGS!  He and the priests got right to work and they cleaned up the Temple and opened the doors and once again fellowship was restored between and GOD and Israel! 

Did you know that your body is the temple now? 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of The HOLY SPIRIT who is in you, whom you have from GOD, and you are not your own?  For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify GOD in your body and in your Spirit, which are GOD’S.”

When you accepted JESUS and asked HIM to be your personal LORD and SAVIOR, HIS HOLY SPIRIT came into you to dwell and the devil wants to hinder you from worship and from fellowship with your Creator.  Has he set up idols in your heart?  Has he stopped you from being a living sacrifice to your GOD?   Has he broken the things that were once strong for GOD in your life?  See this is easy to happen because our flesh is weak.  The destruction it causes in our minds and in our lives is devastating.  Don’t you miss the fellowship that you once had and the favor that fell on you from your Father because you were living in obedience to HIM?  Don’t you miss that peace.  Oh Dear one, you don’t have to live like this any longer!  Hear HIS voice calling to you now, Return unto Me!  Turn around while there is still time. 

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, HE is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness!”
See you have the power and the authority in the name of JESUS to get to work just like King Hezekiah and the priests did.  You have the power and the authority to clean up your temple and reestablish your relationship with your GOD and to begin worship again in your life so that HIS favor will fall on you once again.  Return unto HIM! 

1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a Holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should shew forth the praises of HIM who has called you out of darkness into HIS marvelous light.”

Return Unto ME says The LORD!

In the next chapter we find that Hezekiah wrote letters that all should come to the house of The LORD at Jerusalem to keep the Passover.  It was a bit later than usual but the could not do it at the appointed time because the priests had not sanctified themselves. 

Are you right with GOD or have you had to put the things of GOD off because you have sin in your life?  Make it right…right now, don’t delay. 

See they had missed the appointed time, but it wasn’t too late.  See GOD was waiting for them to return to HIM and make things right…What a LOVELY FATHER WE HAVE! 

So Hezekiah sent runners to spread the word for everyone to gather together and keep the Passover unto The LORD.

2 Chronicles 30:6-9   “6 Then the runners went throughout all Israel and Judah with the letters from the king and his leaders, and spoke according to the command of the king: “Children of Israel, return to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel; then He will return to the remnant of you who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7 And do not be like your fathers and your brethren, who trespassed against the Lord God of their fathers, so that He gave them up to desolation, as you see. 8 Now do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord; and enter His sanctuary, which He has sanctified forever, and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you. 9 For if you return to the Lord, your brethren and your children will be treated with compassion by those who lead them captive, so that they may come back to this land; for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn His face from you if you return to Him.”

Hezekiah’s message is still true and wise for us to hearken to today!  Don’t be stiff necked and stubborn he says to us, yield unto The LORD and surrender to HIM.  We must humble ourselves down and seek HIM so that we can run this race with success because eternity is fast approaching!  See no matter how sinful we have become, GOD will work with us because of HIS GREAT LOVE AND MERCY…Here is what HE says.

2 Chronicles 7:14 “If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

What about it?  Are you ready to return to HIM?  I think of the words that David said to his son Solomon and as you read this, read it first as what he said to Solomon, then read it again and put your own name in the place of Solomon’s. 

1 Chronicles 28:9-10 “"And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the LORD sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.  So take this seriously. The LORD has chosen you to build a Temple as his sanctuary. Be strong, and do the work."

See GOD has begun a work in you, HIS temple.  You are to be a sanctuary for HIS HOLY SPIRIT.  Tear down the idols, get rid of those things that you have been turning to for comfort in the place of YOUR GOD, tear it down, clean out the rubble.  Ask HIM to cleanse you and forgive you and Return to HIM, BE STRONG AND DO THE WORK!   See satan will try to hinder you, he desires to have you, but JESUS is with you Dear One.  He understands.  Put your name in the place of Simon in the next verse we will read. 

Luke 22:31-32  And The LORD said, “Simon, Simon!  Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.  “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

There are no words to describe the honor and blessing to have JESUS CHRIST praying for you and me.  He is praying for us and making intercession for us.  HE WANTS YOU TO SUCCEED.  He is focused on what HE can make you not what you have done in your past.  All that can be washed away!  Praise HIS name!

Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath HE removed our transgressions from us.”
Romans 8:26-27  “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
Romans 8:34-39 “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
1 John 3:1 “Behold what manner of LOVE The FATHER has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of GOD:”

Hear HIM urge your heart today…RETURN UNTO ME MY CHILD…RETURN UNTO ME.  I make all things new, I forgive your sin and I forget.  You can start over and I can make you clean.  Worship and fellowship can be reestablished once again if you will humble yourself and seek My face, Return unto Me…it’s not to late. :O)

Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith The LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

Return unto Me.

Dear Righteous Heavenly FATHER…

Thank You for who You are, there is NONE like YOU.  There never has been or never will be anyone like YOU.  Thank You for Your mercy and grace that YOU would look down on me, a worm and have great love, mercy, that you have given to us.  Thank You for being my joy, my peace, my comfort, my refuge and my rock.  You are so good.  LORD forgive us for letting life come between us and YOU.  Lord cleanse our hearts today and help us to humble ourselves before YOU and to reestablish fellowship and worship in our hearts today.  You alone are worthy!  In YOUR name JESUS we pray.  Thank YOU LORD!