Be Not Negligent – 2 Chronicles 29:11

2 Chronicles 29:11 ‘My sons, be not now negligent: for the LORD hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense.’

These are the words that Hezekiah spoke by the Spirit of God to the priests and Levites. Judah had backslidden terribly under the reign of Hezekiah’s father Ahaz. The house of the Lord had become defiled, and its service had fallen into decay. Hezekiah warned the ministers of God against the negative example of their fathers, who had ‘turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned their backs.’ Why did they do this? Paul said, ‘For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.’ This is true. If the service of the Lord doesn’t serve our own interests, will we still do it for love to Christ?

Christ has chosen believers to bear fruit in His service, just as the Lord had chosen these men to stand before Him in the temple. It is a privilege to be chosen, but we see that in Malachi’s day it is recorded that some complained, ‘Behold, what a weariness is it!’ Beware, brethren, lest we despise the great privilege the Lord has given to us. But besides privilege, the Lord will hold His servants accountable for their stewardship. (1 Corinthians 4:2) ‘Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.’ Let us not be like the wicked and slothful servant, my brethren. Paul himself said, ‘…necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!’ Need we add to this, that a faithful steward has a great reward in eternity? ‘…Because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.’ (Luke 19:17)

Sadly, we read that the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves for the work than many of the priests (2 Chron 29:34). And because the priests did not sanctify themselves sufficiently, the people were unable to enjoy the Passover at the time Hezekiah would have preferred. Let those of us who have been entrusted to any degree with the spiritual oversight of others not be slack in the Lord’s service, lest God’s children suffer for it, and the Lord who has chosen us be displeased.

Pastor James West

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