A Time For Renewal
We have had the strangest winter this year here in Texas….really all over the country! But yesterday…yesterday was a little taste of what’s to come. It was a gorgeous day! The weather was perfect. Not too hot and not too cold. The only thing messing with my head yesterday was that darn time change! We woke up late and the kids went to church bed head but we made it so I am certain He overlooked our messy appearance.
The small sampling of spring yesterday filled me with so much joy! I wanted to be outside as long as possible even though my eyes and my nose were telling me to get inside. We planted flowers, herbs and noticed the buds on the trees getting closer and closer to making their grand entrance to the world.
I know often times we focus on the New Year to “renew” ourselves, to start fresh, to make changes in our lives but a rare few actually keep those. Spring is the announcement to us all that renewal is possible, not just for a select few who have the ability to keep all of their resolutions. Spring provides us with beautiful evidence of renewal.
Trees, who once lost everything and appear to be dead, are brought to life, full of color and beauty. The brown and crispy grass, will soon be abundantly green and soft enough for bare feet and toes. Plants and flowers are fighting their way through the thick clay-like soil to be seen and to revive their beauty in color, texture and its fragrant scent. The birds are no longer quiet but rejoicing in song as they search for the perfect nesting spot. As I noticed my surroundings yesterday, I realized that renewal like this, is possible for us all.
No matter our past, no matter our sin, no matter our generational misfortune.
Merriam Webster (www.m-w.com) defines the word Renewal as:
- to make like new : restore to freshness, vigor, or perfection
- to make new spiritually : regenerate
- to restore to existence : revive
- to make extensive changes in : rebuild
- to do again : repeat
- to begin again : resume
- replace; replenish
How I love these definitions! To make like new, restore to perfection, to make new spiritually, to revive, rebuild…it is possible for us all!
Deep within the 2nd book of Chronicles gives us the most perfect example of the impact and effects of generational sin that can hold us captive and the opportunities for renewal and forgiveness given so freely to us all. If you start with 2 Chronicles 25 you will learn a little about Amaziah King of Judah. Continue on and you will learn about his son, his grandson, great-grandson, great-great-grandson and so on and how the sin encountered in each generation is passed on to the next. Yet God offers each and every generation a chance to “regenerate”.
He does the same for us.
Shall we take the opportunity or shall we waste away this life by remaining captive?
Amaziah King of Judah
- 2 Chronicles 25:2 – He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly.
- In verse 9, he questions God.
- In verses 14-15, he worshiped other gods.
- In verses 16-20, he would not listen to the warnings God was graciously giving him.
- In verse 18, he was full of arrogance and pride.
Uzziah King of Judah (Amaziah’s son)
- 2 Chronicles 26:4-5 – He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.
- In verse 16, he became so successful and powerful that he was full of pride.
- In verses 16-18, he was so full of pride that he decided to also take on the role of the priests.
- In verse 19, we see his anger and rage boil to the point where his pride became his downfall.
Jotham King of Judah (Uzziah’s son)
- 2 Chronicles 27:2 – He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord however he allowed his people to continue their corrupt and wicked practices.
- In verse 6 – he grew very powerful because of his “personal” walk before the Lord.
- He continued to allow “high places” to be built for his people to worship and sacrifice to their own gods.
Ahaz King of Judah (Jotham’s son)
- 2 Chronicles 28:1 – He did NOT do what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He didn’t even try.
- He made cast idols to worship other gods at the “high places” (the disastrous result of his father only being concerned for his personal walk with the Lord and allowing his people to continue on in the wicked ways).
- He burned sacrifices, including his sons, to these gods.
- In verse 10, we see that he was guilty of many sins against God.
- In verses 16-19, the Lord humbled the king for he had promoted wickedness and had been most unfaithful to the Lord.
- In verse 22, we see the king become even more unfaithful to the Lord instead of accepting forgiveness and changing his ways.
Hezekiah King of Judah (Ahaz’s son)
- 2 Chronicles 29:2 – He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.
- In verses 3-29, he properly rebuilt the temples, removed all defilement and allowed no one to worship other gods.
- In verses 29-31, he praised the Lord and dedicated his people to God.
- In 2 Chronicles 30:18-20, he invited those who were different from his people to celebrate Passover however they were not “ceremonially clean”. So he prayed an intercessory prayer for them and God pardoned all those who had set their hearts on seeking God.
- King Hezekiah led a great spiritual awakening or renewal for all of his people.
- He reminded his people that their strength and confidence could only be found in the Lord.
I truly love this lesson! It is a reminder that no matter my past, my grandparents past or my current sin… I can be “renewed” or restored to perfection. It’s a reminder that even through my sin, God will offer me pardons (forgiveness) and opportunities to once again be “rebuilt”, “replenished” and “regenerated” spiritually.
As a single mom, I was constantly held captive by my pride. Too proud to ask for help (even from God), proud to do it all on my own, too proud to see how weak I was becoming, too proud to see that I was about to lose it all. Pride was undeniably my downfall. God gave me numerous warnings just as he did the kings of Judah, he gave me many opportunities to “regenerate” and rely solely upon Him. When I did finally accept His gift, it was too late for many of the things already set in motion from my disobedience. And because I was finally ready for His “renewal”, I accepted and understood all that I lost. I had my children, He gifted me with the most amazing man to share our lives with and it was my perfect “season of spring” for my own renewal in Christ.
I would be so very grateful if you would share this in hopes of reaching other ladies struggling with the same thing. Thank you!