King Hezekiah. He is a believer. First order of business is re-establishing worship in the temple, laid out in glorious detail here, no doubt of great interest to the people who first read chronicles in Ezra and Nehemiah’s time.
I found myself slightly impatient with the animal sacrifice system, now it has been revealed that our bodies are the temple of God, and Jesus’ sacrifice is sufficient for all.
It’s clunky, very messy, and complicated. But it was the only way they were given to seek God’s grace, to connect. So it’s also a beautiful thing.
Yesterday I was imagining the greatest theologians of the Bible. The Moore College of Hezekiah’s time. Or David’s, or Moses. They never would have come up with Jesus.
They came up with the Messiah, eventually. But didn’t recognise him in Jesus, not easily.
We still only know in part. There is a bunch of subjects: the afterlife, heaven, the second coming. Salvation, really, God’s grace, about which no doubt we are as close to understanding the specifics as the old testament theologians.
Yet it is by faith, by Jesus’ blood, that they were saved, even though they could not imagine him in their wildest dreams. Well, except Isaiah perhaps.
I was discussing N.T. Wright with my brother yesterday. A much respected theologian, so it’s an unsettling feeling when his view of heaven was vastly different from the heaven I had imagined for the previous 50 or so years of my existence.
But I listen to and focus on the truth and wisdom in what he is saying, and hold it in parallel with all the other possible heavens, and contemplate that we’re really just guessing at the specifics of heaven.
Our faith is called a faith because it requires faith. Have so much more than the ancients, yes, but like them we only have an inkling.
Like Hezekiah, we respond to what we know, it makes sense, it strikes us as truth, it opens our heart to the spirit of the living God. The rest we take in faith.