An Invitation

2 Chronicles 30:10-11
So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them.  Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.

Hezekiah was trying to do the right thing.  He had repaired the temple and sought to rid Judah of its idols.  He brought back the priests and the Levites and burnt offerings in the temple.  They’d had a time of worship, and now Hezekiah wants to keep the Passover in the proper way as God had commanded.  And he sends out letters so that all Israel, not just Judah, has an opportunity to participate.  It’s an invitation back to God, in a sense, and this is the response that Hezekiah gets.  Some of them laugh and mock as if this is the most ridiculous thing Hezekiah could have suggested.

Sometimes that happens to us, too.  We’re just trying to be faithful.  We’re trying to obey God and follow His ways.  We’ve made that commitment for ourselves.  But when we reach out to others with an invitation to church or to learn more about Jesus or to come and participate in a time of worship and honoring God, they just laugh at us.  They mock us for our faith and for our dedication to God, and they will have nothing to do with it.

We can’t make other people’s choices for them.  We can’t stop people from rejecting God or turning away from Him if that is the choice they make.  Hezekiah had explained to Israel that if they turned back to God, He would be gracious and merciful to them and help them in their captivity.  He was just waiting for them to humble themselves and seek Him anew, and this was the perfect opportunity to do so, and still they refused.  Even with much to gain from knowing Christ, some will still choose to reject Him, but some will also accept, so we can’t give up on asking and inviting.

We know what a blessing it is to have a relationship with God, to follow Him and obey Him.  And we want the same for others.  We want them to be part of what God is doing, but some will still refuse.  Even so, we can still be faithful.  We can continue to follow God.  And we don’t have to let the reactions of others dissuade or discourage us.  Let’s stick to our commitment to honor God, to be obedient, to seek God.  And maybe those who laughed and mocked will see our faithfulness and they’ll see God working and they’ll stop laughing and start asking how they, too, can know this God we serve.

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