“Sanctify yourselves….and carry out the rubbish from the holy place” (2 Chronicles 29:5 NKJV).
Recently I came across a verse in the Old Testament that I had read many times before. However, this time, the verse struck me with special significance. I read it again, and then I reread it.
Although I knew the words were an admonition spoken by King Hezekiah to his people, nevertheless, I felt as though the words were directed specifically at me! There came to mind the verse in 1 Corinthians 3:16: “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” I read again “…carry out the rubbish from the holy place” – that’s my life! “Well, what constitutes rubbish or trash in my life?” I asked myself. Before I could answer, a song came to mind:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart today;
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin and set me free.”
That’s what would be rubbish – sin! Any sin, big or little; any sin, apparent or not; any sin, private or public. Anything and everything in my life (“the holy place”) that would displease my Lord and damage my testimony. That’s rubbish and needs to be “carried out” – disposed of.
Do you have rubbish in your life? How do you get rid of it? Since we have established rubbish is sin, then the next step is to acknowledge that sin, confess it with a repentant heart, and ask God’s forgiveness. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Not only is He willing and gracious to forgive you and me our sins, but Micah 7:19 tells us that He then casts those sins “into the depths of the sea” – to be remembered no more.
“Sanctify yourselves…and carry out the rubbish from the holy place.” If we follow that instruction, God will be pleased, and we will be restored to sweet fellowship with Him.
Midge Ruth is a Board Member Emeritus of America’s Keswick. This devotional was originally printed in Real Victory for Real Life Volume 1.