Summary: A message about getting on and staying on the "Right track" (the straight and narrow way)
“Back on the Right Track”
In January 2005, a freight train accident in Graniteville, South Carolina, caused a hazardous chemical spill that caused nine deaths, sent 550 people to hospitals and forced the evacuation of 5,400 people – the nation’s worst chemical accident from a train crash since 1978. This was one of 75 train accidents in the State of South Carolina in 2005.
The accident was caused when a manual track switch was left in the wrong position. After moving their train onto a sideline track, operators of the train failed to reset the manual switch so that another train would stay on the main line. Hours later, the train that was supposed to stay on the main line hit the parked train on the sideline and the chemicals were released. The spilled chlorine caused a gaseous cloud that hovered over the city through nightfall
There is a price to pay for being on the 'wrong track'! In Graniteville, it was injury, evacuation, and death. In the Spiritual Realm we find the same thing when our “spiritual car” runs off the track. A sad thing occurs when we are on the wrong track, headed for disaster, and don't realize it.
When we look at the events of this past weekend, if you were like most of us, you were somewhat surprised at the things God wanted you to deal with and change. From our story today, let's see what we can learn to help us “stay on track.”
Our story begins with Hezekiah becoming King at age 25. The interesting thing is the need for verse 2 (read). You can get an understanding as to why this is important if you look in chapter 28:1 and read about his daddy, King Ahaz (Read). The writer of Chronicles, although unknown, wanted us readers to understand the significance of Hezekiah getting the country back on track. Follow this thinking and see 3 things with me.
1.See your reason for being 'off-track'.
I must confess to you that this seems to be the most difficult of all to do. We ask things like “why does this happen to me?” “why are things like they are?” “why is this country in such turmoil?' And candidly, we really would rather not know, notice, or admit it. It we do know or admit we know, there may be some things WE need to address. From my heart I offer all of us this truth: until we face the reasons for us, that is our culture-country and self, being like we are, (We used to call it off the “straight and narrow”) we have little hope of righting the ship. Consider 3 things we must see;
a)See the context of sin. - (V6a – Read) Hezekiah had no problem in looking back at his family tree admitting many were unfaithful and even evil in the sight of the Lord. Read the names in scripture: Ahab, Ahaziah, Athaliah, Amaziah, Ahaz, and even Josiah toward the end of his life. Hezekiah doesn't see his family tree in light of affection, but of awe. He was in awe of God and understood that, in God's sight, much evil had been done.
Back on the Right Track – Pg 2
But he didn't stop his evaluation there.
b)See the content of sin. - (Read v6b-7) Isn't it true that our first thought is to minimize and rationalize our sin even to the point of saying, “It wasn't as bad as someone else?” Refusing to see the vial content of our sin is a sign that we are not convinced that it was so bad. Yet, Hezekiah did no such thing. His words cut deeply into the conscience of his people and into the memories of those who had gone before. Did you catch all the indictments? They abandoned God, turned away from the house of worship by turning their backs on God. But that was not enough. They even closed the doors and did away with everything which allowed them to worship Jehovah God. It is true that, in America, we have not closed the doors on houses of worship (YET!), but I submit that we have systematically turn about backs on and abandoned the God who formed, sustained, and has upheld this country. ...Now, while this message is popular, please consider a difficult thought with me; the only way this country could abandon God is for God's people (those who claim to be believers) to allow sin in their lives. What is the content of our sin? For many, it is the sin of unbelief. The Bible says, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord, will be saved.” Scripture goes on to tell us that when we call on Jesus and receive Him as personal Savior that God will give us the right (privilege) to become Children of God.” One of the sins is unbelief. Another one goes by a number of names; apathy, complacency, indifference, unconcern, and even laziness. Before we can get back on the right track, we will have to confess how evil our sin is.