Summary: Part 2 of a two part series looking at why we repeat mistakes and how we can break bad habits.
BREAKING BAD HABITS
INTRODUCTION: Bad habits are easy to develop, and often hard to deal with and remove. Israel, under king Ahaz, had developed many bad habits, and as we will see in our text, his son, Hezekiah set out to remove these habits from the people. Now, in Hezekiah’s actions we see some practical principles for removing bad habits from our life.
I BEGIN IMMEDIATELY
2 Chron. 29:3 In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the temple of the LORD and repaired them.
A The best time to deal with a bad habit is NOW! To delay only allows the habit to get entrenched deeper in our lives.
B Hezekiah is the son of Ahaz – one of Israel’s worst kings. Hezekiah had 16 years of bad habits to correct
C Hezekiah correction:
1 Hezekiah got things right with God – repairing the temple (the place God had chosen as his home)
a He opened the doors – Access to God
b He embellished the doors – Priority of God
2 Hezekiah selected Levites
a Requires personal cleansing before service.
b Nothing spiritual can come from a willful life of sin.
3 Hezekiah removed what the idols – the things that would keep us away from God
Matthew 19:17 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
Matthew 25:21 "His master replied, ’Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
a God is the source of what is good
b Cannot hope to do what is good in our own lives apart from the influence of God in our lives
II TAKE THE ROOTS
2 Chron. 29:5 and said: "Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the LORD, the God of your fathers. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary.
A Hezekiah understood the concept of all
1 Remove all defilement
2 Simple put any defilement, regardless of how small is defilement.
I have found out that I am a defiler of sorts! While Ken Norton and I were away moving the Pullen’s to Source of Light in Madison Georgia, Sherry set about the task of cleaning the house. Maybe she was doing this for me, perhaps for her mother, but REGARDLESS of the reason, she cleaned the house. After it is all done here I come back from some 34 hours on the road. Later that day, I hear a comment to the effect that, “you are the reason this house is dirty.” It seems that once I enter a place, whatever I am carrying spreads out through the entire house, and then makes this sort of mystical transformation from valued stuff to clutter. The little that I brought in has grown to such a size that it is now the foundation for a messy house!
B Hezekiah understood the concept of purity – if you do not get it all, it will come back
MORE IMPORTANTLY – HEZEKIAH UNDERSTOOD THE CONCEPT OF A VACUUM!
III REPLACE COMPLETELY
2 Chron. 29:2 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done.
A Hezekiah returned to the practices of David
B David was a man after God’s own heart
C David desired the things of God
1 Solomon continues the desires of David until – he begins to intermarry
1 Kings 11:1-4 King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter--Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. 2They were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, "You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods." Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. 3He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. 4As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been.
2 Once the heart is turned the feet will follow!
D Begin to do the right things in place of the wrong things you have been doing
2 Chron. 29:20-24 Early the next morning King Hezekiah gathered the city officials together and went up to the temple of the LORD. 21They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven male lambs and seven male goats as a sin offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary and for Judah. The king commanded the priests, the descendants of Aaron, to offer these on the altar of the LORD. 22So they slaughtered the bulls, and the priests took the blood and sprinkled it on the altar; next they slaughtered the rams and sprinkled their blood on the altar; then they slaughtered the lambs and sprinkled their blood on the altar. 23The goats for the sin offering were brought before the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands on them. 24The priests then slaughtered the goats and presented their blood on the altar for a sin offering to atone for all Israel, because the king had ordered the burnt offering and the sin offering for all Israel.
1 Worship God for Who He is
2 Confess your sins to Him
3 Commit the new habits to Him