“For a multitude of the people, many from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the good LORD provide atonement for everyone who prepares his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he is not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.” 2 Chr 30:18-19
This is not teaching us that it is okay to ignore what is written. It is teaching us, that when we wake up and begin coming out of Babylon, so to speak, coming out of the world and its ways, there is a learning period (that really never stops) for us to learn what was written, what God’s Word says about His thoughts and His ways which are higher than ours.
You know, God’s Law is perfect; it is holy, just, and good. His ways are right. And because of the fear of the LORD, we can rightly tremble when we think that we, who are ignorant and unclean, are going to come before the great and awesome, holy and majestic King of the universe. He is so awesome, that the angels who are closest to His throne cover their faces and their feet when they circle His throne, crying, “Holy! Holy! Holy!” So of course, we rightly tremble.
But the LORD is good. In Hebrew, it means He is pleasant and agreeable, kind and benign. He is not looking toward us with malice or criticism! Webster’s says that the good thing is of a favorable character. Because the LORD is good, He is inclined to favor us, not pick us apart. It is Satan who is the accuser of the brethren, not the LORD! He is the encourager, uplifter, and edifier of the brethren!
If we set our hearts to seek Him, He provides atonement and grace even though we might not do everything exactly right at first. There is a tension associated with doing something because it is written in the Law. God is trying to teach His people, that because we belong to Him, joy is ours! The Law teaches us about the joy as much as it teaches us about the fear. We can read about the joy and the fear in what was written, but to experience it, we need to move beyond ritual observation and into relationship.
Some people come to the Spirit first, the joy and the relationship, and by that same Spirit learn to honor the written Word later. God does not want them to lose their joy because they are learning His ways. Simply add to the Spirit and the joy that is already theirs, knowledge of where the boundaries are.
Some people come to the Word first, the righteousness and the boundaries, and by that Word learn about the Spirit later, to take up the joy and the relationship. God does not want them to lose their knowledge of righteousness and the boundaries because they are learning the joy of walking in a relationship by His Spirit. Simply add to the Word, and the obedience they are already walking in, the joy of the LORD, the goodness, pleasantness, and favor of the LORD toward them!