But this case illustrates a critical point about the grace of God and what our response should be to sincere, but flawed, praise of God.
Hezekiah called for them to celebrate the Passover at a time other than that designated by God.
Many of those who came had not prepared themselves as God’s Word indicated they should.
The whole service did not go exactly according to God’s specific instructions to Moses.
“But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, ‘May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone who sets their heart on seeking God—the Lord, the God of their ancestors—even if they are not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary.’”
Notice that Hezekiah did not berate them about coming to the worship service in jeans with holes in the knees. He didn’t send them home to get their KJV Bible. He didn’t shush them because their music was too loud, their praise too demonstrative, or their prayers too basic.
He prayed that God would pardon them because their hearts were set on Him, even if their methods weren’t spot on.
What if, instead of worrying about whether other believers are “doing church right,” we prayed that God would respond to their sincerity of heart and would guide them to worship in whatever way is pleasing to Him? What if we realized that God doesn’t call us to police His relationship with others, but to evaluate our own?
God had very specific requirements of the Israelites in regard to their worship. Yet, when Hezekiah prayed for them, He heard and healed them. God is more concerned with our heart than our outward behavior. If our heart is earnestly seeking Him, He is more than capable of guiding us into the right behavior, but if our heart is not, no demonstration of outward piety will make us right with God.