The scream came from our bathroom and I knew what elicited it.
“What is THAT?”
My roommate and I looked at each other and snickered. His girlfriend had discovered our secret. In the summer before my senior year in college, I lived on campus, doing research in molecular biology. I shared a campus apartment with my classmate who was also doing research in the same laboratory. The apartment was not designed to have a kitchen and we cooked our meals in a hot pot and electric skillet. This arrangement was generally adequate except that we had no sink to wash our dishes, utensils, and appliances. No sink, but there was a bathroom! The excess grease was dumped into the toilet and we left the rest in our bathtub. Whenever we took a shower, we let the water rinse most of the remaining food and then we would each take turns washing some of the dishes. Meanwhile, the accumulated grease and food oxidized and stained the bathtub and toilet. After a few weeks, even we were appalled by the conditions, but neither of us wanted to clean it, we were content to live within our own filth. We were too stubborn, lazy, and selfish to take care of each other or own lives. We both hoped that my friend’s girlfriend would clean it when she encountered it. Our plan worked!
In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them. He brought in the priests and the Levites and assembled them in the square on the east and said to them, “Hear me, Levites! Now consecrate yourselves, and consecrate the house of the Lord, the God of your fathers, and carry out the filth from the Holy Place.”
2 Chronicles 29:3-5 (ESV)
When King Hezekiah became the King of Judah, he was determined to serve God faithfully, renewing his nation’s holy covenant with God and re-establishing orderly worship by repairing and cleaning the temple. He had a monumental task, cleaning up the filth and blasphemous idol worship that had replaced the true worship of God, largely started by the previous King Ahaz. From erecting idols to false gods in the temple to sacrificing his own son to the false god Moloch, Ahaz allowed the Hebrews to wallow in their own filth for sixteen years. Hezekiah knew what he needed to do because he studied and obeyed the Word of God which repeatedly warned the Hebrews to not follow after false gods and worship idols. God knew that if He left the Hebrews to follow their own desires, they would be content to wallow in their own filth. Am I any different?
In my college apartment, I was able to tolerate living in my own filth for a few weeks. Sadly, my spiritual life was even more filthy and I not only tolerated it but embraced it for many years. It was only after I could no longer stand the putrid odor of my own life that my defiant will was broken and I called out to Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior. He rescued me from own filth and cleansed my soul with the regeneration and sanctification of His Holy Spirit.
I never want to return to the filth that I wallowed in, either physically and spiritually.
God’s plan for my life does work!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.