Tupperware can be a good thing. Those sealed plastic containers can preserve leftover food so you can enjoy it later. Tupperware can be a bad thing, if you forget about it. Sound like the voice of experience? I know from some distasteful personal experience what can happen when you do forget it – intermediate life forms, morphing into something unrecognizable. The problem comes when that Tupperware with leftovers in it slowly gets pushed farther and farther back in the fridge, until it’s tucked out of sight behind the pickle jar and a gallon of milk. Ultimately, the lost little Tupperware will make its presence known. Yeah, as you open the fridge and utter those inevitable words: “What’s that smell?” The smell isn’t going away until some domestic Green Beret storms the depths of that fridge and bravely opens that Tupperware and carries away the rotting contents inside, or beats them to death with a stick if necessary.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today, now that you’re totally disgusted, about “Getting Rid of the Stink.”
So you’re wondering where the stink is coming from like in your life right now. There’s a lot of frustration, disappointment and struggle. Too much that’s broken. Too much that’s making your environment very unpleasant.
It’s in those times when we don’t like what’s in the air that we start asking, “What’s wrong?” That’s a question God may have been waiting for you to ask for a long time, because some things are wrong. The smell isn’t the problem – it’s just the symptom. The real problem is some things that are rotten on the inside, and things aren’t going to get better until you clean out what may be deep inside.
I was really impacted recently as I saw some of this in the life of one of Israel’s great kings, Hezekiah. Let me start with the happy ending of the story. In 2 Chronicles 30-31, we’re told that “there was great joy in Jerusalem for since the days of Solomon…there had been nothing like this” (30:26). Then King Hezekiah got the report that “we have enough to eat and plenty to spare because the Lord has blessed His people, and this great amount is left over” (31:10). The Bible goes on to say that “in everything (Hezekiah) undertook…he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered” (2 Chronicles 31:21). Wow!
Why all this joyful turnaround among a people who had been experiencing pain and deprivation? Because of this order in our word for today from the Word of God in 2 Chronicles 29, beginning with verse 5, “Remove all defilement from the sanctuary.” And the priests, it says, “brought out to the courtyard of the Lord’s temple everything unclean they found in the temple of the Lord.”
If you belong to Jesus, you are God’s temple today, and there may be some rotten stuff inside that’s got to be removed. A hidden motive; a secret sin, a secret addiction; harbored hard feelings; a spirit of rebellion; maybe an unholy passion – something that is a stench to the holy God you belong to. You may have pushed it deep inside, but the longer you wait to remove it, the more damage it’s going to do.
We want to fix the situation. We want to fix the system. But God’s waiting for us to fix the sin. When we do, a holy God responds with the blessing and the joy that we’ve been missing for a long time. And He’s waiting to do that for you, if you’ll deal with the real source of what’s been messing things up. Don’t push it out of sight any more. “Remove the defilement.” Get rid of that sin.