So yesterday the girls and I were reading about ...JOSIAH.
Josiah decided to fix up the temple. He sent his secretary to pay the workers to do so. While the secretary was at the temple, he found… the BOOK of the LAW!. He brought it to Josiah and read it to him. When Josiah heard the word of God, he tore his robes in fear and sorrow. He realized that they had fallen far from the Lord. They had not followed the Law. He inquired after the Lord, and the Lord responded.
Yes, Josiah, because the people did not listen to His words, He was gonna destroy them.
"Thus says the LORD God of Israel, 'Regarding the words which you have heard,
because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you,' declares the LORD." 2Kings 22:18-19
Because Josiah had HEARD the Lord, and ACTED upon those words…the LORD HEARD Josiah.
Josiah did not stop there. He gathered the people together…to hear the Law of the Lord…
“Then the king sent, and they gathered to him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. The king went up to the house of the LORD and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests and the prophets and all the people, both small and great; and he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the LORD.
The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all art and all his soul, to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people entered into the covenant.” 2 Kings 23: 1-3
The Israelites had fallen away. They had fallen away from the Law. Perhaps this had happened because they did not have a copy of it to read and follow.
And boy, did Josiah respond to the Law! He made it his mission to get rid of the idols that had infested the temples and high places.
The IDOLS. IDOLS. Why was God so angry? They were worshipping IDOLS.“Josiah removed all the detestable idols from all the territory belonging to the Israelites, and he had all who were present in Israel serve the Lord their God. As long as he lived he did not fail to follow the Lord, the God of their fathers.” 2 Chron. 34:33
The Israelites were CONSUMMED with idols.
When they found the book of the Law, Josiah got rid of them.
Do we even recognize the idols in our lives? How can we be sure we recognize them?
Fill our minds with the Book of the Law.
Our small group has been talking about being Radical. Man, Josiah was radical. He was so outside the box. Can you imagine what the people must of thought when he was going around destroying all the temples? Taking all the “stuff” out of them, and burning them to the ground?
“Gee, Josiah, couldn’t we save those chariots? They might come in handy some day. So what if they were consecrated to the sun god….no one will really care….”
All those little insignificant things…that seem like no big deal….add up to one great big pile of stuff…. that literally separates us from God…because we are spending most of our time thinking about all that little insignificant stuff, instead of meditating on…
THE ONE TRUE GOD.
The only way to clean out the idols, is to recognize what they are in the first place.
How do we know what they are?
THE WORD OF GOD.
How much time and energy do I put into things that just are not that important, when I could be pouring the word of God into my heart? Why don’t I cherish the Law… the way I cherish my favorite pair of socks? Or the last mini Hershey bar in the candy jar?
Psalm 119 (Haven’t we read that lately?)
Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, Who walk according to the law of the Lord
Blessed are they who keep his statues, And seek him with all their heart. Vs. 1-2
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law! vs.18
My soul is consumed with longing for your law at all times! vs. 20
Let me understand the teaching of your precepts then I will meditate on your wonders
My soul is weary with sorrow…strengthen me according to your word. Vs.27-28
On and on we could go.
The path to revival is thru the Word.
The way to a radical life is to meditate upon His precepts.
How much time do I spend worrying * ahem* idolizing what other people think?
Maybe I should replace that with discovering what God thinks?
All of this to say…it’s time to start memorizing the Word of the Lord.
So I will start with Phil 4: 8-
Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.