Posts Tagged ‘King Josiah’

Clean Up, Young Man

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

During the clean-up of Israel by young King Josiah…his workers (Hilkiah the high priest) came across a copy of The Revelation of Moses.  For years the king had been on a mission to bring back his neighborhood/temple to a place of acceptance and honor to God.  He despised the filthy shrines, the Asherah groves, the altars, the many god and goddess figurines and anything that wasn't in step with God and His holiness.  King Josiah knew, all of it had to go!

When Hilkiah found the book and shared what was written inside….King Josiah pretty much flipped!  He was distraught.  Enough so, that he jumped up and ripped his robes.  He knew that his people had been a part of exactly what God was warning about in the book of God's Revelation.  He called several of his closest aides and gave them the mission of praying to God and asking Him what they could do in light of all the clean-up of Israel and Judah.  King Josiah was convinced that God's anger must be off the charts against them. Why wouldn't it be?  

The king understood….God had every right to be upset with them.

Sadly, you and I don't always think like that…do we?  Little sin here….sneaky white lie there.  Rated R movie here….gossip about a co-worker there.  Divisive behavior here….mean spirted response there.  Aggressive behavior here…

You get the picture, right?

We live, pretty much however we want.  Most of the time.  Except on church days.  We try to behave then and honestly, who doesn't want to be seen as holy on Sunday?  We've conditioned ourselves to Christ-like behavior.  Don't tell me you don't know how to turn on the "good girl" behavior!  I know all about it, I'm an expert!

It's easy to slip into sin as a lifestyle.  Each person has the ability to turn their head the other way or justify something they want to do, as harmless.  I wonder how the people King Josiah found himself cleaning up after got started in their deep sin.  I'm sure it was innocent at first.  Maybe a little bracelet of protection at first then oh, an altar of worship.  Every little detail, justified in some way or another.

Ever justified a wrongdoing?  Yea, me too.

The more I live (and I'm getting on up there) the more I see of people watering down God's holiness.  It's becoming more and more acceptable to customize God's word and what He expects of us.  No longer is there a limit to how far anyone can go in what's acceptable and not.  

I remember growing up and flipping out when a church member wore spagetti straps (GASP!) to morning church.  Today, tank tops are considered clothes (not to me, by the way) and flip-flops are appropriate church shoes.  Now I know what you're thinking…niether of those are sin issues and you're right.  But that's a sample of how accepting we are as a society.

Smoking and drinking are hot topics in Christian circles too.  It's not sinful to most..but it is a little off-setting if you think about it.  How awkward would it be to have someone share the gospel with you while smoking a cigarette and holding a drink in their hand?  I think it would be a little odd.

Followers (Christians) are to be set apart.

Our behavior, actions and lifestyle are all a part of our relationship with Christ.  It's important for our outside to match our inside.  I'm not going to mention any names… but there is a Christian worship leader who thrives (out in Twitter, blogland and Facebook) on being edgy.  He likes to use shocking language and totally pushes the envelope on touchy topics.  He's very popular and while I'm sure his ministry is rockin'….I find him a little raunchy!  I mean, I get it..he's trying to reach people.  His messages are oftentimes right in line with what the world likes to accept as normal.  I feel convicted when I read some of his comments/blogs/tweets.  Not the kind of convicted that causes me to repent but the kind that says….IS THIS GUY IN LOVE WITH THE SAME JESUS AS ME?

That's just me.  I'm safe.  I've always been that way.

What is it that God expects of you and me?  Is it risky dangerous outlandish behavior to get other's to follow Christ?  I don't think it is.  Does He call us out of our comfort zone to follow Him?  Indeed, He does.  Does he ever put us in a position of sin in order to do so?  NEVER!

For King Josiah, God saw that his heart was completely line with His and promised that He would protect him as long as he obeyed.  The king trusted God and along with his followers committed to God's Covenant publicly.  They agreed to the change.  No more Baal shrines, no sex-and-religion shrines and no more followers of any gods besides the ONE TRUE GOD.  This is what God expects of us.  He wants holiness, honor, righteousness….trust & faith.

What needs to go?  What do you need to clean out of your life?  Just like Josiah, you can sweep through and remove whatever doesn't belong there.  Don't hold back.

His Word…is true!

FYI: The scripture I was reading today was 2 Chronicles 34.  King Josiah was in his early twenties when he went to work cleaning up his kingdom.  You can start — no matter how young or old you are, right now!