For as long as I can remember I have always looked up to King Josiah. He had a heart after God. Unlike his predecessors He followed hard after God. He didn’t turn to the left or the right. He loved God with all of his heart. This past week I read his story and there were a few things that stood out to me.
– When the king heard what was written in the book, God’s Revelation, he ripped his robes in dismay. 2 Kings 22:11
– Then the king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, his associate priest, and The Temple sentries to clean house – to get rid of everything in the Temple of God that had been made for worshipping Baal and Asheroth and the cosmic powers. He had them burned outside Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron and then disposed of the ashes in Bethel.
– He fired the pagan priests whom the kings of Judah had hired to supervise the local sex-and-religion shrines in the towns of Judah and neighborhoods of Jerusalem.
– In a stroke he swept the country clean of the polluting stench of the round-the-clock worship of Baal, sun and moon, stars-all the so-called cosmic powers.
– He took the obscene phallic Asherah pole from the temple of God to the Valley of Kidron outside Jerusalem, burned it up, then ground up the ashes and scattered them in the cemetery.
– He tore out the rooms of the male sacred prostitutes that had been set up in The Temple of God; women also used these rooms for weavings for Asherah.
– Then Josiah demolished the Topheth, the iron furnace griddle set up in the Valley of Ben Hinnon for sacrificing children in the fire. No longer could anyone burn son or daughter to the god of Molech.
– As Josiah looked over the scene, he noticed the tombs on the hillside. He ordered the bones removed from the tombs and had them cremated on the ruined altars, desacralizing the evil altars.
I could go on and on. Please read the whole chapter to see how extensive the cleansing was! Josiah didn’t hold back. Once he heard the word he did everything in his power to make things right.
As I read this chapter I believe God spoke to me. He challenged me to have Josiah’s attitude towards sin. Josiah didn’t tolerate it at all. The land he cleansed and the temple he cleansed are a picture of our bodies, of our lives. He did not compromise with sin. He saw all the idols and images that were set up and he tore them down. What idols need to be torn down in your life? He was ruthless with sin. He didn’t play with sin. I want that same attitude concerning sin. There is sin I take seriously but there is other sin I take too casually! There is nothing casual about sin. I serve a HOLY GOD. Yes, I am a sinner and I have flaws but what I can do in my own power I should do……
Josiah did everything He possibility could and why? Because he loved God!!!!
In verse 25 of 2 Kings 23 it says,
There was no king to compare with Josiah-neither before nor after- a king who turned in total and repentant obedience to God, heart and mind and strength, following the instructions revealed to and written by Moses. The world would never again see a king like Josiah.
It is time to cleanse the “temple”. Let us not take sin lightly. Let us take it seriously. As Josiah took care of the sin in his land God set him apart. There is a truth we need to know as we plan on taking on sin, we can’t fight sin on our own. We need to ask God for His help. What God wants of us is to see sin as He sees sin. I had taken sin lightly but it was sin that put Christ on the cross, OUR sin……
With all that said, how do you treat sin in your life? Are you as zealous as Josiah when it comes to dealing with sin or do you have a laid back attitude? This is a challenge for all of us.
God, please help us be like Josiah! He never tolerated sin. He never became comfortable with sin. He saw sin the way God saw sin. Josiah loved God so much that his love translated into a hate for sin! May we have that same love for God……..
( Please note: As I post this I have sinned extensively today and yesterday and day before that…… I have found it extremely hard not to sin! No matter what I try do blows up in my face! I can’t believe it….I have tried day after day but it seems like I have sinned even more!
But is this not the story of our lives? Is sin not a daily struggle which we face ? So how does the “Temple”get cleansed? It get’s cleansed by relying on His righteousness! He paid the price for us. Sin has been defeated. Our job is to trust in His grace and mercy in which He so abundantly gives).
My conclusion has to change then. Have an attitude like Josiah’s toward sin but rely on God’s mercy and grace everyday because we will sin, that is a fact but He provides us an opportunity to ask for forgiveness! We need to realize we can’t deal with sin because it was already been dealt with by Jesus. He died and rose so we could be free from sin! Amen