Josiah pleased the Lord by doing what was right. He sought God. The young king went from place to place, getting rid of idols–smashed, scattered, demolished. His men restored what the kings of Judah had allowed to fall into ruin. When ancestors had led the people to God’s great anger, this man led them in humility.
26 “But go to the king of Judah who sent you to seek the Lord and tell him: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the message you have just heard: 27 You were sorry and humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this city and its people. You humbled yourself and tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance. And I have indeed heard you, says the Lord. 28 So I will not send the promised disaster until after you have died and been buried in peace. You yourself will not see the disaster I am going to bring on this city and its people.’” 2 Chronicles 34:26-28 NLT.
33 So Josiah removed all detestable idols from the entire land of Israel and required everyone to worship the Lord their God. And throughout the rest of his lifetime, they did not turn away from the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 2 Chronicles 34:33 NLT.
A warning in Malachi grabs my attention. Listen, listen … make up your mind.
“Listen, you priests—this command is for you! 2 Listen to me and make up your minds to honor my name,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies … Malachi 2:1-2a NLT.
A call. I look at where a life lived half-hearted leads … and I don’t want that. A call, a call, an awakening. I’ve read that “if you want something, you’ll find a way–otherwise, you’ll find an excuse.” Jesus made the way for me–to walk in the Spirit. I don’t want to make excuses–not to God, not today, not tomorrow. He doesn’t expect perfection out of me–he just wants my whole heart. He is pleased when I seek him.
10 Are we not all children of the same Father? Are we not all created by the same God? Then why do we betray each other, violating the covenant of our ancestors?
A call to action …
Lord, I’m so easily distracted and, at times, over scheduled. A filling up of calendar days looks more like treading life than living it on purpose. A new year signals new starts, but through Jesus Christ, I have been given new life. I want to honor you, revere you and live in awe of your goodness. Help me to become aware of situations and actions that don’t please you–help me to smash, scatter and demolish the things in my life that are stumbling blocks. I’m thankful to look ahead to a sixth year in your word with fellow believers, and a closer walk with you.
From the archives. Originally published December 29, 2013.