At eight years old, Josiah was a young king. He lived to be about twenty-six. A large portion of his short life was spent in seeking and serving the Lord. Today’s reading is a detailed description of the Passover. My takeaway word: wholehearted.
18 Never since the time of the prophet Samuel had there been such a Passover. None of the kings of Israel had ever kept a Passover as Josiah did, involving all the priests and Levites, all the people of Jerusalem, and people from all over Judah and Israel. 19 This Passover celebration took place in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign. 2 Chronicles 35:18-19 NLT.
I am left with a sobering impression: ancestors who had done evil; Josiah’s desire to seek the Lord; his obedience to God; his wholehearted living.
Malachi 3 speaks of the Lord’s coming, of his call to return and repent. I hear the bewilderment of the responses: “When did we ever leave you?”; “How did we ever cheat you?”; “What have we said against you?”
14 “You have said, ‘What’s the use of serving God? What have we gained by obeying his commands or by trying to show the Lord of Heaven’s Armies that we are sorry for our sins? 15 From now on we will call the arrogant blessed. For those who do evil get rich, and those who dare God to punish them suffer no harm.’”
The Lord’s Promise of Mercy
16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name.
17 “They will be my people,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. 18 Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” Malachi 3:14-18 NLT.
Its antonym is lukewarm. Half-hearted. Grudging.
Josiah’s ancestors were known by how they lived, and so was Josiah.
So am I.
Those who seek the Lord and fear him are known by him as special treasure, his children.
3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
5 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” 6 And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. 7 All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. Revelation 21:3-7 NLT.
A Father, my Father.
17 “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” John 20:17 NLT
This is the God I serve. Nothing, nothing, is worthy of my whole heart but him.
27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
Purpose of the Book
30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name. John 20:27-31 NLT.
**My heartfelt thanks to everyone who has journeyed through the Bible in a year with us in 2013. Plans are already made for next year–I hope you’ll join us for a new reading plan (ESV: Through the Bible in a Year) and new voices joining us here.**