Monday, March 19, 2018

Life Changing Word

Life Changing Word
March 19, 2018
2 Kings 22:11  "When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes."

Josiah was a king in the Old Testament, who followed King David by many generations. He was about two generations after the prophet Isaiah, and his reign followed that of his wicked father. What set him apart from his wicked father, however, was that he was a man who wanted to follow the Lord. Josiah became king when he was just a boy, but in his eighteenth year as king (at 26 years of age), he stumbled upon a book. His servants were tending to the repair of the temple, as it had fallen to disarray during his father's tenure, and the men found the book. The priest brought the book before the royal scribe who read it aloud to Josiah. It was interesting that Josiah had a heart after the Lord but had never read the Lord's words. Nonetheless, when Josiah heard the words read aloud in the book, which was the law of the Lord, Josiah's jaw hit the floor from shock and awe.

The law of the Lord described what was expected from the Israelites, as well as the blessings and curse to follow if the law was followed. The law heavily discussed serving idols and false gods, as well as regimens for the priests of the Lord's temple. Josiah's jaw hit the floor from shock and awe, as he realized the Israelites had done everything recommended against serving the Lord. They had done everything deserving of curses and death, and had completely broken the relationship with the Lord. Basically, they had failed miserable and Josiah realized it instantly. Josiah responded so profoundly upon hearing the words, that he tore his clothes and wept. The Lord's words, as read aloud, seared his soul deeply and instantly motivated him to action. He got to work, tearing down all the high places dedicated to false gods and idols. Josiah had the priests of the false gods slaughtered and he spread their ashes over the demolished alters of pagan worship. Josiah was swift with cleaning house, not letting himself rest until he had set things straight. It was a matter of days and weeks that he accomplished destroying all the temples built to pagan gods, not months and years.

In highlighting Josiah's story, he heard the word of the Lord and responded with passion. The words of the Lord were so real and alive to Josiah that he was moved to repentance and motivated for reconciliation. He didn't simply hear the words of the Lord and shrug his shoulders; he heard the words of the Lord and slaughtered the priests of the false gods and destroyed buildings and temples and alters. 

In applying this story to you and me, how often are we so deeply moved upon hearing the words of the Lord. When we open our Bible, do the words smack us in the face and put us on our knees, or do we close the book and go on with our lives? How changed and moved are you when you hear the Lord's words? How motivated are you to action when you learn one of the Lord's precepts? Do you clean house with the swiftness and finality of Josiah or are you as emotionally lazy as the rest of the masses? We all know the Bible is the Lord's given word, and is life changing. It changed Josiah's life in a moment, does it still change yours?

Don't take my word for it; look it up: 1 Kings 13:2, 2 Kings 21-23, Ps 33:4, 2 Tim 3:16-17

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