Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Amen. Psalm 37:1-4
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Thou city ever blest,
Within thy portals first I find
My safety, peace and rest.
Here dangers always threaten me,
My days in strife are spent,
And labor, sorrow, worry, grief,
I find at best their strength.
No wonder, then, that I do long
O blessèd home, for thee,
Where I shall find a resting place,
From sin and sorrow free;
Where tears and weeping are no more,
Nor death, nor pain, nor night,
For former things are passed way,
And darkness turned to light.
Now all for me has lost its charm
Which by the world is praised,
Since on the cross, through faith, I saw
My Savior Jesus raised;
My goal is fixed, one thing I ask,
Whate’er the cost may be,
Soon to arrive in thee.
Just yesterday I was listening to “Unshackled”, a radio show produced by a rescue mission in Chicago. For over 50 years it has given dramatic accounts of real people’s testimonies of God’s grace in their lives. As part of the drama, the central character recalled how uncomfortable he became when one of his co-workers testified to him. The co-worker was a great mechanic, but always came to work intoxicated or with a hangover. One day he came to work straight. After three days of sobriety, the central character asked the mechanic why he hadn’t been drunk in three days. The answer was that his wife threatened to leave him because of his drinking. He went to church and during the service he believed God had saved him and he no longer wanted to drink to drunkenness. His crisis within his family caused him to seek God, God was revealed to him in the sermon at the service he attended, and he sought to purify his life. This is not unlike Josiah and Judah in 2 Kings 23.
In verses 1 and 2, Josiah, mindful of the judgement of God in 21:12, and hoping that God would forgive Judah’s idolatry, gathered the people and had the books of the law read to the people. Like all true revivals of faith in individuals, churches, or whole societies, this one began with people seeking God through His Word.
Verse 3 and verse 11 of chapter 22 show that in a true revival people are convicted of their disobedience of God’s law and make a commitment to obey Him in the future. The character in the radio play was convicted by his wife’s intent to leave him. He then heard the Word of God preached and was convicted of his sin against God, his wife, and his children. God led him to commit to follow Christ, to commit to stay sober, and to be a godly husband and parent.
Verses 4-25 record how Josiah destroyed and desecrated the pagan places of worship and purified the temple and the priesthood. Unfortunately, as God said through the prophetess Hulldah, the efforts to purify the worship of Judah would not suffice. Judah would still receive the judgement in chapter 21.
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Truth in Practice
Like Josiah, the king of an apostate and doomed country, like the formerly drunken mechanic, when life seems hopeless or without purpose, we must seek God’s direction from God’s Word.
Greg Bailey – Greenville, SC
Q. What did God reveal to man for the rule of his obedience?
A. The rule which God first revealed to man for his obedience is the moral law (Deut. 10:4; Mt .19:17) which is summarised in the ten commandments.