Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 23:1-7
Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. He went up to the temple of the Lord with the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets -- all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the Lord. The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord--to follow the Lord and keep his commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.
The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests next in rank and the doorkeepers to remove from the temple of the Lord all the articles made for Baal and Asherah and all the starry hosts. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron Valley and took the ashes to Bethel. He did away with the idolatrous priests appointed by the kings of Judah to burn incense on the high places of the towns of Judah and on those around Jerusalem -- those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and moon, to the constellations and to all the starry hosts. He took the Asherah pole from the temple of the Lord to the Kidron Valley outside Jerusalem and burned it there. He ground it to powder and scattered the dust over the graves of the common people. He also tore down the quarters of the male shrine prostitutes that were in the temple of the Lord, the quarters where women did weaving for Asherah.
Meditation Verse: Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death..-- 2 Corinthians 7:10
Devotional: When King Josiah heard the words of Moses read for the first time, he knew that the kingdom of Judah was in trouble. God's people had forsaken God's law and lived according to the ways of the surrounding nations. They were so far gone, according to 2 Kings 23:7, that they even had bedrooms for male and female prostitues living in the temple of Yahweh! King Josiah immediately called together his officials and then called all of God's people to repentance.
The Bible tells the story of a God who is flawless. Against the backdrop of his fly perfections no human being measures up. The great news of the gospel though, is that part of God's perfection is his steadfast love. God loves imperfect people, even really messed up people who have totally gone their own way. When anyone becomes aware of their waywardness from God, looks to him for forgiveness, and repents of their sin, God stands ready to forgive and to restore. Josiah, the boy king, called a nation to repentance and life. Repentance does not mean feeling bad, guilty, or ashamed of your sin. It means, as we see in 2 Corinthians 7:10, turning away form sin and towards God. As you look to God, you must know that his love is greater than your sin and your imperfections, and he stands ready to forgive and restore as you call on his great name!
Question to Consider: Are there any particular habits or ways that God may be calling you to turn away from? If so ask God for strength to turn away from those things and to turn towards him and find true blessings that will not fade away.