Today's reading is filled with political intrigue, murder, and paganism. The salvation of the people of Judah is tied to the coronation of Joash, the child king, and the influence of Jehoiada, the priest, who acted as regent while Joash was underage.
There was a resurrection of the worship of the Lord and all the people were feeling a sense of spiritual renewal. But -- and this was a big one -- but the high places were not removed and the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there. Those were pagan places where the worship of other gods was conducted.
It doesn't work. We cannot worship God for most of life and keep a small corner of our lives where we continue to pay homage to other than God. What high places do we have in our lives?
What is important to you? Is family more important than God? Then you have an idol. What about your job? Your possessions? Your hobbies? Your secret sins?
If we are to have true spiritual renewal, we must sweep all these things off the high places in our hearts. Don't misunderstand here. Jobs and families and hobbies and possessions are important, but they are not to usurp first place in our hearts.
There is an order of priorities we need to maintain. It begins with God first. He must be most important in our lives. We need to think about Him day and night. We need to take all decisions and actions to Him for permission and approval before engaging in them.
Second in this lineup is family, and there is a proper order here. If we are single, our first loyalty should be with our parents. If we are married, our spouse takes first place in the family.
The other things in our lives need to fall into place in a descending order. Job, interests, possessions -- all need to be prioritized under the directions of our Lord.
But in worship, we must worship God entirely. Nothing else can command a high place in our lives. With God, it's all or nothing. He doesn't want your divided heart. He wants your whole heart.
Set your heart on God alone, and He will order the priorities of your life.
Grant us the favor of an undivided heart. Keep us from diluting our worship of You with inordinate concern for things and people. Help us to prioritize our lives with Your order.
In Jesus' most precious name.