Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Wages Of Sin

Focus verses: II Kings 23:1-28

This recounting of the deeds of Josiah fills this passage. After decades of unfaithfulness and the loss of the book of the Law of Moses, Josiah has the book read to him, and he decides to proceed under those auspices. He cleans the temples of their idols and forcibly removes all traces of worship to other than the Lord God.

The nation experiences a brief revival, but as soon as Josiah dies and his son, Jehoahaz, takes the reigns, the revival is over. Jehoahaz reigned only three months, but he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord - and the nation went along with it.

It makes me think that Josiah's success in returning Judah to the worship of the Lord was less about the Lord and more about the power and popularity of Josiah. This wasn't necessarily Josiah's fault, but people by their very nature are fickle. If Josiah had a winning personality and some charisma, then the people follow. But when Josiah's influence is silenced, the people go back to their faithless ways.

The consequences of the sins of the nation have been temporarily postponed, but they have not been canceled. The nation has sown wild oats; it is fruitless to pray for a crop failure. That harvest may be delayed, but the harvest will come.

We see many instances of skin cancer in our state. Generally this comes from an overexposure to the raw sun. If we don't wear skin protection while we are teenagers, we run the risk of multiple skin cancers which probably will not manifest until after we are fifty. Sun exposure as a teenager is the cause. Skin cancer forty or fifty years later is the effect.

In this instance multiple infidelities to the Lord. coupled with short-lived, shallow repentances have earned the nation this punishment. King Josiah's revival offered only a short reprieve.

Father, God,

Grant us wisdom in this hour to make decisions which will yield a fruitful harvest for You. Let us not be so short-sighted as to fulfill the desires of this moment at the expense of eternity.
In Jesus' most precious name.

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