In 2 Chronicles 34:1-2 (NLT) we learn:
Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. He did what was pleasing in the LORD’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right.
Wow! Josiah not only became king, but he also chose not to follow in the ways of his father. Josiah chose to please God.
We see in 2 Chronicles 34 that Josiah began to seek God in his youth. He goes on to put a stop to the worship of false gods. Then he proceeds to restore the worship of the one true God. He commissions the repairs of the temple. During this time, the Book of the Law of the Lord that had been written by Moses is found. When Josiah hears its words, he despairs. He tears his clothes. He then gives orders to seek the Lord.
Imagine that! Even in those days the law fulfilled its purpose. Romans 3:19-20 shows us the law’s purpose.
Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.
We see Josiah repent and seek the Lord. Just as now in the new covenant we have through Jesus, God forgave Josiah and turned His wrath aside for the remainder of Josiah’s life. God’s grace was extended even then to those who repented.
This is explained it Romans 3:21-26.
But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.
Josiah goes on to lead the nation to repent and this leads the people into God’s grace. So, it seems no coincidence to me that the first celebration he reinstated in 2 Chronicles 35 is Passover. After all, Passover was, of course, a foreshadowing of what Jesus would do and now has done for us.
Revelation 13:8 lets us know that Jesus is:
… the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was made.
Jesus was the plan from the beginning.
Thank You, Jesus, for all You did. Amen!
2 Samuel 21:1 1During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the face of the LORD. The LORD said, “It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death.”
When the weather conditions were severe so that they suffered a lack of food, David sought the face of the LORD. He did not think it was just cycles. He did not consider it coincidence or natural phenomenon. He looked to God for the reason behind this “natural” problem. When we seek, we will find.
God spoke to David. We do not know how. It may have been audible, or it may have been in his heart. It could have been through one of the prophets. The answer was that the land was experiencing the judgment of God for something that had happened years earlier. Saul had violated the ancient covenant that Joshua made with the Gibeonites. Pretending they had come from a far-off country, they had tricked Israel into a peace treaty. Nevertheless, the covenant was made. Saul made war on them, breaking this ancient treaty.
There are times in life when we face the consequences of another’s actions. It is not always clear why there are problems, but it could be God balancing the books. If we seek the face of the LORD, He may show us some way to rectify the imbalance so that God can justly bless the land again with rain. Often it will be something in our own life. It may be an apology that needs to be made, or forgiveness that needs to be granted.
Consider: Trials may come from our own failures or others’ failures, but there is always a lesson to be learned if we will seek the face of the LORD.
All Things Work Together for Good – Streams in the Desert – June 10
- 202210 Jun
And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose, (Rom 8:28)
How wide is this assertion of the Apostle Paul! He does not say, “We know that some things,” or “most things,” or “joyous things,” but “ALL things.” From the minutest to the most momentous; from the humblest event in daily providence to the great crisis hours in grace.
And all things “work’—they are working; not all things have worked, or shall work; but it is a present operation.
At this very moment, when some voice may be saying, “Thy judgments are a great deep,” the angels above, who are watching the development of the great plan, are with folded wings exclaiming, “The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.” (Ps. 145:17)
And then all things “work together.” It is a beautiful blending. Many different colors, in themselves raw and unsightly, are required in order to weave the harmonious pattern.
Many separate tones and notes of music, even discords and dissonances, are required to make up the harmonious anthem.
Many separate wheels and joints are required to make the piece of machinery. Take a thread separately, or a note separately, or a wheel or a tooth of a wheel separately, and there may be neither use nor beauty discernible.
But complete the web, combine the notes, put together the separate parts of steel and iron, and you see how perfect and symmetrical is the result. Here is the lesson for faith: “What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.”
In one thousand trials it is not five hundred of them that work for the believer’s good, but nine hundred and ninety-nine of them, and one beside.
Developing Godly Thinking
Salvation is a gift, but sanctification requires diligent effort on our part.
Most of us know that at salvation, our sins are forgiven and God gives us eternal life. But much more accompanies our redemption: We receive a new nature, power over sin, and a renewed mind. However, these qualities require development, which happens through knowledge of Scripture, submission to the Spirit, and diligent effort on our part.
It’s a good idea to periodically evaluate whether our thinking, attitudes, and behavior are in line with God’s character and the truths of Scripture. Also, we should take note of what absorbs our attention. It’s not healthy to overload our mind with media reports or entertainment that doesn’t reflect God’s values. Regular exposure to such material can easily produce anxiety, discontent, and ingratitude.
The apostle Paul gave us a measuring stick to help us determine what is worthy of our attention. He said to dwell on whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise (Phil. 4:8). With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can filter our thoughts through this list.
So ask yourself, What fills my mind? and give priority to things in these categories. As your thoughts align with Christ’s, you’ll begin to recognize what is right, good, and wise—and your life will more closely reflect His.