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Obedience: More than Emotional Fervor

Today’s reading: 2 Kings 23:1-25:30

My selection: II Kings 23:2-3

And the king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the prophets, all the people, both small and great. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. 3 And the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people joined in the covenant.

My reflections: Josiah had been deeply moved by the finding of the Law of God but he didn’t stop with his emotional high. He read all the words of the Book of the Covenant. He made a covenant before the Lord to zealously pursue obedience. He led the people in a similar commitment. He went on to cleanse the temple of all the paraphernalia of Baal and Asherah worship, the firing of all the priests who had been involved in such worship, and the destruction of the idols and of Jeroboam’s altar.

It is possible to be deeply moved by God’s truth at various times in our lives. It is also possible for us to content ourselves with occasional mountaintop experiences in which we feel especially close to the Lord. Many of us have seen these kinds of experiences come and go. Emotions may be enjoyable but they are never a substitute for obedient action, the doing of what God has commanded. Josiah had a unique responsibility and opportunity as king and he fulfilled it for God’s glory. It was one of the bright spots in an otherwise dark history of the divided kingdom which was about to end.

My challenge: Pray for strength and act on God’s word. Do not be content to merely feel passionately about walking in His ways.

Tomorrow’s reading: 1 Chronicles 1:1-2:2

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