August 10, 2020
2 Kings 23:15
“Moreover, the altar at Bethel, the high place erected by Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, that altar with the high place he pulled down and burned, reducing it to dust. He also burned the Asherah.”
Last week we noted that if you read the Books of Kings every king was compared to David. And, as you read, king after king after king comes up short. So many of them worship foreign gods, set up altars, and promote false religion. It is easy to have the feeling: “Why don’t they just get with the program!?” What they have to do seems so simple: cut down the Asherah poles, get rid of male shrine prostitutes, and tell the priests to read the Bible (see 2 Kings 22-23)! Just do it! Sheesh.
Even when a good king comes and tears down the idols and altars, the people cycle back to idolatrous worship with the next king with stunning speed. The kings aren’t the only ones who constantly go astray.
When the best of the kings come, like Josiah, there is a sigh of relief: “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did— with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses” (2 K 23:25). But the relief vaporizes a few short verses later he died on the battlefield.
All the kings turn up short — even the best ones. The great David had his failings (murdering Uriah; committing adultery with Bathsheba). Josiah’s death would have been avoided if he had listened to God (see 2 Chronicles 35:20-27).
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A good king can demolish a physical altar; but no one can tear down the idols of the soul. No king, no government, no trendy “five step process to a better you” can change the human heart. That requires an act of God. And God has a way of working the circumstances and frustrations, relationships and “stuckness,” pain and grace in our lives in just the right time and in just the right way for our growth and His glory. It may be painful at times, but in the end our refreshed heart walks with Jesus more closely. That is worth the wait.
This miraculous changing of our hearts — that Jesus is Lord over even our inner thoughts and desires — that is why Jesus is the True King.
…So what is the King showing you about your heart today?
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Father, may my heart more fully desire you.
Tear down those stumbling blocks and distractions that would keep me from You.
Copyright © 2020, Dr. Darryl Evans. All rights reserved.