ODJ: art of removal

October 4, 2013 

READ: 2 Kings 22:1-20 

You tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance. And I have indeed heard you, says the Lord (v.19).

Recently my son had to have three wisdom teethremoved. The teeth needed to be extracted because of potential detrimental effects on the rest of the teeth. If the three offenders hadn’t been removed (God gave him just three wisdom teeth, not the normal four!), the repercussions could have included pain, infections and an altered bite.

During the time of the kings in ancient Canaan, something destructive needed to be removed from God’s people. They had “abandoned [God] and offered sacrifices to pagan gods”—arousing His anger (2 Kings 22:17). A good king named Josiah was on the throne of Judah, but not all was well in the southern kingdom (vv.1-2). This came to light after the known Scripture at that time (part or all of the Pentateuch) was rediscovered in the temple. When the court secretary read it to Josiah, he responded by tearing “his clothes in despair” (v.11).

Why? God’s Word revealed His condemnation of His people and their promised punishment. This deeply grieved the king, so he sent advisors to consult with the prophet Huldah. She told him that God would eventually “bring disaster on this city and its people” because of their sinfulness (v.16). She also said, however, that Josiah would be spared from witnessing the destruction due to his humility and repentance. It would occur after he had “died and been buried in peace” (v.20).

The account of Josiah and His people presents a cause and effect: when we turn from God and His Word, we fall into disobedience and embrace what’s not true. Consistent study of God’s Word, however, will help us stay true to Him and repent of what’s false in our lives. Practise the art of removal today. —Tom Felten

Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17 to see what Paul says about God’s Word and its effects on our lives. 
What needs to change in the way you study God’s Word? Based on God’s commands, what false things do you need to bring to Him in repentance?