2015-10-10 - Turning Back to God
The Books of First and Second Kings are the histories of the nations of Israel and Judah. The two kingdoms were ruled by both good and bad kings. The bad kings led the people away from God and towards the pagan gods. Over time, the nations of Israel and Judah moved further and further away from God. After Israel fell, and Judah was threatened by the Babylonians, Josiah became King of Judah. 2 Kings 22:2 says, "Josiah did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, and walked in all the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left." (NIV) Josiah ordered that repair work be done on the Temple. During this renovation, the Book of the Law was found. When Josiah heard the words of the Law read, he was deeply disturbed. He realized that the nation of Judah had strayed far from God's commands, and was facing judgement. Josiah directed Hilkiah the priest to approach God, and see what needed to be done.
Josiah and the nation of Judah repented and changed their ways. They renewed their covenant with God. Josiah ordered that the articles honoring and worshipping foreign gods be removed from the Temple. These altars and shrines were torn down and destroyed. Josiah and the nation turned to God with renewed devotion, and they worshipped God.
Today, we have the same opportunity as Josiah and Judah. We have all sinned and turned away from God. We have damaged our relationship with God. But God has provided a way to turn back to Him and have a close, personal relationship. God sent His Son, Jesus, to Earth to die for our sins. By His sacrifice, we are able to avoid judgement - and to have eternal life. Have you accepted Jesus?
All scripture references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.