Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
2 Kings 23:1-8 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Then the king directed that all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem should be gathered to him. The king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him went all the people of Judah, all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the prophets, and all the people, both small and great; he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord, keeping his commandments, his decrees, and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. All the people joined in the covenant.
The king commanded the high priest Hilkiah, the priests of the second order, and the guardians of the threshold, to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven; he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. He deposed the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to make offerings in the high places at the cities of Judah and around Jerusalem; those also who made offerings to Baal, to the sun, the moon, the constellations, and all the host of the heavens. He brought out the image of Asherah from the house of the Lord, outside Jerusalem, to the Wadi Kidron, burned it at the Wadi Kidron, beat it to dust and threw the dust of it upon the graves of the common people. He broke down the houses of the male temple prostitutes that were in the house of the Lord, where the women did weaving for Asherah. He brought all the priests out of the towns of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had made offerings, from Geba to Beer-sheba; he broke down the high places of the gates that were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on the left at the gate of the city.
The king commanded all the people, “Keep the passover to the Lord your God as prescribed in this book of the covenant.” No such passover had been kept since the days of the judges who judged Israel, even during all the days of the kings of Israel and of the kings of Judah; but in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this passover was kept to the Lord in Jerusalem.
Moreover Josiah put away the mediums, wizards, teraphim, idols, and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, so that he established the words of the law that were written in the book that the priest Hilkiah had found in the house of the Lord. Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.
If you are in need of someone to clean your house, don’t call me. I am not the greatest at cleaning the house. I tend to keep a lot of stuff because there may be that one day when you need it. Yes, I admit that day probably will never come and I really should throw away more than I do. It is hard to let go and remove things from your life. Even bad habits or unhealthy habits can be difficult to let go of even though we know we would be better off without them.
Now if you need someone who is good at cleaning house, you might look to King Josiah. After reading the book of the law and being reminded of God’s commandments and God’s will for the people, Josiah set out to clean house, literally, as he cleared out the idols from the temple and celebrated the Passover.
Maybe as you take stock of your life today, you discover that you need to clean out the clutter in your life as well. No, I’m not talking about all that stuff in your garage that you might just need one day. I’m talking about the things and baggage that is not of God that we carry around in our lives weighing us down, tempting us, pulling us off the path of following Jesus. We may not have vessels made for Baal or Asherah, and we may not have statues that we call our idols. But there is a good, even great, chance that we have some things in our life that we tend to elevate to a greater importance than God. Those are our modern-day idols. There are probably a lot of things that distract and hinder us from worshipping God that needs to be cleared out of our lives. What do you need to throw out of your life today in order to draw closer to God?
God, so often we get busy with life, doing the things we think must be done and often we overlook your presence with us. Help us not to forget your words, and help us to humble ourselves, seek you, and recognize you when you show up in our lives at times that we were not expecting. Throughout each day’s agenda, help us to obey the words of your book.
Go with God!