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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, May 27, 2015
When Josiah heard the law, he tore his clothes in grief. He immediately instituted reforms. With just one reading of God’s law, he changed the course of the nation. Today many people own Bibles, but few are affected by the truths found in God’s Word. The Word of God should cause us, like Josiah, to take action immediately to reform our lives and bring them into harmony with God’s will.
When Josiah realized how corrupt his nation had become, he tore his clothes and wept before God. Then God had mercy on him. Josiah used the customs of his day to show his repentance. When we repent today, we are unlikely to tear our clothes, but weeping, fasting, and making restitution or apologies (if our sin has involved others) demonstrate our sincerity when we repent. The hardest part of repentance is changing the attitudes that originally produced the sinful behavior. (NLT)
2 Kings 22:11-23:3 – When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair. Then he gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the court secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal adviser. “Go to the Temple and speak to the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah. Ask him about the words written in this scroll that has been found. The Lord’s anger is burning against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words in this scroll. We have not been doing what this scroll says we must do.”
So Hilkiah the pirest, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to the newer Mishneh section of Jerusalem to consult with the prophet Huldah. She was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah and grandson of Harhas, the keeper of the Temple wardrobe. She said to them, “The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken! Go and tell the man who sent you, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will destroy this city and its people, just as I stated in the scroll you read. For my people have abandoned me and worshiped pagan gods, and I am very angry with them for everything they have done. My anger is burning against this place, and it will not be quenched.’
“But go to the king of Judah who sent you to seek the Lord and tell him: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the message you have just heard: You were sorry and humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I said against this city and its people, that this land would be cursed and become desolate. You tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance. So I have indeed heard you, says the Lord. I will not send the promised disaster against this city until after you have died and been buried in peace. You will not see the disaster I am going to bring on this place.’” So they took her message back to the king.
Then the king summoned all the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem. And the king went up to the Temple of the Lord with all the people of Judah and Jerusalem, and the priests, and the prophets—all the people from the least to the greatest. There the king read to them the entire Book of the Covenant that had been found in the Lord’s Temple. The king took his place of authority beside the pillar and renewed the covenant in the Lord’s presence. He pledged to obey the Lord by keeping all his commands, regulations, and laws with all his heart and soul. In this way, he confirmed all the terms of the covenant that were written in the scroll, and all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. — Exodus 20:7 (KJV)
Ginger Robinson (Texas) titled her story “A SIMPLE QUESTION;” here is a portion of Ginger’s story:
“‘Ginger, do you love God?’ my friend Sherry asked. ‘Well yes! You know I do.’ I was shocked by this question. Sherry walked with me every day on our breaks, and we talked about our faith and life in general. We came to know a lot about each other, or at least I thought we did – until I heard this question. We had talked about the changes we had been through and how God had delivered each of us.
“‘Then why do you constantly take God’s name in vain?’ Just like that, she had let the wind out of my sails. I accepted the loving admonishment and made a change that very day. I wasn’t raised to disrespect God in any way, big or small. . .”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – How do my words express my love for God?
Prayer: Dear God, you know our hearts and that our desire is to be close to you. Correct us when we wander from your path. Amen.
Prayer Focus: SPIRITUAL FRIENDS
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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