Sermon Illustrations

“The Two Faces of Change!” 2 Kings 12: 1-8 Key verse(s): 2-3:“Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him. The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.”

On June 4, 1783 at the market square of a French village of Annonay, not far from Paris, a smoky bonfire on a raised platform was fed by wet straw and old wool rages. Tethered above, straining its lines, was a huge taffeta bag 33 feet in diameter. Many of the observers just shook their heads and clicked their tongues. “How could any man make such a claim?” Yet, they continued to gather throughout the day. However, as the flames were fanned and the balloon began to pull tightly and forcibly against the basket, the skeptics began to change their minds as they saw the basket begin to lift itself up slightly above the ground, straining at its tethers. Then, in the presence of “a respectable assembly and a great many other people,” and accompanied by great cheering, the balloon was cut from its moorings and set free to rise majestically into the noon sky. Six thousand feet into the air it went -- the first public ascent of a balloon, the first step in the history of human flight. It came to earth several miles away in a field, where it was promptly attacked by pitchfork-waving peasants and torn to pieces as an instrument of evil! (adapted from Today in the Word, July 15, 1993.)

Committing to change is often like this. We arrive at our decision to change with great personal fanfare and acclaim. Despite our initial skepticism, we begin to “like our chances” and cut the ropes that are holding us down to a behavior or habit that we have longed wished to change. Then, just when we near our goal, our sinful nature, the part of us that is filled with fear and doubts, takes over and rips our best hopes and aspirations to sheds. We reach out for change but never quite get where we wanted to go in the first place. Joash was just such a king. He knew what had to be done in Judah. The people were sinning by worshipping false gods. The high priest, Jehoiada, had pretty much laid out a plan for the changes that would be needed. Joash began his “journey” to change the...

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