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Summary: Josiah sought to be faithful to the covenant even though he knew it would not change anything - in the face of opposition we are called to continued faithfulness.

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Message

2 Kings 23:1-30

“Too Little Too Late”

Opening

Kenny and the Suzuki

An admiration of the continued commitment despite all the set-backs.

The view of continuing no matter what the outcome.

You don’t keep going because you are going to get something out of it.

You keep going because you are committed.

Today we are going to read about a King who did that.

His name is Josiah

Read 2 Kings 23:1-25

Context from previous chapter

Josiah has ordered that the temple be repaired – as it was basically neglected – in the process the book of the law has been found.

Changes are happening and revival is taking place.

Read

Renewal of the covenant

What the covenant gave … was security.

I will be your God and you will be my people.

So often it gets broken.

During the journey to promised land … golden calf.

Days of judges.

Through the years of the kings.

Brokenness seem to happen so much, but God continues to look for His people.

Now here is Josiah

The book of the law was changing him.

Not a set of rules … it never was.

But a response to God for his grace in calling them and saving them.

It was a heart response to God.

But was it real? So many had done this before and failed.

Was it a real commitment?

When it comes to fixing problems it seems that you do need 12 steps programs

Ones I found

Alcoholics Anonymous

Getting over depression

Food addiction

It seems that 12 steps is a good number to get you from a place of despair to a place of renewal. When you get through these programs you know the change is real.

That is what happens to Josiah … he puts in a 12 step program for renewal.

1) Remove and burn pagan vessels from temple (verse 4)

- cleanses the temple and brings all the focus onto God.

- no more competition in God’s house.

People! YHWH alone is the one we follow.

2) Depose all the pagan clergy (verse 5)

- they thought they were making a great contribution.

- we are important to society … no you’re fired!

People! there is no-one in the temple area is going to lead you astray.

3) Pulverised the Asherah Pole and burnt it (verse 6)

- Asherah was a goddess of fertility.

- Scattering ashes on graves is highly symbolic.

- You are dust and as able as a dead body.

People! look to YHWH alone for life.

4) Tore down male shrine prostitutes (verse 7)

- They helped Asherah with her fertility.

- Woman upset … I’m going to the temple to … worship.

- you’re fired as well.

People! purify your worship.

5) Defiled all the high places and removed the priests (verse 8-9)

- Basically these were to make the country look like a holy place.

- But they brought attention away from God … more people out of a job.

People! you get closer to YHWH by transforming your life.

6) Desecrated Tophet the place of child sacrifice (verse 10)

- This was seen as an act of extreme commitment.

- But God is a God of life.

People! Extreme spiritual acts don’t make you right with God.

7) Removed all Sun God worship (verse 11)

- This was the religion of Egypt.

- People were ignoring that this was the place from where they were set free.

People! You have been released from that way of slavery.

8) Smashed all the false worship put in place by evil Kings (verse 12)

- Ahaz worse king in Israel … he is why they were deported.

- Manasseh worse king in Judah … he will be the cause of their downfall.

- Kidron Valley is where the graves were.

People! This part of our history is dead.

9) Removed the folly of Solomon (verse 13)

- Solomon went astray.

- Set up worship places for all his foreign wives.

People! we are going to be wiser than Solomon.

10) Destroying any place used for fertility worship (verse 14)

- Just destroying wasn’t enough, people would rebuild them.

- Putting bones on them made them useless and desecrated.

People! we are not going to follow this path in the future.

11) Removal and defilement of the Jeroboam’s alter (verses 15-16)

- This was the stumbling place of all the Israelite kings.

- Burning dead bodies on them seems extreme but it has been a distraction for 300 years.

People! we entering a totally new era of our relationship with God.

Sidetrack. 1 Kings 13:2 … God’s word comes true.

12) Purged the capital of Israel and the northern cities (verses 19-20)

- No more was the temptation to be swayed from YHWH coming from the north.

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