Monday, August 5
Scripture: 2 Kings 23, 2 Chronicles 35, John 7
2 Kings 23:25 Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.
2 Kings 23 lists the reforms that Josiah made in Israel—it is a long and impressive list. He purged the nation of centuries of idolatry, tearing down idols and idolatrous worship centers that dated all the way back to Solomon and Jeroboam! These idolatries were deeply entrenched. I’m surprised that they were still there, that they had survived previous kings who had made reform attempts. Clearly, none of them were as whole-hearted as Josiah.
On the one hand, Josiah reminds us that it’s never too late to change, to make reforms. I just listened to a well known speaker who was speaking about America’s departure from a Christian worldview and morality and said, “That train has left the station.” Meaning: we can’t go back; we can’t change that. But Josiah did change it—he eliminated centuries-old idolatries. And we can too. This applies both to our nation and to me as an individual. It’s not too late to change—do the right thing. And if enough of us do that, we might change our nation.
On the other hand, Josiah’s story (and the larger story of Israel) reminds us that sometimes it’s too little, too late. For even though Josiah led a successful reformation, the nation was still conquered and taken into exile for its history of idolatry and rebellion. I’ve seen this over and over in marriages: one spouse underperforms so long that the other gives up. Desperate, the underperforming spouse begins to perform—but its too little, too late. The damage is done. This part of Josiah’s story stands as a warning: on the one hand, it’s never too late to make changes; but on the other, you can wait too long, and the changes are too little too late.
So don’t wait too long. Make changes now!
What changes have I been putting off? Make those changes now, while I can!
Prayer: Lord, show me where I need to change and give me the desire and power to make those changes now.