The Importance of Cleaning House

I'm continuing my morning Bible study of the books of 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles. On one level you can look at these accounts of the kings of Judah and Israel as a history lesson. We learn important lessons by studying history, examples of both good and bad behavior. Who was it who said, "Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it."? Trust me, you DON'T want to repeat some of the mistakes those old kings made!

Every time I come to a new king described in these books, I've found myself looking for a key phrase that is used to introduce the king's reign. Many of them say, "He did evil in the eyes of the Lord," but some of them say, "He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord."

Such was the case of Josiah. His reign followed an evil king who reigned for 22. Since Josiah was only 8 when he became king, we know that he didn't have a positive role model. And yet the Bible said, "He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or the left." I think that means he had a heart for serving God. When he was 16 years old, he started seeking God. He spent 4 years learning all he could, and then when he was 18 he began systematically purging all the idolatry from Judah and Jerusalem. He gave orders to clean up the temple restore it.

While that project was going on, the Bible says they found a book stuffed in a corner somewhere in the temple. This book was the "Book of the Law of the Lord that had been given through Moses." Wow! That tells us a lot about the state of the temple before Josiah's clean-up project began, huh? So Josiah read the book, and he was so convicted about all the stuff the people had NOT been doing that he threw a righteous fit and tore his clothes and did some serious praying. Then he led the people in reestablishing the law of God, and even reinstituted the Passover, which hadn't been celebrated in a long, long time. Ah, imagine the awesome aroma of celebration that reached to heaven during that week of celebration!

As I was thinking about Josiah, I found something applicable to my own life. Every now and then, I need to do some major house-cleaning. No, I don't mean scrubbing floors and windows. I mean I need to take a good, long look at the temple in which my Lord lives -- my spirit -- and make sure everything there is in order. Repair the splintered pillars. Sweep out the cobwebs. Polish up the altar on which I lay my offerings. Look under the years of accumulated stuff and re-familiarize myself with what's important - worshiping and celebrating in the way God taught me.

Of course, there's another lesson, and this one comes from my husband. He says, "It's easier to keep up than to catch up." So once I've got all the spiritual internal parts all spiffed up and clean, I'm going to work on keeping them that way.