08/05/15 Eradicating Sin

READING: 2 Kings 22-23; 2 Chronicles 34-35

TEXTS AND APPLICATION: I wonder today how much we genuinely want to eradicate sin from our life.  King Josiah, who became king at age 8, turned to the Lord in the eighth year of his reign. Four years later, he began a cleansing of Judah and Jerusalem that was unprecedented. Second Kings 23 describes the cleansing in great detail, but 2 Chronicles 34 summarizes the picture for us:

2 Chron. 34:3-7  In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still a youth, Josiah began to seek the God of his ancestor David, and in the twelfth year he began to cleanse Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherah poles, the carved images, and the cast images. Then in his presence the altars of the Baals were torn down, and he chopped down the incense altars that were above them. He shattered the Asherah poles, the carved images, and the cast images, crushed them to dust, and scattered them over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. He burned the bones of the priests on their altars. So he cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. He did the same in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, and as far as Naphtali and on their surrounding mountain shrines. He tore down the altars, and he smashed the Asherah poles and the carved images to powder. He chopped down all the incense altars throughout the land of Israel and returned to Jerusalem.

The cleansing was dramatic, thorough, painful . . . and necessary. I am reminded of Jesus’ words to cut off my hand and gouge out my eyes if they cause me to sin (Matt. 5:29-30).  Though Jesus’s words were clearly intentional hyperbole to make His point, God expects us to take whatever steps are necessary to remove the sin of our life. 

That truth gives me pause today: what sins do I choose to tolerate in my life?  What sins do you choose to tolerate? Are you willing to do whatever is required to eradicate them? I want to be willing. 

PRAYER: “God, make me detest my sin like You detest it. Give me courage to take the necessary steps to say ’no’ to temptations and ‘yes’ to you. Forgive me for holding on to my sin so long.”