Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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A Refreshing Commendation

Meditation for the week of May 19, 2013

2 Kings 22:2:  And he (Josiah) did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

This is a refreshing commendation.  Josiah did what was right in the sight of the Lord, he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.  He wasn’t a conservative Jew and he wasn’t a progressive Jew.  He couldn’t be called reformed and while he was orthodox, that is not how the Lord describes him.  The Lord said he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord.

This could not be said of Aaron who made a golden calf for the people of Israel while Moses was in the mountain learning how this redeemed people should worship their God.  This could not be said of Solomon who built temples to heathen gods on the Mount of Olives at the end of his life.  He definitely turned aside.  This could not be said of Jeroboam who was made ruler over ten of tribes of Israel by God himself.  Yet, he was not confident that God would allow him to keep the rule over those ten tribes unless he kept the people of Israel from worshiping in Jerusalem.   So he built two calves.  He placed one in the south and one in the north part of his kingdom and established a religion like the one in Jerusalem.  And thereafter his legacy was, Jeroboam who made Israel to sin.

I ask myself,  “What will my legacy be?”  I would like it to be the legacy of Paul as found in  2 Timothy 4:7. He says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (I have guarded the truth).

Paul kept his eye on the goal which was to preach and to please Christ.  He finished his course.  He did his part in carrying out the great commission to preach the Gospel in all the world to everyone.  In 1 Corinthians 1:23 he says,  “but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness.”  In 2 Corinthians 4:5 he says,  “For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.”  Like Christ, he was willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of the Gospel.  He did not sacrifice or destroy others, he sought to save them.

Josiah’s first concern was to repair the house of the Lord or the temple.  David prepared the plans and the materials.  Solomon built it and Josiah wanted to repair it.  Obviously, the temple was important to him just as the new testament church should be important to those who are faithful today.  The church is the new testament temple.  In repairing the temple,  Josiah found God’s written word.  Imagine!   The word of God had been lost in the house of God.  But in restoring the house of God, he found the word of God.  He read it and believed it.  He found out that God’s judgment had been promised upon Israel if they turned aside to worship other gods.  He was concerned that God was going to judge Israel because of their departure.  He turned back to the worship of Jehovah.  One of the things he did was to reestablish the Passover feast.  The people of Israel got a chance to remember that they were a redeemed people. 

Josiah and Paul both left a legacy that I envy.  I wonder what my legacy will be.  Will my legacy be that of one who loved the Lord, who believed that we need to keep the religious, political and social world out of the church?  Will my legacy be that of one who believes in the power of the Gospel to change the things that need to be changed in this world?  Will my legacy be that of one who believes that we can sing ever so sweetly, we can preach ever so eloquently, we can be ever so moral; but if we aren’t worshiping God in spirit (in contrast to lifeless ritual) and in truth (in contrast to worship that is not Scriptural), we aren’t worshiping at all.

I think it is fairly easy to be led to do evil.  Evil is in the nature of man.  It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to leave behind the legacy of a Josiah or of a Paul.  That legacy starts with a true conversion where we turn from idols to serve the living and true God  (1 Thessalonians 1:9).  It requires a reverence for and a study of the word of God.  We must commune with the Lord in prayer.  And we who love Him must not get side tracked from our business of preaching and worshiping Christ. 

I pray that my legacy will be that “he did not turn aside.”

Bruce Collins

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