Josiah Rips

In the book of 2 Kings, good king Josiah orders that the temple be repaired with the funds that have been received. While the temple is being repaired, one of the men finds a scroll and brings it to Josiah. It is the Law of the Lord (What portion it is, I am not discussing now. Some say part of the Deuteronomy. Others say the whole Torah.) The words are read in the king’s presence and he rips his clothes because he realizes how much the people have done against YHWH.

I read that recently and really thought about it. I wonder how many times I have ever got to that point in reading the Law. We usually read the OT so calmly. Do we not realize that the God of the OT is still the God of the NT? Do we not see the strong requirements he has of holiness?

I wonder how often we realize that. Now I know we’re not to beat ourselves up for our sins. That’s definitely true. I wonder though how often we realize just how great those sins we’ve been forgiven of are. Can we truly appreciate the depths of his grace if we do not realize the depths of our sin?

Those standards in the OT are tough and the same God applies them to us. Is it not he who said “Be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect?” Do we not realize that if we are going to be in the presence of God, we must be a perfect reflection of him? Now I am not advocating Christian perfectionism here, but I am wanting us to see the gravity of the requirements God has.

Yes. It is time we read the Law seriously. No. I’m not saying we’re under the Law either. God has revealed himself in the Law though and his nature is there. We need to read those passages and see in them not just rules we don’t often see the purpose of, but clear revelation on who God is and how seriously he takes holiness.

The Israelites requested that God not speak to them for fear that they would die. Today, we tend to treat God like he’s buddy-buddy with us. Yes. I do believe that we have friendship with God, but you don’t treat God the same way you treat all your other friends. He is absolutely holy and you must revere that.

I would even suggest that we look at his reason for our being holy. Is it so we can live long? No. Is it so we will walk lives of virtue? No. Is it because he wants to see who will be good and who won’t? No. It is quite simple. He says throughout Leviticus, “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Friends. I will confess that as I read the Scriptures, I realize I do not take the concept seriously enough. This is concerning because if we do not take sin seriously, we will not take grace seriously. Martin Luther’s account of his conversion and how he acted should be revealing to all of us. He spent hours in confessing before God. This was someone who knew how serious sin was.

How did Josiah respond? Rightfully! He cleaned up his kingdom. In fact, the valley that he trashed was the same valley that Jesus used as an example of Hell. Josiah trashed it so much and put all the garbage from everywhere there that it became the town garbage dump.

Yes. We need another Josiah revolution today.

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