Remember the king that was greeted with palm leaves and shouts of hosanna yesterday? Today, we see him bombarded with questions meant to entangle him. The religious elite were threatened by Jesus—by his growing popularity, his radical views of religion, and his claim to be the Messiah. The teachers of the law and Pharisees tried to make Jesus stumble.
Keeping a close watch on him, they (the teachers of the law and chief priests) sent spies, who pretended to be sincere. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said, so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor (Luke 20:20).
The religious elite were trying to make Jesus stumble through an intense line of questioning, just like the lawyers do to criminals on TV. Of all the questions thrown in Jesus’ direction, I find this question most interesting:
Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not? (Luke 20:22)
It’s a lose-lose question. If he sided with Caesar, he would be in trouble with the Jews; if he sided against Caesar, he would be in trouble with the Romans. Instead of pleading the fifth or requesting to see his lawyer, he answered with the perfect solution. Since it’s Caesar’s image on the denarius, that is to be given back to Caesar. However, whatever is God’s should be given back to God.
His answer is so profound yet simple that it literally silences the crowd—better than any answer given by a fancy attorney on TV. Jesus spent the first thirty years of his life preparing for interactions like this one. He was so in tune with God’s spirit that the perfect words just seemed to flow out of his mouth effortlessly. In the same way, we should prepare ourselves to answer tough questions and defend our faith—this includes praying for wisdom and understanding, studying truth, and committing scripture to memory. As a reminder of just that, I painted the following verse on the cover of my Bible:
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15).
Paul likens scripture to a sword, but we must wield it well in order to enact its power. Every time I open my Bible, I want to grow more confident in my faith so that I can rise to the defense of it and share it with others.
Have you ever been in a situation when you didn’t know what to do? Maybe you felt like you only had one or two options and you didn’t like either of them? We will all run into obstacles in our lives that we don’t know how to handle. With almost certainty, this will happen with your faith. You will probably at one time or another be questioned about your faith or pushed on what you believe. Jesus himself experienced multiple situations like this in his ministry. We read about one of those situations in Mark 11:27-33. In this passage, Jesus is confronted by the religious leaders in the temple. They asked him by what authority is he doing and saying these things. If Jesus said that he was doing these thing by the authority of being the Messiah, the son of God, he probably would have been attacked. If he said that that we was doing it by his own authority, he might have lost credibility. Either way, answering this question, at this particular time, would have disrupted the plans God had made for Jesus. This isn’t the only time Jesus was seemingly trapped with a difficult question.
In John 8:1-11, the Pharisees brought a women, caught in the act of adultery, to Jesus. They asked him if they should stone her according to the Law of Moses or let her go? This lands Jesus in another difficult to answer situation. If he says to stone her, then he is condemning this women. If he let her go, then the Pharisees’ trap would have worked and they could have accused Jesus of denying the authority of the Law. In both passages, what we read in Mark 11 and John 8, Jesus is in a tricky spot and seemingly only has a couple of options. However, Jesus, in the wisdom given to him by the Spirit, comes up with the third option. In Mark 11, he asks the religious leaders a question they can’t answer, effectively ending the conversation. In John 8, Jesus defuses the situation by saying, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7). After that, everyone leaves. The point is, God provides us with other options.
Here’s a story by CS Lewis found in the book: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as retold by Jennifer Neyhart:
“Eustace is a character you kind of just want to punch in the face until his transformation experience with Aslan. He was arrogant, self-centered, and all around annoying to Edmund and Lucy.
On one of the islands the crew lands on, Eustace finds a dragon’s lair and is very greedy for the treasure. He puts on a gold bracelet and falls asleep, and when he wakes up, he has been turned into a dragon. Lewis writes, “Sleeping on a dragon’s hoard with greedy, dragonish thoughts in his heart, he had become a dragon himself.” Eustace had fleeting thoughts of relief at being the biggest thing around, but he quickly realizes he is cut off from his friends, and all of humanity, and he feels a weight of loneliness and desperately wants to change.
That night, Aslan comes to Eustace and leads him to a large well “like a very big round bath with marble steps going down into it.” Eustace describes the scene to Edmund after the fact. He says the water was so clear and he thought if he could get in there and bathe it would ease the pain in his leg (from the gold bracelet he had put on when he was human). But Aslan told him he had to undress first. And doesn’t God ask this of us? As Lewis wrote in Letters to Malcolm: “We must lay before him [God] what is in us; not what ought to be in us.”
Eustace found that no matter how many layers of dragon skins he managed to peel off of himself, he was still a dragon.
“Then the lion said – but I don’t know if it spoke – ‘You will have to let me undress you.’ I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.
“The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know – if you’ve ever picked the scab off a sore place. It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away.”
“Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off … And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me – I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on – and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again…” – C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
This scene always grabs my heart. It reminds me that I cannot fix myself. It paints a beautiful picture of baptism and transformation to new life. It humbles me as I put myself in Eustace’s place. And even long after our initial baptism we have the ongoing challenge of surrendering to God’s work in our lives which can be painful at times, even when it’s a good pain.
And I like Lewis’s note of narration at the end of this scene as well:
“It would be nice, and fairly nearly true, to say that “from that time forth Eustace was a different boy.” To be strictly accurate, he began to be a different boy. He had relapses. There were still many days when he could be very tiresome. But most of those I shall not notice. The cure had begun.”
Stories have a way of capturing our attention and keeping our interest. In a really good story like the undragoning of Eustace we might discover after reading it that it stays with us, that it somehow changes the way we see the world or the way that we are in the world.
Jesus was a master storyteller. Throughout the Gospels we hear him telling stories, and amazing stories they were as they somehow manage to transcend time and place and language and cultural barriers.
In Matthew 25 Jesus tells three stories. One story is about bridesmaids and oil, one is about masters and servants and bags of gold, and one is about sheep and goats. Jesus told these stories just a few days before he was to be arrested, tried, condemned and nailed to a Roman cross and publicly executed.
If you’ve ever been around someone who knew that they were going to die soon, you know that near the end of life people usually want to focus on those things which are most important. They want to say “ I love you” to people they care about. They want to say “ I’m sorry” to the people they have hurt or they want to say “I forgive you” to the people who have hurt them. Since Jesus is running out of time and opportunities to preach and teach before his arrest you can imagine that what he has to say is very important to him. This is Jesus saying “I love you” to people he cared deeply about.
I encourage you to read and reflect on those stories in Matthew 25.
Why is he talking about weddings and bridesmaids and having enough oil and the danger of missing out on the wedding banquet? What does he want us to do or not do?
Why is he talking about a rich landowner going away on a long trip and leaving behind something valuable and asking his trusted workers to manage his valuable gold well? What does he want us to do or not do?
Why is he talking about sheep and goats and why is he praising and rewarding some for the good things they do to help others (and him) and condemning and punishing others for the good things that they fail to do to help others (and him)? What does he want us to do or not do?
Spend some time thinking about each story. Imagine yourself there in the story. What’s it like to be a bridesmaid who wasn’t ready and missed out on your friend’s wedding? What’s it like to be a worker who gets praised and rewarded for working hard when the master returns? What’s it like to be called a goat (not The G.O.A.T. –a.k.a. Michael Jordan or Drew Brees) but a goat who failed to care for the sick, the hungry, the prisoners and the naked and gets turned away by Jesus?
Listen to Jesus’ stories and allow them to teach you whatever Jesus wants you to learn.
When Jesus told Peter to ‘Feed my sheep,’ he was commissioning him as a shepherd. And in the book of First Peter, we see a part of the fulfillment of that commission.
There are believers (the Lord’s sheep) scattered throughout Roman provinces in Asia Minor, and Peter is writing a letter to be routed amongst them.
There was a movie out in the 90’s about a pig that herded sheep. When the sheep dogs on the farm did their job, they demeaned and scared the sheep into submission. But sweet little Babe the piglet just asked them nicely and off they marched in lines for him.
Sheep of a different flock, however, didn’t know this sweet pig, and saw no reason to listen to him. That is, until, Babe received word from his pasture back home of the secret words to tell these new sheep that he was on their side. ‘Baa, Ram, Ewe’
We are an individualistic bunch of sheep, I think.
Maybe it’s just me. Reading the book of First Peter with the eyes of a flock, a group, instead of reading it just for me, I see it somewhat differently. There’s a definite theme coming through it all that it seems Peter wanted these sheep in his scattered pasture to remember:
There’s more than this.
Seek the holiness of sincere love for each other, because you’re like perishing blades of grass and God’s ways endure. There’s more than this way of loving.
You might feel rejected, but you are chosen. There’s more than this world’s acceptance.
Live to please God not the society you live in. There’s more than this wisdom.
God cares about how you treat your family. There’s more than your own perspective.
Compassion and humility never go out of style. There’s more to be gained through suffering than we can often see.
Wake up, pay attention, Jesus is coming back and you need to be ready. There’s literally more than this world coming one day.
Peter may not have needed to say ‘Baa, Ram, Ewe’ to unite the scattered sheep of his day, but perhaps we need a reminder that we, too, are a scattered flock.
Friends, there’s more than this.
Do you feel the sincere love of the body of Christ? No? Don’t wait for someone else to ‘do something’ about it. Everyone else is a perishing blade of grass just like you. Authentic love doesn’t start with a social media campaign; and it doesn’t start with the whole church, it starts with a few individuals. Be those few.
There’s more than this way of loving.
Have you felt rejected? Alone? Broken? Empty? Peter’s response to the scattered flock on this issue was to remind them about Jesus, and of this: “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
It seems that acceptance begins with mercy. Mercy comes after repentance. Repentance comes after we own up to our sin. This world tells us to own our sin. Big difference.
There’s more than this world’s acceptance.
Along those lines, if the wisdom of this world affirms all of your choices, you might want to question if God would. Living to please God rarely aligns with the wisdom of this world.
There’s more than this wisdom.
Perspective is a powerful influencer, and seeing our family solely from the lens of our own perspective is not only selfish, but dangerous. We can fall into the trap of living for ourselves even while fooling ourself into thinking we are part of a team. How lonely. How unfulfilling. And definitely not God’s best for us.
There’s more than your own perspective.
Suffering is difficult and hard and it stinks. Anyone who says to say ‘Praise God!’ for suffering is a liar or a robot (or a lying robot, perhaps?). Jesus didn’t even want to suffer, he asked his Father if he could avoid it if possible.
Finding peace in the midst of suffering, finding joy in God’s provision during times of suffering, and praising God during suffering are all very different than praising him FOR the suffering.
There’s more to be gained through suffering than we can often see.
Peter quotes a Psalm and tells these scattered sheep that “they must seek peace and pursue it.” Compassion, humility, gentleness, sympathy, blessing… these are all active. A person who is actively pursuing peace, especially when suffering abounds, will stand out. Maybe that’s why Peter suggests it?
People loving differently, repenting of sin, showing mercy, treating their families differently, being the most kind, compassionate, gentle, humble, easy to get along with group of people anyone ever met…yet not compromising God’s standards, not backing down, standing strong against the roar of evil around them, refusing to be devoured — Those people would garner attention.
There’s literally more than this world coming one day.
Wake up, pay attention, Jesus is coming back and we need to be ready.
Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at BibleGateway here – 1 Peter
Tomorrow we begin the book of Hebrews (chapters 1-6)
When I started my teaching career 24 years ago, I had no idea that I would spend two and half decades in the same district. I only agreed to the original interview because I thought that it would be good practice for interviews with school districts that were better funded and closer to where I wanted to live. But through the years, I have had amazing students, super supportive principals and supervisors, and colleagues who have become my closest friends.
There have been times where I sought other jobs outside my district. The crazy thing is that I have never had an invitation to interview for those other positions. Now either I have a highly inflated self-perspective of my skills, or I don’t know how to complete and submit an application, or just maybe, God wants me to stay where I am.
So I can relate a little bit to Paul in Acts 16 when he realizes that he’s not supposed to go into Asia but rather head up to Macedonia.
Can you imagine setting out on a road trip and not really knowing for sure where you’ll end up?
It makes sense to pray and seek wisdom and discernment before making major life decisions. But this is how God wants us to live our day-to-day lives too. Yes, dreaming up plans, setting goals, and creating task lists are good things to do, but it’s also important to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Asking God to help determine the best use of your time each week, each day, is a good way to practice your listening skills and hone your sensitivity to God’s direction.
As we go about this week, pause and think about what you already have on your calendar of things to do and places to be at and people to meet up with. Does any of that need to be revised? Does something need to be removed or added? Do you have enough margin in your day-to-day that you can spontaneously respond to God’s leading?
If nothing specific comes to mind or your days and week go pretty closely as you expected, that’s okay too. What really matters is that you sought God. You took time to listen and you were willing to act on his call. That’s the kind of heart God desires.
Today’s Bible reading passage can be read or listened to at BibleGateway here – Acts 15-16
Well, that was the question the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus: Why don’t your disciples wash their hands before they eat? Good question, most of us would agree it’s a good thing to wash your hands before you eat, and when you return from the marketplace, and several other times of the day. This Jewish delegation (comparable to today’s church leaders) were very curious about Jesus and his followers. They had traveled all the way from Jerusalem to Galilee (approximately 70 miles over rough terrain, most likely walking for 2 or more days) to check out this Jesus. They had heard about his many miracles and teachings, and had probably been around long enough to witness some as well. They were watching him closely to decide what they were going to do with this man. And then they saw a problem they could attack: Jesus’ disciples didn’t wash before they ate. It is interesting that Matthew says “your disciples”, Mark says, “some of your disciples”, but it does not say that Jesus didn’t wash – so it doesn’t appear the Pharisees could personally attack Jesus for his own uncleanliness – but what of his disciples? They asked Jesus, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” (Matthew 15:2 – even with exclamation!)
Jesus quickly flipped the question around – “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? (Matthew 15:3). And then he gave an example of how they enticed people to break God’s law which said to honor their parents. It appears they were encouraging people to give large showy gifts to God even when it meant they no longer had the means to provide for their aging parents. Jesus shows how the Pharisees had majored in the most minor issues (like pointing out someone’s dirty hands) and left the most important things neglected.
I think of my daycare children and all the potty-training and hand-washing I have taught over the years. I can certainly attest that hand-washing is very important. However, supremely more important is that child’s love for God and others. Imagine a child who is a beast all day long. Fighting with the other children, biting, ripping toys out of their playmates’ hands, yelling at authority, and screaming during lunch time prayer. But, they washed their hands very well before coming to the table. When I give a report to the parents at the end of the day how foolish it would be for me to congratulate them on a child who follows well the rules of man and has clean hands to eat.
Likewise, at the end of the day, we will stand before Judge Jesus. Some will expect to be commended. They did a really great job of following the laws of the land or the traditions of the church, they loved their family, excelled in their business and other man-made expectations. They always washed their hands before they ate. They were good people.
But, that is not what will matter. Jesus will be rewarding those who truly love God and love people – not just in their words but in their actions and sacrifices and daily priorities. Did they keep God’s law first, even when society said they should follow man’s law instead? Did they accept God’s son as the only way to salvation, even when the world said there are many different roads to salvation? Did they carry their cross, even when the world mocked and pointed fingers and threw accusations?
Beware of following the wisdom of this world and the traditions of men. It won’t get you where you want to be in the end. Instead, consider carefully God’s way, every time, and walk in it. In what areas of your life would God have you turn your back on the traditions of men and human rules and expectations to instead dive deeper and deeper into His way – love God, love others, accept Jesus, prepare for the Kingdom.
So much work had already been done – the walls of Jerusalem had been rebuilt – now they just needed to finish the gates. Surely this project was God-ordained and he picked the right leader for the job – Nehemiah. He was able to get everyone motivated and working together, and despite the opposition they were able to finish their job on the 25th of Elul (which appears to correspond to somewhere between Sept 15 and October 2). So, this week is a super time to celebrate the work that is accomplished when working for God.
So much good had been done already – but the work did not end and neither did the opposition!
Nehemiah was under attack. Satan (along with Tobia, Sanballat, Geshem and the rest of those fighting against God) were using every weapon at their disposal to bring this righteous leader down: lies, fear, wolves in sheep’s clothing, attempting to distract him from his work with other business, spreading gossip and accusations of sedition to either silence him or get him in serious trouble with the authorities, even hiring a false “prophet” to scare him into sinning.
But Nehemiah stood strong. We continue to see him turn to God in prayer. Asking for strong hands and asking for God to take care of those getting in the way of the Lord’s work. He obviously had a strong knowledge of God’s law to not be tricked into sinning. This gave him wise discernment in knowing who to listen to and what to do, and not do. And, he knew to fear God not men.
We can learn a lot from Nehemiah today because Satan keeps using the same ploys. Adolf Hitler wrote, “Mental confusion, contradiction of feeling, indecisiveness, panic; these are our weapons.” Evil men seeking to destroy God’s work have come and gone and yet remain today. It is indeed a vivid reminder that, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12 NIV). They love nothing more than trying to interrupt God’s work and if they can bring down a godly leader at the same time they probably get bonus points.
We see so much of this evil and oppression today. But like Nehemiah, we must not give up! We must turn to God again and again when faced with the lies and fears and Satan’s strong man tactics that would love to have us throw in the towel and take the easy way instead. Pray, fast, seek His word and His way, don’t fear man, resist sin, use discernment in knowing who to trust, what to say and do. Pray, too, for our leaders that they will have the wisdom and strong hands of Nehemiah
Satan has been running rampant and the result is a broken world. Keep at God’s rebuilding work – one brick at a time.
Speaking of our opposition, mental confusion, lies, panic, and pleasing man not God, reminds me of the life and death fight for the most innocent of God’s creations. Tonight would be a great time to watch See Life 2020 and #LoveEveryHeartbeat. And pray for strong hands – and hearts – to do the work God wants you to do.
Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at BibleGateway here – Nehemiah 6-7
Tomorrow we will read Nehemiah 8-10 as we continue seeking God on our
It would probably be blasphemous to suggest God asks silly questions, so I won’t. But I would imply that the creator of the universe makes inquiries which His creatures wouldn’t. I don’t think most of us, upon seeing a valley full of human bones, dried out by years of the sun beating down on them, would think to ask: Can these bones live? No, I think the first question would be: “What on earth happened here?” Followed by: “What’s the quickest way out of this place?” But that is not what happens in chapter 37 of Ezekiel. No, Ezekiel doesn’t get to ask a question, instead, one is posed to him by God, “Can these bones live?” And he responds with either the biggest cop-out of an answer there is or the wisest: “Only God knows.” I would lean towards wisest. God’s not trying to learn something from Ezekiel; He is trying to reveal something to the prophet so Ezekiel can relay it to the people of Israel, which is why he doesn’t try to guess at an answer. Ezekiel doesn’t care to have his opinions heard by God; he wants to know what God has to say. We would do well to learn this trait from the prophet–you could say it would be quite profitable (sorry!).
While Ezekiel doesn’t provide a yes or no answer to the question, God does: yes, these bones will live again. These bones, representing the house of Israel, who have been cut off from their land, and whose hope is gone, will live again. God’s people who, time after time, have rebelled against Yahweh and received mercy only to rebel further, will once again experience the grace of God and return to the Promised Land. This vision, like all those received by the prophets, is first for the Jews. It concerns God’s People and it is for God’s People, but there is much for us, as Christians, to learn from the words of the prophets today.
A few things we should recognize from this particular revelation and meditate on are (1) God’s relentless love for His people, despite their blunders, foolishness, and obstinate ways (to put it mildly). (2) That God can (and does) redeem those who have been abused, discarded, and forgotten. (3) We can (and should) have hope and trust in Yahweh, despite any and every problematic, perilous, or pernicious situation we may be in. The God we serve does not cower at death, does not withhold second chances, and does not fail to love the unlovable. Neither should we.
– Joel Fletcher
Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at BibleGateway here – ht
It is a common question asked through the ages, “Why, God?” Why do the wicked succeed? Why do the violent survive? Why is there injustice in the nation and even in the courts? Why, God? Why?
Habakkuk had the same questions. He lived during the “end” days of Judah, before the Babylonian captivity we have read about the last 2 days. He had a heart for God and sought to do what was right. But, what about everyone else? He was outnumbered, “The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted.” (Habakkuk 1:4 NLT). And that can be a hard place to be. Where right has become wrong and wrong has become right. And, where was God? Why was God not taking action to right the wrongs, punish the evil and make things right?
God answered Habakkuk, but it certainly wasn’t the answer he was expecting or wanting. God did see the evil, violence and injustice. and he was taking care of matters – in His time and His way. He revealed to Habakkuk that He was preparing the wicked, idolatrous Babylonian neighbors to the north to bring God’s judgment on Judah. Wait, a minute, God – they are even worse than us! That’s not fair!
If God had a penny for every time He heard that line – but, He owns everything already.
He doesn’t need your penny – or your advice. God doesn’t need to be understood by His creation. But we would be wise to accept His sovereignty, as Habakkuk did. Even when faced with answers He didn’t fully understand or like, Habakkuk realized and accepted that God was in control. He would punish Judah – and then Babylon – when and how He wanted. And, He would show His power, His patience, His justice, His grace, and His love when and how He saw fit. God’s people can rest in that knowledge. There is a lot we don’t have to know or understand – a lot of “why’s” we can’t answer. But we can rest in knowing that God knows. He knows. He sees. He’s got this. He is working out all things. We can bolster our faith and reliance on God’s way by joining with Habakkuk as He proclaims:
I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. 17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.
Habakkuk 3:16-19 NIV
In our questioning, in our fear, in our uncertainty – yet we will wait patiently for God. He WILL set things straight. His perfect judgment is coming. Until then, wait and rejoice in God our Savior – He is our strength.
Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at Habakkuk 1-3
Josiah was only eight years old when he became king, yet he still did what was right. This was unlike many of the other kings that ruled in Jerusalem. We are told in these chapters that this young and inexperienced king did what was right in the eyes of the LORD.
It is amazing how zealous King Josiah was. He was truly grieved when he discovered, from the reading of the Book of Law, how far his people had strayed. He tore his clothes and audibly wept. I feel like this should inspire modern day Christians. It seems as though evil has become an ordinary thing that we see happen every day. We have news stories of murders, burglaries, and other reports of violence and suffering flash across our phones on a daily basis. Does this evil pain us the way the evil of Jerusalem pained Josiah? Or have we grown numb to this constant occurrence?
Not only did this pain Josiah, it also sparked a change. King Josiah did something with this revelation. He tore down the high places and idols built to glorify and worship false gods. He sought to destroy the things in Jerusalem that went against the LORD. He completed this quest with passion. He wanted Jerusalem to again turn to the LORD.
This should also inspire us. It is one step to see what is happening, but it is another to take action. What are we doing to combat the darkness? There is so much pain in this world. How are we being proactive? It is easy to become complacent, but we must aspire to do all that we can as Josiah did. Josiah is an example of someone that truly sought the LORD.
Because of Josiah’s heart and his commitment, the LORD promised him that he would not see the destruction of Jerusalem. Josiah, however, was eventually killed in battle. This came about, though, because he did not heed the warning which God had sent him. We need to constantly look to the LORD and seek him as Josiah tried to do during his reign.
Therefore, let us allow the things we see to inspire us to also seek change. Let us, as Christians, be a city on a hill and reach out to the hungry, wounded, and lost. Even opening the door for someone or buying someone’s coffee in the drive-thru behind us can make another person’s day. This life can seem difficult at times, so let us be a light that keeps the creeping darkness at bay in the lives of many people. Josiah did not only grieve for the state of Jerusalem, he took action to better it. In the same way we should not be satisfied with only grieving for our world. We too, like Josiah, should seek to be the difference that we wish to see in this world.