And the king commanded Hilkiah, the high priest and the priest of the second order and the keepers of the threshold, to bring out of the temple of the Lord, all the vessels made for Baal, for Asherah and for all the host of heaven. He burned them outside Jerusalem, in the fields of the Kidron and carried their ashes to Bethel.
-2 Kings 23:4
Oh, I love this. First, love this chapter. It’s one of the best chapters by far, in second King’s not that there’s a lot of competition. There’s a lot of really evil, unjust, adulterous things happening in second Kings, but here is a bright light.
We confess together, there is no God, but you, you alone are God.
As in the beginning of this chapter, Josiah, the king goes up to the house of the Lord and he reads the words of God. And all the people are repenting and turning back to God’s word and specifically …
So what happens in verse four and why I want to lead us to pray according to this verse is because the king commands, the high priests, the priest of the second order, the keepers of the threshold, these officials in the temple, to go into the temple and bring out all these idols and burn them.
Josiah goes on a destructive spree, just abolishing burning, destroying all the idols that had been set up in Judas’ history before him. And as I read this verse, I just want to encourage you, even as I am encouraged by this verse.
Let’s be zealous like this, for God’s glory in our lives and our families and our churches, to remove idols from our lives and our families and our churches. I think specifically, what comes to my mind when I read this verse, is one day being in an underground house church setting away out in a very remote place. And somebody had just come to faith in Jesus, in this land where all kinds of idols are being worshiped.
And that day, when we were meeting with this church, in secret, and these people following Jesus to the risk of their lives and turning from centuries of idol worship, and this person who just come to faith in Jesus, brings all the idols they had from their home to this gathering of this small underground church.
And we take all these idols from their home and put them outside in a pile and we light them on fire. It becomes a bonfire and it was a powerful picture of this person saying, God alone is worthy of my worship. Jesus alone is worthy of my worship.
And this is what it means to be a follower of Jesus. To say this at a point in time and to live this life out over time. A continual turning from idols to worship the one, true God. So may it be so, oh God in us, we pray right now based on second King’s 23, verse four and all of your word.
We confess together, there is no God, but you, you alone are God. All the gods of the nation’s little G gods, the nations are idols. You made the heavens, you reign supreme. Jesus, you are God. God contrary to what of people in the world believe, including Muslims… I think about the man I was sharing the gospel with, from Senegal this week, who believes you are just a prophet, Jesus. Pray that you would open his eyes to see that you are God. We pray for that. Not just for him, but for people groups around the world. God, we pray for humble Levashi people in India. God, we pray for Lutyens people in India.
God, for 7,000 other people groups in the world that are unreached by the gospel. May they hear the good news, that you are the one true God. May people around us, who are worshiping all kinds of idols, of money and fame and success and sports and sex, and so many different things.
God, we pray that you would bring all of these idols down, that you might be known and enjoyed and exalted as the one, true God. And we pray that, that would be so in our lives. God, that you would help us, to see ways where we are prone to worship other things, to love other things, to give our attention, affection and devotion, to other things, above you.
God, we pray that it would not be so. Give us zeal, to continually turn from idols, in our lives, in our families, in our churches. That you alone might be glorified in us.
We pray this according to your word in second King’s 23, verse four. In Jesus name. Amen.