(2 Kings 22:3-23:30) When reading this text one cannot help but be astounded by two things: the character of this young king and the long suffering of God.  What an encouragement to read of the life of this young king! He was 8 when he took the throne and 26 when he cleansed the land of idols.  His youth should encourage readers not to look with judgment or contempt on any younger generations.  The Lord has a way of raising up men and women whose hearts belong to Him...even if they lack clear teaching from His did Josiah. 

The other astounding aspect of this text is the patience and mercy of God. The land was filled with idols and idolatrous worship. Judah was involved with worshipping Baal, Milcom, Chemosh, the sun, moon and the host of heaven.  They had also brought into the Temple houses of male cult prostitutes, horses given to the sun stood at the entrance to the Temple, and altars made by Manasseh were in the two courts of the house of the Lord.  These were not quser times of worship secretly done in the privacy of ones home but very public institutions managed by a syndicate of priests!  How patient and long suffering is God?!

He is also long-suffering with you.  He knows your heart - whatever your age. He understands the difficulty of life on this planet. And He wants the best for you which means He wants you to rid your life of idols and follow after Him without 'turning to the right or to the left.' Let Him share your burden and be for you a refuge and shelter, 'a very present help in (your) time of trouble'!

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All Creation Does Its Part

Yesterday and today, the psalmist has been beating a very repetitive drum.  Psalm 147 & 148 both call for God's people to praise Him but he also calls on creation to join in and do its part.  The psalmist calls on stars, snow, sun, moon, water, mountains, kings & princes, beasts & cattle, creeping things and so much more to praise the Lord!!  Many believers simply assign 'praise' to Sunday morning worship services. But when the Scripture calls on God's people (or creation) to praise Him, He is referring to more than a Sunday morning experience. 

So we need to ask ourselves, "What does praising the Lord look like for 'hail'"?  Yes, 'hail' is called on to praise Him!  (Ps. 148:8) Texas sees its share of hail, as Dallas roofs will attest, but people do not normally communicate their appreciation for this part of creation.  Yet, hail can praise the Lord...but how?  By 'fulfilling His word' (Ps. 148:8).  Praise or worship is something that occurs when created 'things' fulfill their created purpose.  When creation does what the Lord has created it to do, He receives praise!  

What is your purpose?  Why has He created you and to what purpose are you called?  Jesus said, "By this is my Father glorified (praised/worshiped) that you bear much fruit" (Jn. 15:8).  Your calling is to praise your heavenly Father.  You do this not simply by singing between the hours of 9am and Noon on Sunday mornings but by 'fulfilling His word.'  Find your purpose and praise Him with your life!  

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