Thursday, November 5, 2009

We're Sorry Children

“I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the LORD.” – 2 Kings 22:8

His Grandfather was Manasseh, one of the most evil of all Kings of Jerusalem. His evil was in the form of idolatry. He was an astrologer – one who worships the sun, moon, and stars. He practiced witchcraft. He got his answers for life’s decisions from mediums and spiritualist instead of God. He worshipped the carved images of the gods of those God had removed from the land of Israel before giving it to the Israelites. But he really can’t be blamed completely. Manasseh was one of a long line of kings who had turned their backs on God.

God is patient, but He is also just. He will always punish sin. The problem is sin is never personal – it always affects others.

Manasseh’s sin was so great that it caused God to declare in 2 Kings 21 that he would bring such calamity on the children if Israel that the ears of whoever heard it would “tingle”. He said he would “wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.” He would forsake the few of Israel that remained and deliver them into the hands of their enemies. Why? Because they had provoked him to anger with their continual sin.

But Manasseh dies, and still no calamity.

His son Amon reigns, and still no calamity.

Then Amon’s son Josiah reigns. He became king at just eight years old. It’s often said that the heart of a child is pure, and Josiah’s was. He ordered that the money being taken at the temple be used to restore it, which was a decree given years ago by another King that followed God’s commands. And in the clean-up of God’s house, something happened. The priest found a book.

It wasn’t just any book. It was “The Book of the Law”, which is most commonly known as the Pentateuch, the first 4 books of our Holy Bible. The fact that it was lost and even the priest didn’t know where it was when it was in the House of the Lord tells you how little respect they had for God at this time.

The priest sent it to King Josiah, and it was read to him. As it was read to him, his heart broke. He saw the evil of his forefathers. He saw their neglect for the very God that had brought them out of slavery and given them the land they now trashed. He saw God’s love for them. And he felt the shame that years of idolatry had brought on his people. He tore his clothes in anguish and cried because he knew they had broken the heart of our loving God.

Immediately, he wanted reconciliation with God. He wanted God to speak, and at this time that was only happening through prophets. He sent a messenger to the prophetess Huldah, who had heard from God. God in fact had decided to bring destruction on the children of Israel, and all because of their idolatry. He said “My wrath shall be aroused against this place and shall not be quenched”, which in our terms means God said “enough is enough…this time you’re going down!”.

But that isn’t all God had to say. God still is the God of love, the God of forgiveness. He spoke to the prophetess concerning Josiah. He said in verse 19, that because Josiah’s heart was tender, humbled, and broken when he learned of their sin, that he would let him live out his days before the destruction would come.

Can you imagine living as Josiah after that day? How would you look your children in the face knowing they would live on after you, and suffer God’s wrath. How would you look at the face of a newborn and feel anything but anguish and pain?

Today we live in a world much like Josiah’s. We read our horoscopes to see what the day will bring…and ignore God. We call up fortune tellers to see what mysteries of our life they can show us…and ignore God. We use tarot cards, have our own “spiritual journeys”, and meditate to find our inner energies…and ignore God.
We seek answers where they cannot be found… ignoring the one with all the answers. Sure, we may escape the wrath of God in our generation, but what about our children?

Parents…seek Him while He can be found. Look at the faces of your children and see the destruction that the lack of Christ in your lives is already bringing upon them. They don’t value life. They’re starving themselves to feel better about themselves, or eating themselves to an early grave. They’re cutting themselves out of the pain that’s in their hearts. They’re turning to drugs, to alcohol, to sex and perversions, and anything they can find to make it “better”. We’ve given them violent games, violent moves, and violent music and said “here, have fun!” We’ve dismissed proper discipline because it’s not politically correct. We’ve stopped teaching them the Bible and taking them to church because life is just too busy.

Is this really what we want for our children?

Are we so selfish that we won’t take time to help them find the God they need?

God have mercy on us all. We have become the people that were destroyed…again.

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