Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 22:1–23:27, Eph 5:1–33, Prov 9:1–12
Today’s Theme: God’s Reforming Word
The word of God is powerful and brings reformation to our lives and nations. The truth of God’s word should motivate us and drive us forward to live lives that bring glory to God.
Through God’s word we learn to imitate God, to submit to and love one another, and live in purity before God. God’s will is revealed in His word (The Bible).
2 Kings 22:1–23:27
Children, serve the Lord
And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all the way of David his father, and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left.(2 Kings 22:2, ESV)
Josiah followed the Lord from a young age and did not compromise. This shows that you don’t have to live in the dark shadow of your father.
Read the bible
And Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.(2 Kings 22:8, ESV)
How dark and destructive our lives would become without God’s word. Read or listen to the bible today.
The only way of escape
because your heart was penitent, and you humbled yourself before the Lord, when you heard how I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares the Lord.(2 Kings 22:19, ESV)
Penitence and humility are our only route of escape, as we put our faith in God and repent.
The word restores
And the king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the prophets, all the people, both small and great. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord.(2 Kings 23:2, ESV)
This is wonderful, Josiah brings them back to the word of God. The only thing that will truly restore those who have fallen away is the flesh shattering truth of God’s word.
Apply the word
And the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people joined in the covenant.(2 Kings 23:3, ESV)
Josiah did more than just read, he did something about it.
The pathway to reformation
And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests 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, ESV)
The first step in these reforms was to destroy all remnants of false worship and idolatry. This is true in our own lives and nations too.
And he brought out the Asherah from the house of the Lord, outside Jerusalem, to the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron and beat it to dust and cast the dust of it upon the graves of the common people.(2 Kings 23:6, ESV)
Let us beat all idolatry and false worship to dust.
Save the children
And he defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, that no one might burn his son or his daughter as an offering to Molech.(2 Kings 23:10, ESV)
Josiah’s reforms would save the lives of innocent children.
And as Josiah turned, he saw the tombs there on the mount. And he sent and took the bones out of the tombs and burned them on the altar and defiled it, according to the word of the Lord that the man of God proclaimed, who had predicted these things.(2 Kings 23:16, ESV)
The prophet who was deceived by the old prophet and disobeyed the Lord, the word he declared has now been fulfilled.
And he said, “Let him be; let no man move his bones.” So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet who came out of Samaria.(2 Kings 23:18, ESV)
Even though he failed in the end, he was still honoured in death because he was God’s servant. As God’s servant you may fail in your task but you remain God’s servant and God will be glorified in the end.
And he sacrificed all the priests of the high places who were there, on the altars, and burned human bones on them. Then he returned to Jerusalem.(2 Kings 23:20, ESV)
He sacrificed these false priests on their false altars. The sin you worship will one day devour you. Give sin up before it gives you up.
Motivated by the word
But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this Passover was kept to the Lord in Jerusalem.(2 Kings 23:23, ESV)
This king was driven by the word of God.
Run after the word
Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.(2 Kings 23:25, ESV)
Josiah was the most godly king that ever lived, and it is because he ran hard after the word of God. We will be the best we can be if we seek to fulfil the word of God, revealed in the bible.
Sin must be judged
Still the Lord did not turn from the burning of his great wrath, by which his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked him.(2 Kings 23:26, ESV)
Despite the great reforms, the sins of Manasseh were so great that punishment could not be averted.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.(Ephesians 5:1, ESV)
We are not little gods, we should imitate God. This means we should learn from and try to emulate His attributes of goodness, love, kindness, forgiveness etc.
Walk in love
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.(Ephesians 5:2, ESV)
This is our noble and high calling; to walk in love.
But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.(Ephesians 5:3, ESV)
This covers adultery (physical and mental), fornication, pornography etc. – all sexual sin. It is as if this was written specifically for us today, our culture is over saturated with sexual immorality. As saints we are called to live above sexual immorality.
Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.(Ephesians 5:4, ESV)
It can be so easy to be drawn into this kind of thing, we must stand our ground. Avoid worthless and foolish talking, instead give thanks. Our brothers in America have just celebrated thanksgiving, let us use our lips to give God thanks for His goodness today.
Called to discipleship and purity
For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.(Ephesians 5:5, ESV)
This does away with the idea that anti discipleship Christians (the “only believe” crowd), are even saved. As Christians we are called to live pure lives.
Don’t believe empty words
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.(Ephesians 5:6, ESV)
Do not be deceived by the empty words of those who say we do not need to live pure lives before God. Like Paul says, it is because of things like sexual immorality that the anger of God is directed to fallen man.
Called to holiness
for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light(Ephesians 5:8, ESV)
We have been called to holiness, we should live pure, open, honest lives in the light of God’s revelation, found in His word.
Expose the works of darkness
and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.(Ephesians 5:10–11, ESV)
This is why we watch and make documentaries exposing the works of darkness. We should be shining the light of truth, or reading books defending the truth, over and against the works of darkness.
We are called to be defenders of the faith and to show the works of darkness for what they really are.
The best way to expose the dark is to shine the light long and hard.
Don’t waste time
making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.(Ephesians 5:16, ESV)
Time is so key, we cannot waste it because once it is gone we can’t get it back.
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.(Ephesians 5:17, ESV)
The will of the Lord is not some mystical thing, it is clear and outlined in the Word of God. For example, live in purity and avoid sexual sin.
Drunkenness is sin
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,(Ephesians 5:18, ESV)
This is why I do not drink, for fear of getting drunk, drunkenness is debouched sin.
Submitting to each other
submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.(Ephesians 5:21, ESV)
This is in both the home and church, to both men and women.
Wives, submit to your husbands
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.(Ephesians 5:22, ESV)
Wives are particularly encouraged in this because the fall made it harder for women to do this, and even from Roman times the devil has tried to subvert God’s design by tempting women to be “strong and independent” and not submit to their own husbands.
Submit in everything
Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.(Ephesians 5:24, ESV)
Not just in select things but in everything, the church should be submitted to Christ. This model should be played out in the marriage too as a wife totally (not partially or with reservation), submits to her husband.
Husbands, love your wife
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,(Ephesians 5:25, ESV)
This must be the life verse for husbands relationship with their wife, we need to seek to love her in the way Christ loved the church, daily… providing for her and being a covering is part of my understanding and working out of this verse.
Do yourself a favour, love your wife
In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.(Ephesians 5:28, ESV)
This is so true, life can be so full of joy if we make an effort and let love rule over everything else. Do yourself a favour… Love your wife.
The devil wants to rob the joy and satisfaction from your relationship by drowning you in stress and busyness, don’t fall for it, enjoy your marriage by loving your wife.
Love and respect
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.(Ephesians 5:33, ESV)
A quick practical summary in case we missed the point.
Don’t be simple
Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.”(Proverbs 9:6, ESV)
We should use the mind God has given us, leave simple mindedness behind.
Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.(Proverbs 9:8, ESV)
We must learn to love reproof.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. (Proverbs 9:10, ESV)
True wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord, knowing who God is is so key to everything else.
The secret to long life
For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life.(Proverbs 9:11, ESV)
Lord, please help me to walk in wisdom so that years can be added to my life.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Ephesians 5