Words of Worth

Let’s Go to the Movies!

October 27, 2013

imagesTell me if this sounds familiar…. You find yourself with a few extra minutes so you turn on the television. As soon as the screen comes to life, there it is! Your favorite movie – right at the good part. Next thing you know, it’s an hour later and the credits are rolling. Even though you hadn’t planned to watch and you knew how it ended, you just couldn’t look away.

What makes this particular phenomenon so interesting is the type of movie that seems to have magnetic attraction. Sure, it’s fun to watch the boy get the girl (again!) or the superhero save the world (again!) but sometimes it’s a film with a sad or tragic ending. So you sit, glued to the tube, knowing your heart is going to get broken (again!) but you watch anyway – maybe even hoping this time it will be different.

That’s exactly how I felt this week in Bible study. I’ve been studying the Old Testament – specifically the Kings and Prophets right before the 70 year captivity of the children of Israel. Now there’s some drama for you! I was ready to begin the story of Josiah and breathed a sigh of relief. Finally a “good” king after a lengthy string of evil ones. But something niggled at the back of my mind – was there a happy ending?

There’s certainly a happy beginning. Josiah assumes the throne at age 8, started seeking the Lord while he was still a youth, began purging the land of idols and started repairing the temple. (2 Chronicles 34) During the repair work, the book of the Law was found and read and Josiah’s heart was broken over the disobedience of his people. So far, so good.

Although the prophet Huldah assured Josiah he would be spared judgment because of his humility, he still cared for his kingdom and issued sweeping religious reforms throughout the land in order to turn his people back to God’s ways. Oh, this is a good story. Perhaps I was mistaken about how this all ends?

Then Josiah declared a Passover! Oh boy – that’s a great way to finish this saga. He even provided the animals for the sacrifices so everyone could participate! Pass me the rest of my popcorn!

But three words in 2 Chronicles 34 made my heart sink. “After all this…” Uh oh. Is this what I had been dreading? Sadly, my intuition was right. The rest of Josiah’s life was not a dramatic reversal of conviction or evil actions. After all he had done right in his own life and for the lives of his people, he sort of fizzled at the end. He went out and got caught up in a battle that didn’t involve him and he died. The end.

How anticlimactic! This man was a hero and indeed was celebrated and subsequently mourned throughout the land. The text is found in 2 Chronicles 34 and the key to his downfall is found in verse 22: “he didn’t listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, but came to make war on the plain of Megiddo.”

More plainly said: it wasn’t Josiah’s battle to fight and when he did, he lost his life. Bringing it in for a closeup: “he didn’t listen”.

How disappointing.
How like me to not listen and charge into a battle that’s not mine.
How like all of us… and most of the time we don’t die (obviously) but something else dies: a dream, an idea, a relationship, a lot of hard work, a tiny bit of someone’s soul.

Today, challenge yourself to LISTEN to God’s word in every situation. Humble your heart at all times and seek HIS glory and end your own story in a different way than Josiah’s. (ct)

“This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.” Titus 3:8

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