2 Chronicles 34:1-7 (Click to read NIV or select your preferred translation of the Bible. Please read the scripture first.)

Eight year old Josiah became king when his father was assassinated. His father was an evil king who did not have a heart for the things of God; but young Josiah did what was right. After he had been king for eight years (at age 16) he began to seek God, and by the time he was 20 he began removing the high places (where sacrifices were made to foreign gods), Asherah poles, and idols. He also tore down the altars to the Baals and broke to pieces the idols and scattered the pieces over the graves of the people who had been sacrificed to these idols. He also slaughtered the priests of those high places and burned their bones on their own altars. (2 Kings 23:20)

I believe the average person today has no concept of what was involved when the people established these altars to the Baals and to Molech. It was much more grievous than pretending some statue had some kind of power, like a rabbit foot or lucky charm; though that in itself is an affront to God who commanded us to have no other gods before him. But the sacrifices made on these altars were often the worshiper’s own children. The Asherah poles and idols were built for gods of sensuality.

When we compare behaviors today to those idolatrous people we have been reading about, we find some very unsettling parallels. Our society uses sexual overtones to sell everything from toothpaste to cars, clothing, and even children’s toys. TV and movies are dominated by crude jokes and sexual themes. Advertising is designed to whet our appetites beyond what we need or can afford. The rights of women to “choose” to sacrifice their children to abortion has been a major plank in one of our nation’s (U.S.A.) political parties. Often these decisions to abort are based on selfish greed, to avoid the additional expenses of inconveniently timed childbirth. God cannot be pleased with these behaviors or with those who profit from them.

What is our reaction to these lifestyles? Does it sicken us to the core? Or do we merely look the other way, or dismiss it with a wink or a joke? It is time we, as Christians, take seriously our commitment to our God and speak out and/or find other ways to bring about a spiritual awakening in our country. We cannot afford to be lukewarm Christians in our day.

Father God, open our eyes to the sin that is all around us. Help us to live our lives in a way that others will see your light in our walk. Plant such a hunger in our hearts that we will regularly search your Word for knowledge and wisdom. And prepare us to carry your Word to the hurting world around us.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

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