Shortly after my last post, I read through the book of 2 Kings and came to the account of the boy king of Judah, Josiah. The stories of the sins of Judah are no different from the sins of this time; my idols are not cast in precious metals but my worship of them still angers a jealous God.
Josiah is immediately convicted by the reading of the “Book of the Law”, much as I have been. He takes stock of his kingdom and his heart is responsive; he humbles himself before the Lord and grieves for his sin and that of his people.
Then, he wages all out war. This part gets interesting. In 2 Kings, no fewer than 15 specific examples, and many more general descriptions, are given of the things Josiah destroys. 2 Chronicles provides even more detail. The King begins to follow God at the age of 16. He is merely 20 when he begins his purge. When the Book of the Law is found Josiah is 26 – and he then destroys every idol in Judah.
I like the violence of the language. I like the forcefulness and emotion. I don’t know if God puts this here for this reason, but it makes me understand the thrum of violence and the passion boiling just below my surface. He wants me to hate my idols and destroy them. He wants my love for him to consume me. Jeremiah says “”But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” (Jeremiah 20:9 NIV).
The scripture repeats God’s most important commandment throughout the Old Testament (and again in the New Testament):
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV
Other translations use “might” instead of “strength” and I like the visual of that too. The Hebrew is “meod” which Strong’s says is “properly vehemence, that is, (with or without preposition) vehemently”. God wants me to love him vehemently. I never really got that before. I get it now.
25Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses. 2 Kings 23:25 NIV
So let it be said of me: neither before or after her was there a wife and mother who turned to the Lord as she did – with all her heart and with all her soul and with all her strength.